The need to cover ground-based air defense armored and mechanized units in the attack, and on the march from air attacks became apparent during the Second World War. Almost in all the belligerent countries, different patterns of anti-aircraft self-propelled units were created (ZSU). Unfortunately, we must admit that in this area the Soviet Union was not among the leaders. During the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union failed to create effective anti-aircraft self-propelled units. The very same mass of ZSU Red Army became an American M17 previously shipped with the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease.
However, the most successful domestic setting was the ZSU-37, developed in 1944 on the basis of self-propelled SU-76M. 37-mm automatic gun 61-K, mounted in a stationary open-topped wheelhouse of ZSU, was equipped with antiaircraft trailer in building type. The scope included stereoscopic rangefinder with a base of 1 m to determine the slant range to the chain. Angle vertical guidance guns ranged from -3 ° to +85 °. Drives Guidance – hand. Ammunition consisted of 320 rounds of which 130 – in cages of five pieces, and the remaining 190 – without cages. In 1945, it was made of 75 self-propelled guns ZSU-37.
At the same time American ZSU M19, created on the basis of light tank M24 and release in August 1944, had two 40-mm automatic gun M2 “Bofors”, set in a rotating 360 ° open-topped tower.
the rotation of the control tower and a part rocking guns was carried out with the help of an electro-hydraulic actuator. The rest of The US and Soviet vehicles were close. Until the end of World War II, US plants produced 285 ZSU M19, which, like the Soviet ZSU-37, in the fighting did not participate. The only arena for combat use M19 became Korea, where the ZSU used for firing at ground targets.
Realizing that the backlog in equipping the troops in this kind of weapons is ending, the Soviet specialists at the end of the Great Patriotic War began designing new artillery systems in the future. So, in 1944 in the Central Clinical Hospital under the direction of V. G. Grabina we started to develop a new 57-mm automatic anti-aircraft gun S-60. On her arms adopted in January 1950 and in the same year we launched the full-scale production. C-60 became the first domestic flak field, guidance which was carried out with the help of a radar gun aiming. However, for the defense of armored and motorized troops towed gun was not suitable. Therefore, in 1947, NII-58 under the direction of the same V. G. Grabina started designing the twin 57-mm automatic anti-aircraft gun S-68, was intended to be mounted on tracked chassis, created on the basis of units of a medium tank T-54. The self-propelled version of the car has received the name of the factory – article 500, and the army – ZSU-57-2. Complex tests ZSU-57-2 carried out in 1950 and had adopted in 1955. Its serial production was carried out at the Omsk plant them. October Revolution from 1955 to 1960.
Layout ZSU M42:
1 – 40-mm M2A1 automatic cannon coupled; 2 – gun shield; 3 – pipe for removal of powder gases from the breech of the gun: 4 – gun barbet; 5 – an arm of fastening of the M60 machine gun; 6 – the gunner”s seat; 7 – the air filter; 8 – engine 9 – transmission; 10 – the seat of the driver; 11 – the steering wheel; 12 – seat commander
ZSU-57-2 was a lightly armored (maximum thickness of armor does not exceed 13 mm) tracked machine with rotating open-topped tower that provides a circular anti-aircraft fire from automatic guns. For installation in the front part I had a loophole. The rear wall of the tower was made removable, creating ease of installation gun. In the stowed position the top of the tower was closed cutout folding canvas awning with 13 viewing windows of plexiglass. To collect the spent cartridges and clips supplied conveyor gun through the window in the back wall, the outside of the turret was installed gilzosbornik. In the tower with five seats: front – left machine charging; him (in the middle) is the gunner; behind, to the right of the gunner”s seat – a sight installer; Right from the gun in front – right charging machine; rear, symmetrical to the seat gunner – commander of the machine. When firing charging seats were taken, put on a false floor and fastened with clips. Tandem 57-mm automatic gun C-68 consisted of two machines of type C-60, had the same device, and the details of the right machine is a mirror image of the left parts. Machines connected to each other in a single unit cradles. It is balanced by weights attached to the cradle, and was attached to the machine by means of two pins. Vertical and horizontal guidance C-68 cannon carried out the electro-hydraulic drive. The machine gun was mounted on the bottom of the tower. It consisted of housing with bracket, gun retention mechanism in its stowed position and the conveyor. The lifting mechanism located on the left side of the machine and had two drives: electro (with stepless speed guidance) and manual. Gun sight – an automatic, air defense, postroitelnogo type; intended to address the problem of determining the venue of the projectile with the aim when firing. For this pre-determined and set his sights on the following basic data: target speed, heading angle and slant range. target speed determined by the type of aircraft, heading angle – apparently toward the goal of motion, range to the target by eye or by using a range finder.
