Fact file: SF: ZU-23-2 Bosvark

15578

Introduced in 1957, the ZU-23-2 is a lightweight, automatic, towed anti-aircraft gun system. The ZU (Zenitnaya Ustanovka) translates anti-aircraft system. Formerly assigned to the SA Army Air Defence Artillery where it was known as the Bosvark (bush pig), this weapon will now be used in a ground role by the SF, a role in which it enjoys a fearsome reputation.

Pic: A ZU 23-2 Bosvark about to fire. At the time – 1999 – the weapon was still on issue to 10 Air Defence Artillery Regiment at Kimberley.

Type:

Breech-loading towed twin 23mm automatic cannon.

Numbers:

36

Associated project names:

Manufacturer:

Various.

Crew:

6, requires two when emplaced.

In action time:

30 seconds.

Calibre:

23mm.

Barrel length:

2.01m (87.3 calibres).

Ordnance:

Two 2A14 Afanasyev-Yakushev cannon.

Lower mount:

Single axle chassis stabilised for firing by deploying three jacks.

Upper mount:

Comprises the ordnance, cradle as well as two ammunition feed systems and the sighting system.

Mass:

0.95mt.

Length:

4.57m (towing configuration).

Width:

1.83m (towing configuration).

Height:

2.87m (towing configuration).

Ground clearance:

0.33m. (towing configuration).

Swept radius:

? (at zero elevation, emplaced).

Fording depth:

1.1m.

Muzzle velocity:

970m/s.

Rate of fire:

800-1000 rpm per barrel (maximum), 200 rpm (sustained).

Elevation:

?

Traverse:

360 degrees.

Max range:

1.5-2.5km (vertical).

Accuracy & consistency:

Accuracy is not dependent on gun characteristics alone. Factors playing a role include variations in projectile mass, muzzle velocity, the accuracy of laying the gun in azimuth and elevation, meteorological conditions as well as barrel wear and history.

Sight:

Optical-mechanical ZAP23, telescope for ground role.

Command system:

Previously, Kameelperd. Now local control.

Magazine:

?

Reload time:

?

Ammunition:

HEI-T (High explosive incendiary – tracer), API-T (Armour piercing incendiary – tracer (API-T).

Transportability:

Towed by any light vehicle. Mounted on a 10mt Samil/Kwe100 when used by Air Defence Artillery. Road speed: 90km/h when towed.

Comment:

Introduced in 1957, the ZU-23-2 is a lightweight, automatic, towed anti-aircraft gun system. The ZU (Zenitnaya Ustanovka) translates anti-aircraft system. The system is rugged and reliable, though not entirely accurate. Its rate of fire and general utility, however, offsets this concern – as does the fitting of fire control equipment such as a laser rangefinder. Formerly assigned to the SA Army Air Defence Artillery where it was known as the Bosvark (bush pig), this weapon will now be used in a ground role by the SF.