Military Review

The Syrian war turned the legendary ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" into an anti-terror machine

The Syrian war turned the legendary ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" into an anti-terror machine

ZSU-23-4 has become one of the main combat vehicles used in the Syrian conflict. "Shilka" actively used almost from the very beginning of the confrontation. In the offensive of the Syrian army, these combat vehicles actively supported armored equipment and infantry going forward with their fire. In defense, anti-aircraft self-propelled increased its stability. They also participated in the accompanying columns. The data of ZSU in urban battles showed the most well.

The ZSU-23-4 anti-aircraft self-propelled units first arrived in the Middle East in the spring of 1970. Then, as part of the Soviet units, they arrived in Egypt, which, together with Syria, was part of the United Arab Republic. Along with the C-125 "Shilka" air defense systems and man-portable air defense systems, they were actively used to protect the airspace of the Arab state.

The finest hour of this ZSU was the 1973 war. The Israelis, of course, knew that the Syrians had these self-propelled guns, but, nevertheless, by the beginning of the conflict they were not able to work out counter measures. Therefore, "Shilka" drove Aviation Israelis to heights, where she was very vulnerable to Soviet-made mobile and stationary anti-aircraft missile systems. The Syrian ZSU-23-4 accounted for both the A-4 attack aircraft and the most modern F-4 Phantom II aircraft at that time. A certain amount of ZSU data came to the Israelis as trophies. They even adopted them. For testing, several Shiloks went to the USA.

Active installations were used during the civil war in Lebanon, where the Syrian peacekeeping contingent was introduced. Shilki, like the older ZSU-57-2, were particularly effective for cleaning up high-rise buildings in Beirut from snipers seated there.

In 1982, in the same Lebanon, in the Bekaa Valley, Syrian anti-aircraft self-propelled guns repelled the invasion of the Israeli army.

By the beginning of the civil war in the very Syria in service with the army recited 400 machines. During the fierce fighting, a number of ZSU were captured by the militants.

Given the nature of the ongoing fighting, once again it turned out that the Shilka’s armor protection was completely unsatisfactory - only 9,2 mm of hull and 8,3 mm of turret.

As a result, a military modernization of a certain number of vehicles was carried out. They installed anti-cumulative grilles, steel chains and additional screens from bullets of machine guns and light machine guns. Dismantled radar as superfluous. As a result, the former anti-aircraft installation has become a practically full-fledged fire support machine.

Currently, this ZSU continues to smash the militants, approaching the hour of victory over international terrorism.
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  1. Same lech
    Same lech 22 November 2015 06: 09
    As a result, the former anti-aircraft installation turned into an almost complete fire support vehicle.

    Soviet weapons shoot in any conditions smile even if you make a stick out of it, the mixer will still shoot a little, it will not seem.
    Well, in general, such alterations in war conditions are not a solution to the problem .... even the Germans in the Second World War faced the same problems using an 88-caliber anti-aircraft gun against our T-34s and KVs.
    1. Kars
      Kars 22 November 2015 10: 01
      1. Breard
        Breard 23 November 2015 03: 21
        IMPORTANT clarification .. "SHILKA" ... not "Russian" .... SOVIET!
        1. Monetniy
          Monetniy 24 November 2015 11: 40
          It is the same
    2. Civil
      Civil 22 November 2015 17: 56
      Rokhlin used the deceased in Grozny ...
      1. combat192
        combat192 23 November 2015 01: 44
        Used in this version back in Afghanistan. With a dismantled radio complex. Mainly accompanied by columns.
        1. Geroi voini
          Geroi voini 28 October 2017 14: 55
          It’s true that it’s impossible to put and calibrate the radar again, at least in military conditions
    3. datur
      datur 22 November 2015 20: 53
      Well, Duc, if not against the air, but against the dryers, then the irreplaceable thing is to strengthen the armor, the caliber against bearded men will do !! let the rate of fire !!! - so this is THING !!!!! wink
    4. combat192
      combat192 23 November 2015 01: 41
      Quote: The same LYOKHA
      88 caliber

      How much is this?
      Let's not produce technical illiteracy.
      Such a caliber in the world DOES NOT EXIST!
      This gun had a caliber of 8.8 cm (according to German standard) or 88 mm in descriptions for the Red Army or later.
      Now, the same LEKHA, you can minus me. Passed by.
  2. Barakuda
    Barakuda 22 November 2015 06: 16
    Yes, even in Afghanistan - worse Shilka BEAST no! I myself was not, my father told me. Throw out all the equipment, build up armor, so that I wouldn’t take it with the DShK.
    1. Same lech
      Same lech 22 November 2015 06: 22
      Yes, even in Afghanistan - worse Shilka BEAST no! I myself was not, my father told me.

