Cookie Consent by Privacy Policies Generator

ZSU-23-4 Shilka



Overview


ZSU-23-4

A ZSU-23-4 on the moved with radar lowered behind turret.
Source: US Marine Corps (Sgt. Ryan Ward) - © public domain

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun
Entered service
1964
Status
In service
Development
1957 - 1963
Developer
Soviet Union - KBP Instrument Design Bureau
Production
1965 - 1982
Producer
Soviet Union - MMZ / Mytyshi Machine-Building Plant
Soviet Union - UMZ / Ulyanovsk Mechanical Plant
Number produced
About 6.500
Designations
Shilka (nickname)
Biryuza (nickname)

Description


Introduction

The ZSU-23-4 is a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun of Soviet origin. It was developed in the early 1960's to replace the older ZSU-57-2, which was very powerful but lacked radar control and rate of fire. The name ZSU stands for "Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka", which is Russian for "anti-aircraft self-propelled mount". The number 23 indicates the caliber and 4 the number of guns.

Layout

The ZSU-23-4 is based on a tracked chassis with many automotive components similar to the PT-76 light tank. The driver is seated in at the front left, the three man turret is located in the middle and the engine and drivetrain are at the rear. The unusual AZP-23 four gun mount is fitted to the front of the turret with the ammunition boxes on each side. The crew is seated in the middle of the turret and the retractable radar is fitted at the rear.

Firepower

The ZSU-23-4 is fitted with four water cooled 23mm 2A7 autocannon. Each gun has a rate of fire of 850 to 1.000 rpm and is supplied with 500 round of ammunition. This combines to a phenomenal volume of fire of 3.400 to 4.000 rpm. The maximum effective range against both aircraft and ground targets is 2.5 km with a maximum altitude of 1.5 km and slant range of over 5 km. Since the armament is stabilized the ZSU-23-4 is able to fire on the move, albeit at a loss of accuracy.

Fire control

The RPK-2 Tobol radar is located on top of the turret. It has the NATO reporting name Gun Dish. The radar has a search range of 20 km and tracking range of 18 km. A target can be locked in 20 to 30 seconds. An optical sight is fitted for use against ground targets or under ECM conditions.

Protection

Unlike the older ZSU-57-2 the ZSU-23-4 is operated under full armor protection. The steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. An NBC system is fitted but smoke grenade dischargers are not.

Mobility

The tracked chassis provides a good all terrain performance, but the speed is somewhat limited. A 280 hp diesel provides propulsion and an APU provides power when the engine is not running. The maximum speed is 50 km/h on roads and about 30 km/h in the field. The maximum range is about 450 km and the ZSU-23-4 is not amphibious.

Users

The ZSU-23-4 was produced in large quantities and is the most produced self-propelled anti-aircraft gun in the world. It was a very common weapon in the USSR and Warsaw Pact nations and was exported to most nations with links to the USSR. In many nations the ZSU-23-4 has been supplemented with newer systems or surface to air missiles, but many remain in service today. It can still be encountered in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Variants


ZSU-23-4

An abandoned Iraqi ZSU-23-4 with all hatched open and radar lowered behind turret.
Source: US DOD (photographer unknown) - © public domain

Variants of the ZSU-23-4

ZSU-23-4 Shilka
Original production vehicle introduced in 1964.
ZSU-23-4V Shilka
Modernized ZSU-23-4 with enhanced reliability and commander's sight. Introduced in 1968.
ZSU-23-4V1 Shilka
Improved ZSU-23-4 with improved V-6R1 diesel, enhanced stabilization and fire control computer for fire on the move up to 40 km/h instead of the previous 25 km/h. Introduced in 1970.
ZSU-23-4M Biryusa
A ZSU-23-4V1 with improved 2A7M autocannon with longer barrel life and pyrotechnic loading. Introduced in 1973.
ZSU-23-4MZ Biryusa
A ZSU-23-4M fitted with IFF system during refit since 1977.
ZSU-23-4M2
Ground support model with night vision sight and without radar for use in Afghanistan. Introduced in 1978.
Facts ZSU-23-4
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun
Crew
4 (commander, driver, gunner, radar operator)
Dimensions
Weight
20.5 t combat load
Length
6.54 m
Width
3.13 m
Height
2.58 m radar down
3.57 m radar up
Main armament
Type
4x 2A7 autocannon
Mount
AZP-23 quad mount
Ammunition
2.000 rounds, all ready to fire
Elevation
-4 to +85° elevation, 60°/s, powered
Traverse
360° traverse, 70°/s, powered
Stabilizer
Yes, both axis
Fire control
Radar
RPK-2 Tobol
Search range
20 km
Tracking range
18 km
Chassis
Chassis type
Tracked chassis, 6 roadwheels
Idler front an drive sprocket rear
Suspension
Torsion bar
Ground pressure
0.69 kg/cm²
Tread
2.67 m
Track width
0.36 m
Track on ground
3.8 m
Automotive
Engine
Model V-6R 6-cylinder diesel
Power output
280 hp at 2.000 rpm
Transmission
Manual, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Fuel
250 L
Mobility
Speed
50 km/h on road
Range
450 km on road
Power to weight ratio
13.7 hp/t
Obstacle crossing
Ground clearance
0.4 m
Wall
1.1 m
Trench
2.8 m
Gradient
60 %
Slope
30 %
Fording
1.1 m
Protection
Armor type
Steel
Armor thickness
15 mm glacis
15 mm hull sides
9 mm turret front, sides and rear
NBC system
Yes
Smoke system
No

Media


Related articles


2S6 Tunguska

The 2S6 Tunguska is a more capable system designed to replace the ZSU-23-4. It features more powerful autocannon and has 8 ready to launch surface to air missiles.

PT-76

The chassis ZSU-23-4 is based on the chassis of the PT-76 amphibious light tank.

ZU-23-2

The ZSU-23-4 is armed with a water cooled variant of the autocannon used on the ZU-23-2 light anti-aircraft gun. Both systems fire the same 23x152mm ammunition.