Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23

Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23

Infobox Weapon

origin=flagcountry|Soviet Union
type=Automatic cannon
used_by=See Users
designer=KBP Instrument Design Bureau
manufacturer=KBP Instrument Design Bureau
weight=49.2 kg (GSh-23) 50 kg (GSh-23L)
length=1387 mm (GSh-23) 1537 mm (GSh-23L)
part_length=1000 mm
cartridge= 23x115mm AM-23
action=Gas operated
rate=3400-3600 rounds/min
velocity=715 m/s

The Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23 ("ГШ-23") is a twin-barreled 23 mm automatic cannon developed in the Soviet Union, primarily for military aircraft use. It entered service in 1965, replacing the earlier Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 cannon.

The GSh-23 works on the Gast Gun principle developed by German engineer Karl Gast of the Vorwerk company in 1916. It is a twin-barreled weapon in which the firing action of one barrel operates the mechanism of the other. It provides a much faster rate of fire for lower mechanical wear than a single-barrel weapon, although it cannot match the rate of fire of an electric Gatling gun like the M61 Vulcan. The Gast principle has been little used in the West, but was popular in the former Soviet Union on a variety of weapons.

The cannon comes in a basic variant GSh-23, and more popular GSh-23L (ГШ-23Л), differing mostly in adding a muzzle brake, lowering recoil force. This cannon was standard fit on late-model MiG-21 fighters (M, MF, SMT, bis), all variants of the MiG-23, the SOKO J-22 Orao, the HAL Tejas and IAR 93, and the tail turrets of the Tupolev Tu-22M 'Backfire' bomber and some late-model Tu-95s. In that application, it had the unusual ability to fire infrared flares and chaff rounds, allowing it to function as both a weapon and a dispenser of anti-missile countermeasures. It is also mounted on late small series Mi-24VP helicopter (in NPPU-23 movable mounting) and Polish W-3WA Sokół helicopter in fixed mounting. The cannon was also used on cargo aircraft; specifically, Russian/Soviet Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft were designed to accommodate twin Gsh-23L's in a tail turret [] . An Il-76M with just such a configuration could be seen at the 2002 Ivanovo airshow [] .

Some MiG-21 models of 2nd generation (PF, PFM) could carry the GSh-23L in an under-fuselage gondola designated the GP-9, carrying the cannon and 200 rounds of ammunition; this was replaced by a more streamlined semi-conformal installation in later variants. There are also several gun pods available for mounting on external hardpoints: UPK-23 for air-to-air use, with one or two fixed GSh-23 guns and 200-400 rounds of ammunition, and SPPU-22 pods with traversable barrels for strafing, from 0° to -30° (they were most often carried by Su-17/-20/-22).


*Soviet Union
*Russian Federation

ee also

*Gast Gun

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