ZSU-23-4

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Rank IV USSR | Premium | Golden Eagles
Tu-1 Pack
This page is about the Soviet SPAA ZSU-23-4. For the other versions, see ZSU-23-4 (Family).
ussr_zsu_23_4.png
GarageImage ZSU-23-4.jpg
ArtImage ZSU-23-4.jpg
ZSU-23-4
AB RB SB
8.0 8.0 8.0
Class:
Research:135 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:380 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

Arguably the single most iconic self-propelled anti-aircraft gun of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the ZSU-23-4 Shilka is a force to be reckoned with. First fielded in 1965, the Shilka completely superseded its predecessor, the antiquated ZSU-57-2 by the 1970s. Notably upgrades were a radar fire control system to assist gunners in aiming the gun, a gun stabilizer to enable firing on the move, as well as the search radar itself which greatly assisted in awareness. Designed on the ASU-85 hull, the Shilka was almost fielded alongside its competitor, the ZSU-37-2 Yenisei, but the Yenisei was cancelled during a hearing and the Shilka became the backbone of the Soviet air defense suite. The Shilka served a long and illustrious career with the Soviet Armed Forces and many other militaries around the world, seeing combat across the globe. One notable use was in the Soviet-Afghan War, where Shilkas had their radars removed and additional ammunition was added and were used against enemy guerilla fighters to devastating effect.

Introduced in Update 1.63 "Desert Hunters", the "Shilka" presents a much higher rate of fire than its predecessor ZSU-57-2, and allows the user to oversaturate a given area of the sky to increase the odds of hitting an enemy aircraft. The Shilka is unlocked after the ZSU-37-2 Yenisei, its unproduced rival, and usage cases between the two differ. The Yenisei deals a heavier, crippling blow with its 37 mm cannon, but lacks the volume of fire of the Shilka to saturate an area, while the Shilka lacks comparative engagement range as well as the penetration to go through enemy armour from the side consistently. The Shilka is best used at sub-2 km ranges, when enemies have little room to manoeuvre from the sheer amount of shells being thrown in the air, and is second to none in this role.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull9 / 9 / 9
Turret8 / 8 / 8
Crew4 people
Visibility341 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 9.4 mm (57°) 9.4 mm 9.4 mm (46°) Upper
9.4 mm (22°) Lower
9.4 mm
Turret 8.9 mm (23°) 8.9 mm (8-10°) 8.9 mm (1°) 8.9 mm
Cupola 8.9 mm 8.9 mm 8.9 mm 8.9 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick while tracks are 15 mm thick.
  • Belly armour is 9.4 mm thick.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB55 / 8 km/h
RB and SB51 / 7 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight20.7 t
Engine power
AB534 hp
RB and SB280 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB25.8 hp/t
RB and SB13.5 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 55 8 20.7 398 534 19.23 25.8
Realistic 51 7 248 280 11.98 13.53

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB4 795 → 6 617 Sl icon.png
RB4 102 → 5 660 Sl icon.png
SB5 159 → 7 119 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications112 200 Rp icon.png
193 400 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 300 Ge icon.png
Crew training110 000 Sl icon.png
Experts380 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 400 Ge icon.png
Research Aces830 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
150 / 190 / 230 % Sl icon.png
208 / 208 / 208 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
6 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
9 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
5 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 600 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
5 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 600 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
9 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
9 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
1 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
9 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 600 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement ussr.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
6 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
9 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
23mm_ussr_HEIT_ammo_pack
Research:
6 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
9 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
5 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 600 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
23mm_ussr_APIT_ammo_pack
Research:
5 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 600 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
9 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods night vision device.png
NVD
Research:
9 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.