      Well it is ... someone from "Afghans" he talked about a spiritual sniper, sat down in the mountains near our base and killed our soldiers, for a long time they couldn’t get it until they pulled WILK .... they spread it over the rocks in one burst.
      1. Kasym
        Kasym 22 November 2015 07: 45
        It would be necessary to have a modern version, such as the BMPT "Terminator" (you can even attach more barrels without ATGMs). It is a pity to expose somehow complex Pantsir and Tunguska for such tasks. But some cheap belief would be great. hi
        A friend on Shilka served. Hurricane of fire.
      2. Shark Lover
        Shark Lover 22 November 2015 07: 59
        Arba is good, sweep away the wall of the duval. Most importantly, when escorting the columns, you do not need to look for where they are shooting from, it is very difficult to determine this until they hit the border. Approximate direction and there as zhahnet-clearing. Moreover, the clearing is not in the trees, the quarter is in clay buildings. About Russian weapons. Head of the propaganda detachment, Major Broom. To the Urals, I installed the NURSov launcher from a helicopter, invented the machine itself, welded it, sheathed the sides with armor, so I rode my broomstick. On the air mate, we pi ..... yat, dushary pressed along the road and then a calm voice, "Right now I'll come on a broomstick, I'll make an estimate for .....". I came and swept away. There are still shells, they do not explode when touched, but for a while they crawl on the ground, crawl, then zhahayat. Scary.
        1. Stinger
          Stinger 22 November 2015 18: 41
          Good story! Thank. By the way, Americans really fell in love with Shilka in Vietnam. A lover of democracy, such as McCain, is sneaking at a low altitude, as they see a pillar of fire, so loose.
  3. La-5
    La-5 22 November 2015 06: 29
    Also in Syria are popular ZPU-2 and ZPU-4 based on CPV, which also create a high density of fire.
  4. istoler
    istoler 22 November 2015 06: 57
    "Shilka" as a means of destruction was created against a highly mobile and high-speed object, an aircraft. The fact that it is used against ground targets is a practical confirmation of the tendency to move away from static frontal methods of warfare and the transition to ... something new.
  5. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 22 November 2015 07: 31
    shaitan - arba .......... that is, that is - a fiery whirlwind!
  6. aszzz888
    aszzz888 22 November 2015 07: 59
    As in that proverb: "An old horse will not spoil the furrow."
    Shilki can serve faithfully for a long time. And the Terminator fire support vehicle would come in handy in such operations.
    1. andj61
      andj61 22 November 2015 08: 55
      Quote: aszzz888
      Shilka can serve faithfully for a long time.

      I would also like to increase the reservation so that the bullets from the groats would hold - at least from the DShK - from the broads to horseradish.
      1. Geroi voini
        Geroi voini 28 October 2017 15: 01
        No need to increase anything, install on another chassis, and the price will not be such a combat vehicle
    2. ICT
      ICT 22 November 2015 09: 34
      Quote: aszzz888
      As in that proverb: "An old horse will not spoil a furrow."

      And do not forget about the continuation "but does not plow deeply either" wink
      1. aszzz888
        aszzz888 22 November 2015 10: 49
        And do not forget about the continuation "but does not plow deeply either"

        but this is not Grad or Tornado for you ...
      2. evw
        evw 22 November 2015 17: 02
        Not every culture loves deep plowing. This is a continuation.
      3. papik09
        papik09 22 November 2015 19: 46
        Quote: TIT
        Quote: aszzz888
        As in that proverb: "An old horse will not spoil a furrow."

