ZSU-23-4M4

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This page is about the Soviet SPAA ZSU-23-4M4. For the other versions, see ZSU-23-4 (Family).
ZSU-23-4M4
ussr_zsu_23_4m4.png
GarageImage ZSU-23-4M4.jpg
ZSU-23-4M4
AB RB SB
9.3 9.3 9.3
Class:
Research:190 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:520 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The ZSU-23-4M4 "Shilka-M4" is the modernization of the decades-old Shilka SPAAG in 1999. Although Russia has inherited the extensive field air-defense systems from Soviet Union alongside with the ZPRK 2S6 system, the need for upgrading the reserves of Shilka also arose, likely due to the lack of funding during the Shock Therapy era in Russia; the M4 upgrade introduced digital computer to replace the obsolete analogue computer, introduction of datalink via the PPRU-1 "Ovdo" command vehicle and improved mechanical systems to modern standards, as well as adding addition pairs of Igla MANPADS (NATO: SA-18 Grouse) to further improve its engagement range.

Introduced in Update "Alpha Strike" as the latest family member of the Shilka SPAAG systems, although the vehicle still gives deja vu to players with its infamously inferior radar system, the new pairs of 9K38 Igla MANPADS will be certainly a good friend of players with its sufficiently high accuracy and now has better range than the AZP-23 quad 23 mm guns.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull9 / 9 / 7
Turret8 / 8 / 8
Crew4 people
Visibility341 %

Like any Shilka in service, to put the overall protection in simple words: next to none. As a SPAA, in most cases the vehicle would not likely need to advance to the most heated frontline, thus the overall protection is nowhere sufficient to stop any bullets above .50 cal, let alone cannon or autocannon shells; protection is not one of the upgraded parts of ZSU-23-4M4 in this case, thus it retains identical protection to previous serial production Shilka with no armor plates thicker than 10 mm RHA, be extra careful on where the vehicle appear and always find good cover to hide away from any possible threats before delivering the fatal blow.

The M4 variant also still retains mostly identical interior design of previous Shilka with a crew of four inside the ASU-85 based chassis and turret systems, aside from the extra Igla MANPADS located on the rear sides of the turret; in many cases any penetrated shots on the Shilka will lead to critical damage to the turret system if now detonated right away due to the huge ammo storage with around 2000 rounds of 23 mm shells onboard.

Armour type:

Armour Front (Slope angle) 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:

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB55 / 8 km/h
RB and SB51 / 7 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight22.0 t
Engine power
AB534 hp
RB and SB280 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB24.3 hp/t
RB and SB12.7 hp/t

Although the upgrade introduced mechanical improvements to modern standards, the overall mobility is still identical to the previous Shilka with a V-6R engine at up to 280 hp output and mechanical transmission; it could somewhat keep up with Soviet/Russian MBTs at its tier, but it would have a hard time retreating back into cover.

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 22 _,___ 534 __.__ 24.27
Realistic 51 7 _,___ 280 __.__ 12.73

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB5 763 → 7 416 Sl icon.png
RB4 920 → 6 332 Sl icon.png
SB5 362 → 6 900 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications156 400 Rp icon.png
262 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 600 Ge icon.png
Crew training150 000 Sl icon.png
Experts520 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 100 Ge icon.png
Research Aces950 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
160 / 200 / 250 % Sl icon.png
220 / 220 / 220 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
8 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
7 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
7 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
600 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
600 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement ussr.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
8 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
23mm_ussr_HEIT_ammo_pack
Research:
8 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
7 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
23mm_ussr_APIT_ammo_pack
Research:
7 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
600 Ge icon.png

Armaments

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)

The ZSU-23-4M4 still retains the AZP-23 quad-mount autocannons onboard; known as the sewing machine due to its iconic firing sound. By the time of the introduction of this upgrade, there were field modifications which even has its radar systems removed to store extra ammunition against insurgents; this also somewhat showed a major downside of the system - inferior, or perhaps old-school radar system. Although the sound from the firing can sometimes deter enemy aircrafts, for players who understand the rather curved trajectory of the 23 mm autocannon, they will have easy time taking down the Shilka; sudden attack with the autocannons is always the best idea to utilize the vehicle. Leave the shells for aircrafts instead as the penetration of 23 mm shells are rather disappointing, sometimes barely able to penetrate NATO tanks from their sides.