Main armament

4 x 23 mm AZP-23 cannon
Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Ammunition2 000 rounds
Belt capacity500 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
1.3 → 1.0 s
Fire rate850 shots/min
Vertical guidance-4° / 85°
Main article: AZP-23 (23 mm)
23 mm AZP-23 (x4) Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 2,000 (500) 850 -4°/+85° ±180° Two-plane 61.6 85.3 103.6 114.6 121.9 5.20 4.60 4.24 4.00
Realistic 41.6 49.0 59.5 65.8 70.0

Ammunition

  • Default: API-T · HEF-I
  • HEFI-T: HEF-I · HEFI-T · HEF-I · API-T
  • APIT: API-T · API-T · API-T · HEFI-T

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
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
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°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the ZSU-23-4
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
4 0 (+4) 0 (+4) 0 (+4) 0 (+4) No

Radars

Main article: 1RL33

The ZSU-23-4 is equipped with a 1RL33 search and tracking radar, mounted on top of the turret, at the rear. The radar system lacks track while scan, but can track targets in a full 360° area around the turret (instead of just to the front of the turret). The radar has very slow scan speed.

Msg-info.png By default the radar will scan a 60° arc, this can be changed to a 360° scan if desired, using the "change radar search mode" key.
1RL33 - Target Detection Radar
Maximum
Detection
Range
Minimum
Detection
Range
Max Azimuth
Scan Angle
Max Elevation
Scan Angle
Minimum
relative speed
20,000 m 100 m ±30° (optionally 360°) -9°/+87° 15 m/s (54 km/h)
1RL33 - Target Tracking Radar
Maximum
Tracking
Range
Minimum
Tracking
Range
Azimuth Tracking
Angle
Elevation Tracking
Angle
Minimum
relative speed
16,000 m 100 m 360° -9°/+87° 15 m/s (54 km/h)

Usage in battles

The ZSU-23-4 should be played entirely as an AA vehicle. Do not go tank hunting in this vehicle, as you do not have the armour or the penetration. Focus on keeping the skies clear, something that this vehicle does very well. A high rate of fire and very fast turret traverse means that you should be able to target and destroy even the fastest jets.

You have a high ammo count with this vehicle, meaning that you can afford to find a good spot away from the main fight in order to pick off enemy planes. Unless you need to reload your ammo, avoid spawn points. They are usually the hub of most of the fighting and going to them will put you in the firing line.

While it is fully enclosed, the ZSU-23-4 has armour which makes the M18 Hellcat look like a heavy tank. Even 7.62mm machine guns stand a fair chance of penetrating this vehicle. This makes you a primary target for aircraft, which at this vehicles BR are usually armed with cannons or high penetration machine guns, which will easily take you out.

Top rank helicopters and the FJ-4B VMF 232 are the greatest threat to your existence. They are both capable of sitting comfortably outside your firing range while firing lethal ATGMs at you. Hide from them until they are either dealt with by an allied plane or they come close enough to be dealt with by your 23 mm cannons.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • High rate of fire; allows for area saturation
  • Relatively high top speed
  • High ammo count
  • Fast turret traverse
  • Can penetrate lightly armoured vehicles (other SPAAs)
  • Radar-assisted fire control; a lead indicator is shown in Realistic.

Cons:

  • Thin armour; aircraft cannons will cause severe damage
  • Low power to weight ratio; struggles with slopes and off-road
  • Low penetration for 23 mm cannons; means troubles penetrating certain MBTs from the side
  • Radar has very low scan speed

History

Development

The main Soviet self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle ZSU-57-2, in service since 1955, did not perform satisfactory due to the lack of radar tracking, low rate of fire, and small ammo count for its high-power autocannons. Its firepower was supplemented by the ZPU and ZU series of anti-aircraft mounts using the 14.5 mm and 23 mm armaments respectively. The ZPU and ZU were towed or truck-mounted and had a high rate of fire, but suffered from low mobility when not on a truck and lack of protection if mounted on a truck for a mobile role. It became desirable to combine the traits of these two type of anti-aircraft weaponry together for a tracked anti-aircraft vehicle to be protected, have good mobility, contain a good amount of ammo, and deliver a high rate of fire with heavy-hitting calibre.

