AZP-23 (23 mm)

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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

Tell us about the tactical and technical characteristics of the cannon or machine gun.

Available ammunition

  • Default: API-T · HEF-I

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
HEF-I 6 6 4 3 2 2
API-T 51 48 36 26 18 13
HEFI-T 6 6 4 3 2 2
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
HEF-I 980 0.18 0.1 0.1 28.49 79° 80° 81°
API-T 970 0.19 - - - 47° 60° 65°
HEFI-T 970 0.19 0.1 0.1 20.02 79° 80° 81°

Comparison with analogues

Give a comparative description of cannons/machine guns that have firepower equal to this weapon.

Usage in battles

Describe the cannon/machine gun in the game - its distinctive features, tactics of usage against notable opponents. Please don't write a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but give the reader food for thought.

Pros and cons

Summarise and briefly evaluate the weaponry in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark pros and cons as a list.




Main article: History of the ZU-23

In 17 April 1957, the Soviet Council of Ministers ordered development of a radar-guided, self-propelled anti-aircraft system. When it was decided the development would split to a 37 mm system (known as the ZSU-37-2) and a 23 mm system (known as the ZSU-23-4), the development of a quadruple-mounted 23 mm cannon started to arm the ZSU-23-4. Using the 2A14 cannon as the basis, the weapon was modified to fit the vehicle's purpose with the adaption of a water-cooling jacket, an electrical sear mechanism, and a pneumatic charging mechanism. The modified 2A14 was designated the 2A7, most distinguished by its water-cooling jacket and weighing 85 kg (10 kg more than the 2A14's 75 kg). The 2A7 was mounted in the ZSU-23-4 in the "Amur" 2A10 quadruple mounting. The combination of the 2A7 and 2A10 was overall designated the AZP-23.

A view of the AZP-23 installed into the ZSU-23-4

Prototypes of the AZP-23 were produced at plant No.535 in 1963. Initial issues inhibited the weapon's reliability, with the fire rate so high from the combined four autocannons that the case ejection chutes were being clogged by fired casings. Other improvements were made to the barrel cooling, elevation and traverse mechanisms before the AZP-23 was submitted for trials. The AZP-23, along with its parent vehicle the ZSU-23-4, were soon put into production in 1964, with the first deliveries of the weapon system done in 1965. The AZP-23 was configured in the ZSU-23-4 with the RPK-2 "Tobol" radar system and with a total ammunition load of 2,000 rounds in the ZSU-23-4, with the top guns loaded with 480 rounds each and the bottom guns with 520 rounds each.[1]

In 1967, a series of improvements to the 2A7 was demanded by the Soviet Council of Ministers in response to dissatisfied reception of the 23 mm. The barrel cooling had to be improved as well as the barrel life span (from 3,500 rounds to 4,500). The pneumatic charging system was found to be unreliable and was replaced by a pyrotechnic cartridge mechanism. The improved weapon was designated the 2A7M and was introduced in 1973 alongside the ZSU-23-4M.[1]

The AZP-23 cannon along with the RPK-2 "Tobol" radar would make up the ZSU-23-4 overall impressive anti-aircraft firepower, with a combined rate of fire of up to 4,000 rounds per minute from the four cannon barrels and the radar able to lock-on and track targets up to 10 kilometres away (though the cannons effective range was still considered to be 2,500 metres). Comparisons with the American M163 Vulcan Air Defense System put the ZSU-23-4 in a favorable level of having a 66% greater effective range and almost 50% more accurate.[2] The AZP-23 and ZSU-23-4 were distributed as air defense battalions, split into two platoons that had four anti-aircraft units each. This led to one platoon being equipped with ZSU-23-4 and the other with ZSU-57-2, and was later reorganized in the 1970s with the replacement of ZSU-57-2 with Strela-1 missile launchers.

The most prominent conflict the AZP-23 and ZSU-23-4 saw use in is the Yom Kippur War, where the combined air defense network of the Egyptians and Syrians forced Israeli aircraft down to the AZP-23's effective firing range, which was credited with 31 Israeli aircraft losses.[3] In other conflict like the Soviet-Afghanistan War and the Syrian Civil War, the AZP-23's rate of fire and elevation traverse range was effectively used to fight in mountainous and urban terrain respectively. The Afghanistan conflict would lead to the development of the ZSU-23-4M2 "Afghanskii" to carry more ammunition for the AZP-23 cannons.[2]



See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Koll 2009, 195-200
  2. 2.0 2.1 Guardia 2015, 20-38
  3. Zaloga 1993, 2
  • Guardia, Mike. 2015. Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns of the Soviet Union. Great Britain: Osprey Publishing Ltd.
  • Koll, Christian. 2009. Soviet Cannon: A Comprehensive Study of Soviet Guns and Ammunition in Calibres 12.7MM to 57 MM. Austria: self-published.
  • Zaloga, Steven J. 1993. ZSU-23-4 Shilka & Soviet Air Defense Vehicles. Hong Kong: Concord Publications Company.

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

Italy anti-aircraft guns
20 mm  Breda Mod.35 · Scotti-IF 20/70 mod.41
40 mm  Bofors DA 40/70
76 mm  OTO-Breda 76/62
12.7 mm  M2HB (USA)
20 mm  Oerlikon KAD (Swiss)
25 mm  Oerlikon KBA (Swiss)
23 mm  AZP-23 (USSR)
57 mm  S-68 (USSR)

Israel anti-aircraft guns
20 mm  Hispano 404 (France) · M168 (USA)
23 mm  AZP-23 (USSR)
57 mm  S-68 (USSR)