        And do not forget about the continuation "but does not plow deeply either" wink

        Yes, really ... But (!) Since Shilka "plows", it is not necessary deeply. So that the "old horse" will slowly, slowly descend from the hill and ... "have" the whole herd)))
  7. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 22 November 2015 09: 17
    Nice car, old though, and armor is not armor. IMHO, for fire support vehicles in urban areas, you need to have good visibility, literally eyes on the back of the head. A large number of all kinds of "eyes", displaying a panorama of the environment. Plus armor against "large". "Terminator" was made not quite for the battles in the city. Rather against field infantry and ambushes. In urban development, the barmaley successfully used "tachanki" with krupnya on "Toyota". No armor at all, but nimble, and they pierce the walls.
  8. igorka357
    igorka357 22 November 2015 09: 28
    So the guys just for reference, I'm an old air defense officer, KO MANPADS and put 9 out of 10 ITCs with MANPADS, and in addition, before being sent to the "dag" above my favorite OFZT wassat ! Shilka air defense of a very short range, as the article says "drove aviation to heights" this is strong, I will tell you the truth for one and a half to two kilometers to shoot down a highly maneuverable target with a "Shilki" cannon fire is very difficult, I saw many times how they tried to do it, it happened hit due to the high density of fire, but this fire was fired for five to eight seconds, and then there was such a scatter that my mother did not cry, our "cannonmen" were bullied even on the general military, in front of high ranks from the MO !!! the "shilochka" was very helpful in the masonry when attacking the quarters, there is no need for accuracy, the target does not maneuver, the trunks of course were not spared in the war, when the peas began to pour in, there was just delight, and not only with us, but also with those who just saw it all , after the work of the "shilka", it was ninety percent that they would not shoot at you from the remains of the building! If the OFZT was hollowed out, the brickwork simply crumbled into dust along with those hiding behind it! Well, the BZT was knocked through and the concrete was certainly not load-bearing walls, but still! In general, as the air defense of the ZSU-23-4 is outdated ate a long time ago, but as an assault weapon to support the infantry, it can still serve, but modernization is needed!
    1. NIKNN
      NIKNN 22 November 2015 11: 14
      Igor 357 (8) SU Today, 09:28

      So guys right away for reference, Airman I am old, ...
      ..., our "gunners" were slandering even on combined arms, in front of high ranks from the Ministry of Defense

      I’m not a Pvoshnik, I can confuse something, but in my opinion they could also beat the division for the same goal with the CP by managing. (wrong? Correct).
      Where have we ZSU 2-57 gone? it seems they were not bad and in range as wired on the march.
      1. igorka357
        igorka357 22 November 2015 14: 04
        Uh ... as a regular unit of the regiment there is no such thing as a division of "shilok" there are ZDNs and ZRDNs, but if purely theoretically they could easily, we had one ZRB in the division, and one battery each ZU 23-2 and ZSU 23-4, well, and rem / company essno, in total there were eight "shiloks" in the division, in the theory of probability, eight ZSU with such a density of fire can create an insurmountable sea of ​​lead for la, but this is only in theory and at not high altitudes, so the division commander told us straight ! Imagine eight "shilok" thrashing into the sky, but this is such a fireworks that no one will suppress by aviation, they will simply cover the whole heap with art, so we did not even practice such actions! On the march, creating barriers-fire does not make sense at all, peas on the move useless waste of b / c, and cover on the march is a very relative concept, the march is not an exit from point A to point B without stopping, these are numerous unplanned stops and rest of the l / s, that's where an awl can cover, but even then only from stray striker !!! I think that the best use of the ZSU 23-4 is ambushactions on enemy helicopters and attack aircraft! And by the way ... "shilka" to my surprise is very well camouflaged, and enemy helicopters entering combat positions in other positions will only be food for it laughing , but all this, of course, thirty years or more ago, now there are systems that are much more effective, but in the city in skillful hands and with the support of the infantry "shilka" is a terrible weapon! A bunch of two T-72 plus ZSU 23-4 plus a platoon of fired firs, this is ideal assault group, this is the death of any "abreks" who settled down anywhere else !!! It's a pity that the commanders who understood this were few, and those who understood little could do !!!
        1. NIKNN
          NIKNN 22 November 2015 14: 49
          Igor 357 (8) SU Today, 14:04

          Thank you enlightened! drinks
      2. Geroi voini
        Geroi voini 28 October 2017 15: 06
        I’m not a Pvoshnik, I can confuse something, but in my opinion they could also beat the division for the same goal with the CP by managing. (wrong? Correct).
        That's right, only a division fired in the source area for group targets, and on a march of several, but one or two
      3. Geroi voini
        Geroi voini 28 October 2017 15: 06
        I’m not a Pvoshnik, I can confuse something, but in my opinion they could also beat the division for the same goal with the CP by managing. (wrong? Correct).
        That's right, only a division fired in the source area for group targets, and on a march of several, but one or two
  9. Lord_Sita
    Lord_Sita 22 November 2015 10: 18
    Why wasn't the Terminator BMPT heels thrown into Syria for running-in? Plus good advertising for potential buyers.
    1. geek2101
      geek2101 22 November 2015 13: 34
      Because it’s expensive and there is no one to serve.
      1. Lord_Sita
        Lord_Sita 22 November 2015 14: 58
        Quote: geek2101
        Because it’s expensive and there is no one to serve.