Development started in 1957 for this vehicle, ready to be evaluated in 1962. The vehicle went under the name ZSU-23-4 "Shilka", named after the Shilka River in South-Eastern Russia. The first set of digits signifies the calibre, 23 mm, and the second signifies the number of cannons, 4. Equipped with four water-cooled 23 mm autocannons, the ZSU-23-4 is aimed via manual optics or with a radar that can track aircraft up to 6 km away and guide the armaments to a estimated coordinate. The vehicle can carry up to 2,000 rounds of 23 mm ammunition and each cannon has a fire rate of between 850-1,000 rpm. The ZSU-23-4 was built on a GM-575 chassis, which itself is based off the PT-76. It was accepted for service by the Soviet Army in 1965 and proceeded to replace all the ZSU-57-2 still in stock by the 1970s. From the time period 1964 to 1982, up to 6,500 ZSU-23-4 were produced at the Mytishchi Engineering Works.

Combat usage

The Soviet Army used the ZSU-23-4 as their main anti-aircraft defense weapon. It was intended that the ZSU-23-4 only guard military bases and mechanized formations while the ZSU-37-2, a side development during the Shilka's development period, guard the low-altitude area unable to be hit by surface-to-air missiles. However, the ZSU-23-4 Shilka eventually replaced it to keep a logistics simple. From Soviet doctrine, the Shilkas were organized in anti-aircraft artillery batteries with two platoons of four vehicles each. Initially, one platoon was filled with ZSU-57-2's and the other with Shilkas, but the ZSU-57's were replaced in service by the Shilkas in the 1970s. In the 1970s, the batteries were also reorganized to one platoon of Shilkas and one platoon of anti-air missile systems, both meant to supplement the dead zone from the divisional surface-to-air missile systems. The Shilkas, being very lightly armoured, mainly stay behind the main forces and the front line, ranging between 400 to 1,000 m away from the fighting. Though each Shilka unit fought with their own radar system initially, the implementation of the PPRU-1 allowed for coordinated targeting between the Shilka and missile units against enemy aircraft. Despite their intended role as an anti-aircraft, the high rate of fire, heavy calibre, and ability to elevate the guns at a high angle made it a very popular ground support weapon. This utility made it a very useful weapon in the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, being able to fight the Mujaheddin ambushing from mountainous terrain. The Soviets also used it during the War against Chechnya, fighting the Chechens in the mountains. The ZSU-23-4 still sees use in the Russian Naval Infantry.

The ZSU-23-4 saw more usage in the hands of the Soviet Union's allies. 2,500 of the Shilkas produced were given out to up to 23 nations. It's most infamous records would come from the hands of the Arabs in the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Using the SA-6 surface-to-air missiles, they forced the Israeli planes to fly low to avoid missile detection and then blasted them away with the Shilkas. The Shilkas also saw use in the later part of the Vietnam War, where they are used nearly the same way by attacking aircraft forced low by missiles. Past that, the ZSU-23-4 saw usage in multiple conflicts in the Third World countries and are still in use today in the Syrian Civil War.

Media

Skins

See also

Similar role in USSR

Analogues in other nations

External links


USSR anti-aircraft vehicles
GAZ-AAA  GAZ-AAA (4M) · GAZ-AAA (DShK)
BTR-152  BTR-152A · BTR-152D
Wheeled/Half-tracked  GAZ-MM (72-K) · ZiS-12 (94-KM) · ZiS-43
Radar SPAAG  ZSU-23-4 · ZSU-37-2
SAM  ZSU-23-4M4 · Strela-10M2 · 2S6 · Pantsir-S1
Other  ZUT-37 · ZSU-37 · BTR-ZD · ZSU-57-2
Czechoslovakia  M53/59
North Vietnam  ▂Phòng không T-34