When using elektrogidroprivodom two crew members were working with an eye to the gunner suggests gun azimuth and elevation of purpose; sight installer installed the original data of the sight – speed, heading angle and range, and if there was a necessity – angle Dive or pitching. When using a hand-operated guidance with a view to work three crew members: commander of the machine gun gunner suggests azimuth – elevation goal, sight installer installed the original data of the sight.
The total rate of fire was 200 – 240 rds / min, the initial velocity of the projectile -. 1000 m / s. Maximum range: vertical – 8800 m, horizontal – 12 000 m aiming angles ranged from -5 ° to + 85 °.. vertical guidance speed of 20 deg / s, the horizontal -. 30 deg / s..
* ZSU-57-2 consists of 300 cannon shots unitary, located in special combat pack in the tower and housing. The bulk of The ammunition (248 rounds) before loading into the machine equips in the ring and was placed in the tower (176 shots) and the bow of the hull (72 shots). Part of the ammunition (52 shots) in the cage does not equips and stowed in a special compartment under the rotating floor. Filled in the cage shots with armor-piercing projectiles were located in the rear of the tower on the right and left of the machine gun. Filing clips carried loader manually.
Self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon ZSU-57-2:
1 – muzzle brake (right and left); 2 – C-68 barrel guns (right and left); 3 – cradle (right and left); 4 – tower; 5 – Canopy Tower; 6 – gilzosbornik; 7 – the exhaust pipe; 8 – driver’s hatch; 9 – emergency exit hatch; 10 – antenna input; 11,12.13 – external fuel tanks; 14 – front filler neck of the fuel tank
Power plant and transmission were adopted from the medium tank T-54, and consisted of a 12-cylinder V-type four-stroke liquid-cooled diesel engine capacity of 520 hp, the guitar, the main dry friction clutch, five-speed gearbox, two planetary rotation mechanism and two on-board gear. All chassis units were also borrowed from the T-54, but the number of rollers on board has been reduced from five to four. Fighting machine weight is 28 tonnes, Maximum speed – 50 km / h.
Self-propelled anti-aircraft ZSU-57-2 was produced relatively few. They equipped a number of armored regiments, which were supposed to have one battery of four ZSU. Where not enough ZSU-57-2, used 14.5-mm anti-aircraft machine gun coupled ZTPU-2 on the chassis of the BTR-40 and BTR-152. ZSU-57-2 had a number of drawbacks – low rate of fire, oboymennym manual loading, the impossibility of firing on the move. Efficiency fire ZSU-57-2 Battery was even lower than the battery towed 57-mm guns, C-60, managed by PUAZO-6 SON-9, and then – from the radar instrument complex RPK-1 “Vase”. After all, when shooting at jets at low and very low altitudes and determining the target speed “for the aircraft type”, and the target range – “by eye or by using a range finder to” hit probability is extremely low. Apparently, because of these deficiencies, the Soviet Army since the early 1960s, gradually began to get rid of the not too successful combat vehicles. These different times to sell or transfer by way of military assistance to the armies of friendly countries: the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Cuba, Egypt, Vietnam, North Korea, Angola, Ghana, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq and Iran.