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 __._ __._ __._ __._ __._ _.__ _.__ _.__ _.__
Realistic __._ __._ __._ __._ __._

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

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
4 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Additional armament

SAM 9M39
Ammunition4 rounds
Belt capacity4 rounds
Fire rate120 shots/min
Vertical guidance-5° / 45°
Main article: 9M39

To boost Shilka's combat capabilities in modern times and reuse the fleet of reserves, the M4 upgrade introduced two pairs of 9M39 Igla MANPADS as secondary weapon, although the missile has a rather small reticle and lacks any off-bore capabilities, but the overall maneuverability of the missile is sufficient enough to guide itself back on track and slap enemy aircrafts onto the ground.

9M39 missile
Capacity (Belt) Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer
4 (4) -5°/+45° - -

Ammunition

Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Range
(m)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Arming
distance (m)
Trigger
radius (m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
9M39 SAM 1,000 5,200 10.6 1 0.1 0 1 530 79° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
1 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Usage in battles

When players first heard of the name ZSU-23-4M4, they might have some first thought or bad memories from the previous version with inferior electronics, which is indeed true due to the upgrade didn't include the upgrade of the radar itself; to put it in a more positive way, players can get on hand with the handling of this vehicle rather quickly, this time with pairs of 9M38 Igla to extend the engage range.

Considering that the vehicle is designated as a SPAA for aerial targets, bring Shilka to the frontline is one of the last thing players should ever consider during combat - the overall profile of Shilka is still large for a Soviet/Russian vehicle and the protection is next to none which is only rated for up to rifle-caliber bullets, anything beyond those calibers is a sure penetration even from distance, let alone cannon shells; if the shell ever hits the ammo storages at the sides of turret front, the next thing will be the complete destruction and vaporize the vehicle from existence. Using it as a makeshift IFV isn't viable as well due to the poor penetration of 23 mm autocannon shells - way below its competitor in the past, ZSU-37-2 by more than half of its penetration; let alone PLAGF's PGZ04A with 63 mm penetration at point-blank range just by enlarging the caliber by 2 millimeter. But hunting down enemy SPAAs or IFVs is still a viable last-ditch option, in case of intensive brawling between vehicles for victory, strafing enemy IFVs from their sides are much safer than going head-on as some IFVs are already rated to withstand 23 mm autocannons even at close range.

To make the maximum efficiency of Shilka, players have to be hidden as much as they can, due to the inferior performance of the 4-decade-old radar system, it would be much more efficient by just searching with naked eyes and hearing; pay attention to any black spots that appeared on the screen and use the gunsight to further confirm the identity, do NOT lock onto the target just yet as this gives the position of Shilka right away (sometimes even the exact model and make of the vehicle if equipped with more advanced RWR system). Depending on the entry altitude of enemy aircrafts, players can deploy different tactics against them as well as follows:

  • Diving in - this is mostly performed by jets with rockets, AGMs or low-drag bombs as they need a very clear LOS to any designated targets; depending on player's decision, they can either warm-up the Igla early, then wait until they enters around 3 km range or bait the aircraft within 2 km, then lock-onto the target with radar for gun solution cue. In most cases, they might not have enough reaction time to evade the oncoming attacks.
  • Low fly-pass - in case the enemy brings high-drag (retard) bombs for low altitude drops with the help of CCRP, players must keep a high situational awareness, especially from the radio commands or any means of target search; once players confirm their attack route, aim at the possible route it takes (best if players can tell the direction of entry point with ears), then spray long bursts into the skies - this gives little to none reaction time to enemy jets. Radar lock is optional depending on the map terrain as long as the radar has clear LOS to the target.

In case the following failed, it is a good idea to warm up the Igla when the likelihood of failed interception rises; make sure the target is within the reticle of Igla, then launch the missile onto the target (best if it is in maneuver at slower speeds) - let the heat signature guide the missile seeker onto the target.

Overall, although the ZSU-23-4M4 has rather inferior electronics for its era and the gun performance isn't the best among equivalents, sneak attacks with considerations for enemy CAS entry can give players as much reaction time as possible, what looks like a calm sea can hide lethal predators to CAS aircrafts.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • High RoF with quad-mount 23 mm autocannons devastating to light vehicles
  • Generous ammo count for prolonged operations
  • Introduction of Igla MANPADS for extended engage range
  • Mobile enough to navigate in the battlefield
  • Sufficient turret traverse speed for quick reaction

Cons:

  • Next to none protection even against HMG
  • Huge ammo rack by the front of turret with high risk of detonation
  • Obsolete radar systems that hinder overall search capabilities, visual and aural search are much faster
  • Low penetration 23 mm shells that barely penetrates most MBTs at its tier

History

Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

Media

Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


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