2A38 (30 mm)
The 30 mm 2A38 is a twin-barrel autocannon manufactured by Tula Arms Plant.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Sharing a very similar look to the aerial GSh-23L or GSh-30-2 cannons (which were both based on the Gast gun), the 2A38's 30x165 mm rounds can be sent up to 960 m/s with a rate of fire at a whopping 1,251 rounds per minute.
- Default: AP-T · HEF-I*
- 30 mm HE: HEF-I* · HEF-T* · HEF-I* · AP-T
- 30 mm APT: AP-T · AP-T · AP-T · HEF-I*
|Ammunition||Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Comparison with analogues
- M242- a 25 mm chain gun used in NATO countries, while it has a higher penetration with its APDS belt, the overall rate of fire is nowhere near 2A38.
- PG87- the Chinese 25 mm autocannon, having a faster muzzle velocity, and similar penetration, but slower rate of fire than 2A38.
- Oerlikon KDA- the 35 mm autocannon used by multiple nations, having a higher muzzle velocity and penetration up to 120 mm using APDS, while having slower rate of fire as well.
Usage in battles
The 30 mm 2A38 cannon serves one purpose well- destroying its enemies with its impressive rate of fire. Thanks to the Gast gun design which vastly improves its rate of fire over its predecessor AZP-23, 2A38 is also a twin-barrel gun as well. The gun is bad news for any aerial targets that get too close to the 2S6 platform - a quick tap from the mouse can sent dozens of rounds upon the target, taking them down with ease. However, do keep in mind the dispersion (which is relatively high due to the recoil). In case of ground suppression, it can gun down most NATO tanks with ease from the sides, thanks to its penetration, but beware for Merkavas that have impressive side protection.
As the 2A38 has overall slower muzzle velocity, and very high rate of fire but only 484 rounds per barrel, it is advised to only target aircraft that are within 2 km; attempting to spray down enemies beyond that is simply a waste of ammo.
Pros and cons
- Very high rate of fire (only minigun is higher)
- Destructive to targets at closer proximity
- Sufficient penetration to gun down armoured targets
- Sufficient ammo pool per gun
- Relatively slower muzzle velocity
- Having a great disperse due to the recoil
Although Karl Gast's design for a high rate of fire firearm was not adopted in the early days of its invention, it was eventually found as a viable choice to the Soviet Air Force and KBP factory for a design aside from rotary gun or revolver gun; the result was the Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23 found on 1960s Soviet jets and then GSh-30-2 for attackers, where this design proved reliable even without internal power to power the gun.
Gast's design was also adopted for the Army in 1982, where KBP designed another 30 mm autocannon for their new SPAAG platform- the 2A38 on ZPRK 2S6 "Tunguska" as the replacement for the ageing ZSU-23-4.
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|USSR anti-aircraft guns|
|23 mm||AZP-23 · ZU-23|
|30 mm||2A38 · ZK453|
|37 mm||2A11 · 61-K · Sh-37 · Type 65|