        I think it’s no more expensive than launching cruise missiles. For me, this option of spending is preferable, the effect of the application takes place over a longer period of time.
        Probably the whole thing is the lack of normal production. MO seems to have refused it, something is not visible to foreign customers. I think they’ll bring it to a couple of exhibitions, and then the BMPT will sink into oblivion. New infantry fighting vehicles come with almost equivalent combat modules, they will occupy this niche. Sorry, the car is interesting crying
      2. datur
        datur 22 November 2015 20: 56
        And who said that they are not there? wink TOS too was not !!!! wink
    2. padded jacket
      padded jacket 22 November 2015 14: 42
      Quote: Lord_Sita
      Why wasn't the Terminator BMPT heels thrown into Syria for running-in?

      They have their own "Terminator" (4x14,5 mm) - only for some reason one smile

      And in general, I personally do not understand why they do not equip tanks and other samples of armored vehicles with additional armor, because they have quite "suitable" examples:

    3. datur
      datur 22 November 2015 21: 02
      or maybe not Time ???? After all, each vegetable has its own time ??? wink
    4. Monetniy
      Monetniy 24 November 2015 11: 42
      because they are not there and if they do it, then on an advance payment order
  10. midshipman
    midshipman 22 November 2015 11: 55
    I remember at our factories of the USSR Ministry of Radio Industry for the production of "Shilka" automated workshops, production facilities and flexible production facilities were created. This was the first time in our practice. Workshops worked in 3 shifts. The specialists of these enterprises were proud of this manufactured product. It was nice to see how carts with parts move around the workshop, they are automatically installed on the machines and processing is carried out. Then we also managed to create automatic galvanic lines.
    Now they have lost a lot, and yesterday they opened the memorial to Alkasha of All Russia. Yes, farce time. I have the honor.
    1. GAF
      GAF 22 November 2015 14: 00
      Quote: midshipman
      Yes, farce time.

      and in the theater of the absurd. Accumulated from the time of Khrushchev guano with foam surfaced up. One can only hope that maybe it will still go to fertilizer and ...
    ALEA IACTA EST 22 November 2015 13: 13
    They would have thrown "Terminators" ...
    Well, at least "Shilki" were hung with bars.
  12. forumow
    forumow 22 November 2015 13: 22
    Need an AK-630 on a tank chassis!
    1. geek2101
      geek2101 22 November 2015 13: 35
      And a cart of ammunition in the trailer. laughing
      1. forumow
        forumow 22 November 2015 13: 52
        Nobody is perfect! And yes - a two-link conveyor would be very welcome! Not only for the transport of ammunition, but also in terms of patency. And a decent radar will be where to place it.
  13. HaKim
    HaKim 22 November 2015 14: 31
    It looks just like a battle fortress!
  14. mitrich
    mitrich 22 November 2015 14: 33
    If we are standing at Shilka’s storage bases, then we need to redo them, and on the way to Syria, all the same, our Armed Forces, I think, will not be needed. So we will reduce storage costs, we will not drive away people's wealth, and we will help the Syrians, they know the technique.
    It’s only depressing how much they spent on our equipment ... if they didn’t fight to the last, having tanks, armored personnel carriers, airplanes, but they threw it all and fled, they left. And often having an advantage also in manpower. Warriors, damn it. recourse
    1. Cap.Morgan
      Cap.Morgan 22 November 2015 14: 44
      Yeah, you see sometimes how some kind of Arab pounds from a Kalash on top of a barricade without looking. It is not clear who he will fall into. Among Arabs, the main thing is family. Everything else is the tenth matter.
      1. The comment was deleted.
      2. mitrich
        mitrich 22 November 2015 15: 24
        The mentality does not change ... I remember stories in the USSR how Arabs of all stripes and countries to which we supplied arms for nothing were fighting.
        At the forefront, the time of prayer came, everyone on the rugs, shnobelyami and the floor mumbled: Alahakbar-Alahakbar -... And at that time the Jews drove up, hooked our equipment, and to themselves. Without a single shot.
        Even if they sagged slightly, it is still symbolic.
        The trend however .... recourse
  15. magirus401
    magirus401 22 November 2015 16: 55
    It seems that there are modernized ones who plow that a mortal threat to Mirages and Cobras.
  16. Dad Uassia
    Dad Uassia 22 November 2015 19: 31
    Made in the USSR = shit is not. Shilok volley of fire can even shoot down anti-tank vehicles (precisely because of this, a gun was put on the A-10).
  17. TsUS-Air Force
    TsUS-Air Force 22 November 2015 20: 30
    I want to ask people everything, we are improving the flow of weapons during local wars, and now we are running all kinds of missiles there. Why is PAK FA not in Syria?
    1. Cat man null
      Cat man null 22 November 2015 20: 37
      Quote: NOC-VVS
      Why is PAK FA not in Syria?

