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ZSU-23-4 Shilka

23 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG

The ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG was a very successful design

 
 
Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1962
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 19 t
Length (gun forward) ?
Hull length 6.54 m
Width 3.13 m
Height (in combat order) 3.57 m
Armament
Main gun 4 x 23 mm guns
Projectile weight 0.19 kg
Maximum slant range 2 km
Maximum firing range 2.5 km
Rate of fire 3 400 rpm
Elevation range - 5 to + 85 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 2 000 rounds
Mobility
Engine V-6P1 diesel
Engine power 280 hp
Maximum road speed 50 km/h
Range 450 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 1.1 m
Trench 2.8 m
Fording 1 m

 

   Development of the ZSU-23-4 Shilka began in 1957. The first prototype was completed in 1960. After extensive trials it entered service with the Soviet Army in 1962. Production of the ZSU-23-4 commenced in 1964. It was a very successful design. The Shilka is currently in service with a number of countries worldwide.

   The ZSU-23-4 Shilka is armed with quad 23 mm guns. It is a modified variant of the towed ZU-23 anti-aircraft gun. Vehicle has a rate of fire of 3 400 rounds per minute. It fires the same rounds as the ZU-23.

   The Shilka is fitted with target surveillance and tracking radar and simple fire control system. Its radar has a tracking range of 6-10 km, depending on target's altitude. The baseline SPAAG had 30% chance of hitting an air target.

   The ZSU-23-4 was involved in a number of military conflicts. It appeared that vehicle is extremely effective against ground targets

   Thin armor of the ZSU-23-4 provides only limited protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. It has been reported that sides of this vehicle can be penetrated by standard Soviet 7.62x39 mm rounds fired from assault rifle. Though front arc withstands this ammunition. Vehicle is fitted with NBC protection system.

   Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, radar operator and driver.

   The Shilka has a tracked chassis and uses many automotive components of the SU-85 self-propelled artillery system. Vehicles produced until 1970 were fitted with a V-6P diesel. Vehicles produced since 1970 are powered by improved V-6P1 diesel engine, developing 280 hp.The ZSU-23-4 is also fitted with auxiliary power unit.

 

Variants

 

   ZSU-23-4V, improved variant developed in 1969.

   ZSU-23-4V1, improved variant with new fire control system, developed in 1971.

   ZSU-23-4M1, has improved radar, developed in 1972.

   ZSU-23-4M2, was optimized for firing against ground targets during Afghanistan war. It had no radar, but carried 3 000 rounds instead of 2 000. This vehicle was used against ground targets. This variant was developed in 1978.

   ZSU-23-4M3, fitted with friend-or-foe identification system, new fire control system, improved radar and laser rangefinder. This variant has a 74% chance of hitting air target, comparing with 30% of the baseline model. This variant was developed in 1978.

   ZSU-23-4M4, upgraded version, fitted with two Igla surface-to-air missiles, new vision devices, improved radar and improved transmission. This variant was developed in 1999.

   Donets, proposed Ukrainian improved variant, fitted with upgraded turret, armed with additional Strela-10M surface-to-air missiles. This variant was mounted on a T-80U main battle tank chassis and had much higher level of protection. It never reached production.

   ZSU-23-4MP Biala, Polish upgrade of the ZSU-23-4 with added Grom anti-aircraft missile and a number of other improvements.

 

Video of the ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

 
ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG

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ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG

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ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG

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ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG

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ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG

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