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AZP S 60

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Type  Autocannon
In service  1950–present
Weight  4,660 kg (10,273 lbs)
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Used by  See users
AZP S-60
Wars  Vietnam War Cambodian Civil War Cambodian–Vietnamese War Iran–Iraq War Gulf War Iraq War numerous others

57 mm AZP S-60 (Russian: Автоматическая зенитная пушка С-60, abbrev. АЗП (AZP); literally: Automatic anti-aircraft gun S-60) is a Soviet towed, road-transportable, short- to medium-range, single-barrel anti-aircraft gun from the 1950s. The gun was extensively used in Warsaw Pact, Middle Eastern and South-East Asian countries.

Contents

History

In the late 1940s, the Soviets started to develop a 57 mm anti-aircraft gun, to replace its 37 mm guns. Three different models were presented, and the winning design was made by V. G. Grabin. According to western intelligence sources, the German prototype gun 5,5 cm Gerät 58 formed the basis for the design. The Soviets were also able to study German 5 cm Flak 41 guns that had been captured following the Battle of Stalingrad.

The prototype passed the field tests in 1946 and was accepted into service in 1950, after some minor modifications. The anti-aircraft gun was given the name 57 mm AZP S-60. Grabin continued the development and fielded the SPAAG version ZSU-57-2 in 1955.

The fire direction device was developed from the German Lambda calculator (Kommandogerät 40, 40A, and 40B) and was called PUAZO-5A. It had also a distance measuring device called D-49. The fire direction was also made more effective by including Grom-2 (10 cm wavelength) radars to the AA-batteries. The whole system was called SON-9. Later on, the calculators would be changed into the more modern RPK-1 Vaza, which had been designed by M. M. Kositskin. The calculator and the radars were transported by Ural 375 trucks.

The 57 mm gun replaced the 37 mm divisional guns in Soviet service in the 1950s. A divisional anti-aircraft regiment consisted of two AA-batteries with six 57 mm guns each. The PVO air-defence troops AA-regiments consisted of four 57 mm AA-batteries (24 guns).

In the mid-1960s, the Soviet divisional anti-aircraft units began replacing their AA-guns with missiles, and by the end of the 1970s, the AA-guns had almost disappeared. However, they were used in many other countries. The performance of AAA in Vietnam against low-flying aircraft led the Soviets to bring back many guns from storage to supplement the Surface-to-Air Missiles, whose performance at low altitude was less than satisfactory.

Operational history

The S-60 and its Chinese copy (the Type 59) have seen combat in several wars all over the World, e.g. the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East and the Soviet war in Afghanistan. During the Vietnam War, the S-60 was the keystone of North Vietnamese low-altitude air defense and was most effective between 460 meters and 1,500 meters.

In Iraq (Iran–Iraq War, Gulf War and Iraq War), the S-60, normally deployed in battalions of 36 guns, served consistently in defense of divisional headquarters and field artillery assets.

Syrian S-60 guns were actively used during the Syrian Civil War by both the army and different rebel groups. As many other guns originally designed for antiaircraft use, most of the time they were used in shelling ground targets.

The Islamic State shot down a Cessna 208 Caravan operated by the Iraqi Air Force near Hawija, Iraq on the 16th March 2016 with a truck-mounted S-60.

Ammunition types

The S-60 fires ammunition in 57x348SR caliber, a cartridge noticeably weaker than the 57mm ammunition of either Bofors 57mm AA gun, or Soviet 57 anti-tank guns of World War II. Modern anti-aircraft rounds have not been developed for the gun - the main characteristics of the Soviet-era ammunition is listed in the table below. In addition to these People's Republic of China manufactures ammunition in 57x348SR caliber, designated Type 59 HE-T, Type 59 AP-T, and Type 76 HE-T.

Training rounds include a blank round MK-281 ("Manöver-Kartusche", East German designation), and training rounds with -IN suffix (UBR-281U-IN, UOR-281U-IN) identifying the rounds as fuzeless versions of the APCBC and HE rounds with dummy fuzes and inert filling replacing the explosive cavities.

Versions

  • AK-725: Naval version of the S-60 gun. Introduced in 1958. Mounted in single, double and quadruple mounts (designated ZIF-31) on many early Soviet destroyers.
  • ZIF-72: Naval version which is enclosed in a metal housing and fully automatic. Also exported to India. Introduced in the mid-1970s.
  • ZSU-57-2: Self-propelled version with two 57 mm S-60 guns (designated S-68)
  • Type-80: Chinese version of the ZSU-57-2.
  • AU220M
  • BM57
  • Operators

    The S-60 was sold to at least 37 different countries during the Soviet era. The gun was also license manufactured in Poland by Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów in Tarnów (en. Tarnów Mechanical Works), and in Hungary by DIMÁVAG in Miskolc-Diósgyőr, and in China as the Type 59.

  •  Afghanistan
  •  Albania
  •  Algeria: 70 units
  •  Angola
  •  Armenia
  •  Bangladesh
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  •  Bulgaria
  •  Belarus
  •  People's Republic of China
  •  Republic of the Congo
  •  Cuba: 400 units
  •  Czechoslovakia: 575 units. Passed on to successor states.
  •  Czech Republic
  •  Egypt: 600 units
  •  Ethiopia
  •  Finland: 12 units. Nicknamed Nikolai.
  •  Georgia: 60 units
  •  Guinea: 12 units
  •  Guinea-Bissau: 10 units
  •  Hungary: 186 units (43 in store)
  •  India
  •  Indonesia: 256 units
  •  Iran
  •  Iraq
  •  Israel: Captured units
  • People's Republic of Kampuchea
  •  Kyrgyzstan: 24 units
  •  Laos
  •  Libya: 90 units
  •  Mali: 6 units
  •  Morocco
  •  Mauritania: 2 units
  •  Moldova: 12 units
  •  Mozambique
  •  Mongolia
  •  Nicaragua
  •  North Korea
  •  Pakistan
  •  Poland: 500 units
  •  Romania: 250 units
  •  Russia
  •  Somalia
  •  Soviet Union: Passed on to successor states
  •  Sudan: Both S-60 and Type 59 versions
  •  Slovakia
  •  Syria: 675 units
  • Free Syrian Army: Used by Syrian Rebels on various trucks chassis
  •  Thailand: 24 units
  •  Turkmenistan: 22 units
  •  Ukraine: 400 units
  •  Vietnam
  •  Yemen: 120 units
  •  Yugoslavia: Passed on to successor states
  •  Yugoslavia: retired
  •  Zambia: ~30 units
  • References

    AZP S-60 Wikipedia


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