Syrian military has upgraded the Soviet ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, adapting it for ground combat.
Syrian Army’s soldiers continue to upgrade their military hardware. So, the ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, upgraded by Syrian military, was spotted in combat formations, the Vestnik Mordovii informational website reported.
An antenna of a radar locator of the army’s vehicle of air defense was dismounted – it is not needed for usage against ground targets. The Shilka got round protection with shields, which should increase self-protection of the anti-aircraft gun.
As a result of the carried out works, now the weight of the vehicle is more than 20 tons. Perhaps, the maximum speed slightly decreased, earlier, the highest speed of the ZSU-23-4 was 50 km per hour. The crew strength remained the same – 4 people.
Weapons also remained unchanged – the ZSU-23-4 Shilka is equipped with four 23-mm cannons with the maximum operational range of 2,000 meters. Ammunition consists of 2,000 shells. The rapidity of fire is up to 1,000 rounds per minute for each cannon.
As Vestnik Mordovii noted, it is already the second version of modernization of the ZSU-23-4 Shilka by Syrian troops. The Shilkas, upgraded by Syrian soldiers, operate as vehicles of the fire support during battles and make a worthy contribution to the fight against international terrorism.
Development of the ZSU-23-4 Shilka was begun in 1957. The anti-aircraft gun was named in honor of the Siberian Shilka River. Serial production of the ZSU-23-4 was started in 1964. The vehicle is considered to be an air defense weapon, which represents a serious danger to low-flying targets. The ZSU-23-4 Shilka is designed for direct covering of ground troops, destruction of air targets and ground (surface) targets with a short stop in its movement. Despite the fact that now the anti-aircraft gun is considered obsolete, mainly due to characteristics and capabilities of its radar locator and poor efficiency of the range of fire at air targets, currently, the ZSU-23-4 Shilka is still in service of air defense units of the armies of Russia, Ukraine and other countries.