      Because he is not in the series.

      It has not been adopted yet. Nirazu never. Because no request
      1. datur
        datur 22 November 2015 21: 13
        you are happy? IT IS WHERE !!!!! dear americos !!!! wink WE HAD AND IN THE TAIL AND GRIVE OF EVERYONE WHO WISHED TO HAVE US TO HAVE !!!! SUCH HISTORY !!!! wink 1000 years to help us and you !!!!
  18. mivail
    mivail 22 November 2015 22: 00
    Quote: Karjala
    Terminators will not help them. when the whole country was divided into Alawites, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, nothing would help them anymore.

    Quote: forumow
    Need an AK-630 on a tank chassis!

    This madness cannot last forever. This situation will continue until we reach an agreement with the pin on further coexistence. And the launches of our cruise missiles, although more expensive than the use of terminators, but clearly show our "sworn partners" our capabilities to retaliate in the event of an attack on our country. Moreover, the charges will no longer be simple, but vigorous. Let the Americans weigh everything thoroughly, and then we'll talk. Only as equal partners, not vassals of overseas bonzes.
  19. the47th
    the47th 22 November 2015 22: 06
    If this is the case, then ZSU-57-2 can be reincarnated.
  20. Irokez
    Irokez 22 November 2015 22: 10
    Quote: datur
    1000 years to us

    You are talking about our true story or about the story that the authors invented for us. Be careful in antiquity the Slavs and indeed the white race.
  21. Gunther
    Gunther 22 November 2015 22: 29
    Something seemed to me to replace Shilke - BMPT based on the T-72 with two AK-630, and 4 AG-17D, PC, of ​​course :-)
  22. Give the light
    Give the light 23 November 2015 04: 04
    bmpt instead of 5x it is necessary to put a 4-barrel ... well, of course, armor ... active and passive armor ... ours while stirring, the war will end ...
  23. VIK_1961
    VIK_1961 23 November 2015 18: 39
    There are already new Shilki. I don't go into details, in a big way: they changed the element base of the radar with all the consequences, added 4 missiles (like "Tunguska came out), but the artillery remained the same. As a result, another anti-aircraft missile and artillery air defense system. About the assault vehicle. no one remembered. And that modification, in my opinion, is intended only for export (ie, alteration of the vehicles in service over the hill). And the "Terminator" was originally created as an BMPT: Tank Support Fighting Vehicle - the second echelon in attacking order of tanks to destroy on the battlefield (first of all) calculations and launchers of ATGMs, then in descending order, to the infantry.
    1. iAi
      iAi 25 November 2015 13: 22
      I inform suckers:

      the modernized Shilka is equipped with Igla-type missiles with an infrared homing head (there is already protection from them) and hitting altitudes of up to 4-6 km.
      Russian and American front-line bombers fly higher, and attack aircraft with a 23mm cannon cannot be effectively hit.

      The Terminator is not the second echelon in the attack, but the first (it has better armor than the tank), and tanks, on the contrary, are in the second echelon along with the infantry.
  24. _dimasik_
    _dimasik_ 24 November 2015 05: 47
    Interesting article, thank you.
    As the saying goes, "The need for invention is cunning")
    In Grozny, our Shilka used fire power more seriously, but weak armor is certainly a significant drawback.
    Regarding the proposals of some to put the Assad BMPT- How can we deliver what we ourselves do not produce? We ourselves have these 5 BMPTs themselves, of various modifications (starting with the variants of the 90s with a tower from BMP-3).
    I am also a fan of this model, it is a pity that our MO still has not seen all the advantages of this machine. They see only cons (which of course are present).
    BMPT should be hung with cameras, make all weapons remotely controlled and leave the crew with a maximum of 3 people.
  25. magician
    magician 28 November 2015 04: 27
    actual car, requires modernization. can adapt it to it here: AK-630M-2 DUET30-mm two-automatic shipboard AU? wink
  26. kalabaha
    kalabaha 29 October 2017 12: 17
    Another article about the need for a universal BMPT "Terminator" in war - not retraining of ancient soviet vehicles
  27. Guest171-Again
    Guest171-Again 29 October 2017 23: 04
    The percentage of damage Shilka-99 (%), i.e., from 10 -9 in nutra, the 10th scratches, this is using the PSA. On firing, it used to be a flyer unhooked a swearing cone, the cable length is about 800 m, but it is from nerves .Yes and then see how several cars ... In general, ZRABatr. this is Shilok platoon (4 m.), Strela-1 platoon (4 m.), PU-one armored personnel carrier per platoon, TZMki, KRAS-repairmen and the 66th, as without it. But it was in the old days. .