ZU-23 (23 mm)

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The 23 mm ZU-23 on the BTR-ZD.


Write an introduction to the article in 2-3 small paragraphs. Briefly tell us about the history of the development and combat using the weaponry and also about its features. Compile a list of air, ground, or naval vehicles that feature this weapon system in the game.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

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Available ammunition

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Comparison with analogues

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Usage in battles

The 23 mm ZU-23 cannon is dual-mounted, and has a very high rate of fire, making it very effective against aircraft. The canon also has decent penetration, so it can take out tanks from the side, except from the most heavily-armoured ones.

Pros and cons


  • High rate of fire
  • Easily inflicts critical damage to aircraft


  • Can't hit targets at long range
  • Slow reload time
  • High fire rate causes magazine to empty quickly so trigger discipline is needed


In 1954, the Soviet Union's Chief Directorate of the Missile Troops and Artillery GAU issued an order to the design bureau TsKB-14 (located in Tula) to develop a new anti-aircraft weapon that was larger than the 14.5 mm caliber and more transportable than the 37 mm M1939 gun.[1] TsKB-14 designer Nikolay M. Afanasev, who was already working on upscaling his 12.7 mm A-12.7 aircraft machine gun to a 23 mm caliber, submitted his prototype weapon chambered in the 23x152 mmB cartridge used in the VYa cannon (the cartridge modified to use steel case with a sturdier extractor rim). The cannon design was accepted for Soviet service under the GRAU index number 2A14 and began production at plant No.535 in Tula.[1]

A ZU-23 anti-aircraft gun with its ZU-14 mount deployed.

The 2A14 cannon was envisioned to be used in single, twin, and quadruple-mount carriages. In February 1955, TsKB-14 designers E.K. Rachinskiy and R.Ya. Purtsen would produce the ZU-1 single mount and the ZU-14 twin-mount carriages for the 2A14, with evaluations for the designs held between April and September 1956. While the ZU-1 was eventually dropped due to its relatively high weight of 440 kg, the ZU-14 proved more successful at 950 kg fully loaded with the ability to transition from travel to combat configuration in up to 20 seconds (the weapon can still fire in the travel configuration). An automatic anti-aircraft sight ZAP-23 was also installed to help target aircraft flying up to 300 m/sec. Following troop trials in 1959, the ZU-14 was adopted in 1960 as the ZU-23 "Konkurent", with index number 2A13. A quadruple mount would also be developed from the 2A14; the gun was modified and was put in a self-propelled mount as the AZP-23.[1]

The ZU-23 saw prominent service in the Soviet infantry units, notably in the airborne as the weapon was light enough to be air-droppable and has similar anti-aircraft firepower to a ZSU-23-4 "Shilka".[2] A Soviet airborne division would have a battalion of 18 ZU-23s, splitting into batteries of six ZU-23s that are attached to an airborne brigade.[3] The ZU-23 can provide an effective anti-air range of 2,500 metres, fed by linked ammunition of 50 rounds from boxes attached to the outside of each cannon's trunnion. The ZU-23 also saw use in Soviet motorized rifle regiments that have not yet converted to missile and ZSU-23-4 air defense, and as close air defense for SA-4 brigades.[2][3]



See also

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  • reference to the article about the variant of the cannon/machine gun;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Koll 2009, 195-200
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pike et al. 2000
  3. 3.0 3.1 Department of the Army 1991, Chapter 5-114
  • Department of the Army. 1991. FM 100-2-3: The Soviet Army - Troops, Organization, and Equipment. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office.
  • Koll, Christian. 2009. Soviet Cannon: A Comprehensive Study of Soviet Guns and Ammunition in Calibres 12.7MM to 57 MM. Austria: self-published.
  • Pike, John and Robert Sherman. 2000. "ZU-23 23MM Antiaircraft Gun". FAS Military Analysis Network. Last modified April 27, 2000. Website (Archive)

Germany naval cannons
15 mm  MG 151
20 mm  2 cm/65 C/30 · 2 cm/65 C/38 · 2 cm/65 Flakzwilling 38 · 2 cm/65 Flakvierling 38 · MG 151/20
30 mm  MK103/38
37 mm  FlaK-Lafette C/36 · 3.7 cm FlaK-Lafette LM/42 · SK C/30 · FlaK.36 · FlaK43
40 mm  40 mm/70 MEL58 · Bofors Flak 28 · Bofors L/70 model 1948
52 mm  52 mm/55 SK L/55
88 mm  8.8 cm/76 SK C/32 · S.K.C/35 · FlaK.18 · Flak.36 · 88 mm/45 AA SK L/45 · 88 mm/45 casemate SK L/45
100 mm  100 mm/55 MLE model 53
105 mm  SK C/32 · SK C/33 AA
120 mm  L45
128 mm  12.8 cm/45 SK C/34
150 mm  150 mm/45 SK L/45 · 15 cm/48 KC/36 · 15 cm/55 SK C/28 · 15 cm/60 SK C/25
203 mm  20.3 cm/60 SK C/34
283 mm  283 mm/45 SK L/45 · 283 mm/52 SK C/28 · 283 mm/54,5 SK C/34
305 mm  305 mm/50 SK L/50
380 mm  38 cm SK L/45
23 mm  ZU-23 (USSR)
30 mm  AK-230 (USSR)
37 mm  V-11 (USSR)
76 mm  76 mm/62 OTO-Melara Compact (Italy)
100 mm  100 mm/56 B-34 (USSR)

Britain and USA anti-aircraft guns
7.92 mm  BESA
12.7 mm  M2HB
20 mm  GAI C01 · M168 · Oerlikon Mk.II · Polsten
25 mm  GAU-12U
30 mm  HSS 831L
35 mm  GA-35
37 mm  M1A2
40 mm  Bofors L/60 · Dual Automatic Gun M2 · M266
23 mm  ZU-23 (USSR)
35 mm  Oerlikon KDA (Swiss)

USSR anti-aircraft guns
7.62 mm  Maxim's
12.7 mm  DShK
14.5 mm  KPVT
23 mm  AZP-23 · ZU-23
25 mm  72-K
30 mm  2A38 · ZK453
37 mm  2A11 · 61-K · Sh-37 · Type 65
57 mm  S-68