Air defense / Self-propelled anti-aircraft guns / ZSU-57-2 Sparka

ZSU-57-2 Sparka

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    Sparka, pair (Russian nickname)
    Type 80 (Chinese production)
    WZ-305 (industry designation for Type 80)
    ITPSV SU-57 (Finnish service)

  • DESIGNED
    1947 - 1954

  • DESIGNER
    Omsk factory No. 174 and Kaliningrad No. 58 research institue

  • PRODUCTION
    1957 - 1960 (USSR production)
    Early 1980's (Chinese production)

  • PRODUCERS
    China
    North Korea
    USSR - Omsk factory No. 174

  • QUANTITY
    2.023 in the USSR
    250 in North Korea

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Large engagement envelope
    Very powerful armament
    Effective against ground targets and vehicles
    All terrain mobility
    Very large and heavy
    Clear weather and daylight use only
    No fire control system
    Limited rate of fire
    Lacks roof and NBC protection

Introduction

The ZSU-57-2 is a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun of Soviet origin. It was developed in the early 1950's to provide Soviet forces with air defense that could keep up with mechanized forces. The name ZSU stands for Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka, which is Russian for anti-aircraft self-propelled mount. The number 57 indicates the caliber and 2 the number of guns. The ZSU-57-2 possesses phenomenal power but proved of limited use against aircraft.

Layout

The ZSU-57-2 is based on a modified T-54 tank chassis with only four road wheels. Instead of the normal tank turret a large boxy turret with two large 57mm autocannon are fitted. The turret has an open top and the gun sights are fitted are fitted on each side of the twin gun mount. Additional crew member manually reload the guns.

Firepower

The ZSU-57-2 possesses incredible firepower with its two 57mm S-68 autocannon. The cyclic rate of fire is 105 to 120 rpm per gun, but its practical rate of fire is limited as it uses five round clips. The maximum effective range is 4 km and altitude is 3 km, although the slant ranges are 12 km and 8 km respectively. A total of 300 rounds are carried.

Fire control

The ZSU-57-2 has no radar or fire control system. Only optical gun sights are fitted. This limits its use to clear weather and daytime. And although the ZSU-57-2 potentially has twice the firepower, the towed S-60 is more effective since it is connected to radar.

Protection

The steel armor provides the crew with some protection from small arms fire and shells splinters. The turret has no roof and during operation the crew is partly exposed. An NBC system and smoke grenade dischargers are both lacking.

Mobility

The T-54 chassis provides good cross country performance, but the speed is limited. A 520 hp diesel engine provides propulsion. The maximum speed is 50 km/h on roads and about 30 km/h in the field. The maximum range is about 420 km and the ZSU-57-2 is not amphibious.

Users

The ZSU-57-2 was in common use with Soviet forces and several Warsaw Pact forces. Large quantities were exported to nations with ties to the USSR and many were used in conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In the 1970's most have been replaced by the more capable ZSU-23-4. Those that remain in service are considered obsolete, but remain useful against ground targets.

Variants

ZSU-57-2

The ZSU-57-2 is a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on a modified T-54 chassis. It can be easily identified by its two large guns, large square turret and four wheel chassis. Besides from improved optics on later models there are no real variants.

TypeSelf-propelled anti-aircraft gun
Crew6 (commander, driver, gunner, 3 loaders)
Length6.22 m hull, 8.46 m guns forward, 7.43 m guns rear
Width3.27 m
Height2.71 m
Ground clearance0.43 m
Weight28.1 t combat load
Ground pressure0.63 kg/cm2
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 4 roadwheels, idler front, drive sprocket rear, 2.64 m track, 0.58 m width, 3.84 m length
Turn radius?
EngineModel V-54 V12 diesel diesel, 520 hp at 2.000 rpm
Power ratio18.5 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed50 km/h on road, 30 km/h off road
Fuel812 L, 400 L auxiliary
Range420 km, 595 km on auxiliary fuel
Wall0.8 m
Trench2.7 m
Gradient60% gradient, 30% slope
Fording1.4 m
ArmorSteel, 14 mm glacis, 15 mm hull sides, 11 mm hull rear, 14 mm turret all around
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionYes, driver only
SmokeExhaust smoke injection
Remarks-
Armament2x 57mm S-68 autocannon
Weapon12x 57mm S-68 autocannon
300 rounds, 10 ready to fire
-5 to +85° elevation, 20°/s powered
360° traverse, 30°/s powered
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

Type 80

The Type 80 is a Chinese reverse engineered ZSU-57-2. An identical ZSU-57-2 turret is installed on a Type 69-II chassis. The Type 80 can be identified by its five wheel chassis and track skirts. The performance of the Type 80 is slightly more effective than the ZSU-57-2 as proximity fuzed ammunition is used. Only a small number was produced as in the 1980's the ZSU-57-2 was already obsolete technology.

TypeSelf-propelled anti-aircraft gun
Crew6 (commander, driver, gunner, 3 loaders)
Length6.24 m hull, 8.42 m guns forward, 8.24 m guns rear
Width3.31 m overall
Height2.75 m
Ground clearance0.43 m
Weight31.0 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 5 roadwheels, idler front, drive sprocket rear, 2.64 m track, 0.58 m width, 3.49 m length
Turn radius?
EngineModel 12150-7BW diesel, 580 hp at 2.000 rpm
Power ratio18.7 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed48 km/h on road
Fuel?
Range440 km
Wall0.8 m
Trench2.7 m
Gradient60% gradient, 30% slope
Fording1.4 m
ArmorSteel, 45 mm glacis, 20 mm hull sides, 30 mm hull rear, 12 mm turret all around
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionYes
SmokeExhaust smoke injection
Remarks-
Armament2x 57mm autocannon
Weapon12x 57mm autocannon
300 rounds, 10 ready to fire
-5 to +85° elevation, 20°/s powered
360° traverse, 36°/s powered
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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