Baptism of fire ZSU-57-2 took the Vietnam War, and they fought on the territory of both the North and South Vietnam. ZSU-57-2 took part in the fighting in the Middle East, as well as in the Iran-Iraq war. Apparently, the last time ZSU this type were used in combat in March 1999 during the NATO air strikes reflect the territory of Yugoslavia.
Well, what of the ocean? By the early 1950s, setting M19 is considered obsolete and, although it is still some time continued to consist in service with the US Army, in full swing, work began on building a new combat vehicle. After adopting in 1953, the ZSU received the designation M42 “Duster”. The basis for it was the chassis of a light tank M41. This nose and middle parts of the body have been designed from scratch. In the fore part of the body have a management office increased in comparison with the volume of the tank in which the jobs were the driver and commander. Frontal sheet body was set at a smaller angle to the vertical than the M41 tank. The roof of the Department of Management had two landing oval hatch, and in the frontal – a large rectangular hatch for loading of ammunition, with lid, swing out. Above the middle part of the housing is installed a cylindrical tower a circular rotation, borrowed from ZSU M19. Armament – two 40-mm automatic cannon “Bo-force” M2A1 and 7.62-mm machine gun “Browning” for self-defense. In front of the tower were trough-shaped shield and moves with the guns in the vertical plane broneschitok. For the firing of anti-aircraft ZSU used automatic sight with collimator sight and the ring. Guidance guns carried by means of electrohydraulic actuator or manually. The tower housed the seats of four members of the crew. Gun manually recharged four cassettes in each shell. The bulk of The ammunition, which included 400 shots, was in special boxes on the sides of the machine. The container was stored onboard and spare barrels of the guns.
Rate of fire both guns was 240 rds / min, the initial velocity of the projectile – 875 m / s. Vertical shooting range – 4650 m, horizontal – 9857 m aiming angles ranged from -5 ° to + 85 °.
Borrowed from the tank M41 petrol engine Continental AOS-895-3 500 hp allows the machine weight 22.7 tons to reach a maximum speed of 64 km / h. In 1956, the ZSU has undergone modernization, which, however, has been reduced mainly to the installation of a new engine AOS-895-5 with direct fuel injection. The upgraded machine received the designation M42A1. There have been repeated attempts to equip M42 radar detection and guidance, but none of the prototypes for service was not taken.
M42 self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon from the 23rd Infantry Division of the US Army. Maneuvers Willow Freeze, Alaska, January 1961
Self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon ZSU-57-2 of the Finnish army. Armed with air defense units of the country ZSU-57-2 were from 1960 to 1985
Self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon M42A1. 1st Battalion, 44th Artillery Regiment of the US Army. Vietnam 1969
ZSU “Duster” was in mass production before the end of the 1950s. During this time it was released 3700 combat vehicles which entered service air defense units of the US Army and a number of NATO countries (only in Germany, for example, received 496 units). In the late 1960s, the M42 is considered obsolete, and have been actively selling in the country “third world”. At the same time, three battalions of US Army, armed these settings sent to Vietnam. There are, however, not used for firing at air targets, and to defend the perimeters of military bases and airfields. After the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam went to M42 South Vietnamese troops, who used them in combat operations until 1975. Jordanian M42 used against Israeli aircraft during the 1967 war. In Lebanon, this type of ZSU fought during the Civil War in the late 1970s – early 1980s. As for the US, the latest M42 were removed from the reserve of the National Guard in 1990.
Self-propelled anti-aircraft installation of M42 were characterized by the same shortcomings as its Soviet counterpart – the ZSU-57-2. It had a slightly lower range, although the speed of the vertical and horizontal guidance were slightly higher (probably, due to the smaller mass artillery system). However, to deal effectively with it, too, could not speed jets. For this needed at least an order of magnitude more rapid-fire guns, pointing corner speed of 50 – 100 deg / s and is fully automated radiopokatsionnaya fire control system.. The first machine in the world that meet these requirements. It became a Soviet self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon ZSU-23-4 “Shilka”, but this is a topic for another article.