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 New
    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 New
      1. Breard
        Breard 23 November 2015 03: 21 New
        IMPORTANT clarification .. "SHILKA" ... not "Russian" .... SOVIET!
        1. Monetniy
          Monetniy 24 November 2015 11: 40 New
          It is the same
    2. Civil
      Civil 22 November 2015 17: 56 New
      Rokhlin used the deceased in Grozny ...
      1. combat192
        combat192 23 November 2015 01: 44 New
        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 New
          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 New
      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 New
      Quote: The same Lech
      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 New
    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 New
      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 New
        Shaitan Arba.
        We need a modern version, such as BMPT "Terminator" (you can even attach more barrels without ATGMs). Somehow, it’s a pity to put complex Shell and Tunguska under fire for such tasks. But some cheap believe would be great. hi
        A friend on Shilka served. Hurricane of fire.
      2. Shark Lover
        Shark Lover 22 November 2015 07: 59 New
        Arba is good, sweep away the wall of the blow. The most important thing, when escorting the columns, you don’t have to look for where they are shooting from, it’s very difficult to determine until you enter from the border. An approximate direction and there as a dead-fire. What does the clearing not in the trees, the quarter in clay buildings. As for Russian weapons. Head of Propaganda Unit, Major Broom. To the Urals, I put 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, dushars pressed along the road and then a calm voice, "Right now I'll come on a broomstick, I will estimate everything for .....". He came and swept away. There are still shells there, they do not explode at the touch, but crawl on the ground for a while, crawl, then cough. Fearfully.
        1. Stinger
          Stinger 22 November 2015 18: 41 New
          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 New
    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 New
    "Shilka" as a means of destruction is created against a highly mobile and high-speed object, an airplane. 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 New
    shaitan - arba .......... that is, that is - a fiery whirlwind!
  6. aszzz888
    aszzz888 22 November 2015 07: 59 New
    Like in that proverb: "The old horse will not spoil the furrow."
    Shilka can serve faithfully for a long time. And by the way, in such operations the Terminator fire support machine would be useful.
    1. andj61
      andj61 22 November 2015 08: 55 New
      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 New
        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 New
      Quote: aszzz888
      Like that proverb. "The old horse will not spoil the furrow."

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

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

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

        Yes, really ... But (!) Since Shilka "plows", it is not very necessary and mild. So that the "old horse" slowly and slowly descends from the hill and ... "have" the whole herd)))
  7. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 22 November 2015 09: 17 New
    A good car, though old, 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 surrounding environment on the displays. Plus armor against the "groats". "Terminator" did not quite under the fighting in the city. Rather, against infantry in the field and ambushes. In urban areas, barmalei successfully used "carts" with groats on "Toyota". Absolutely without armor, but nimble, and the walls pierce.
  8. igorka357
    igorka357 22 November 2015 09: 28 New
    So the guys immediately for reference, I’m old air defense, I launched MANPADS 9 out of 10 ICC with MANPADS, and in addition to sending them to the “dugs” I retrained them on KO ZU23-2, I’ve carried over a dozen booths and BRDMok at ranges from three hundred and above my favorite OFZT wassat Shilka air defense of a very short range, as the article says "drove the aircraft to heights" is strong, I’ll tell you the truth about one and a half to two kilometers it’s very difficult to shoot down a highly maneuverable target with Shilka cannon fire, I’ve seen it tried many times, and it happened fell due to the high density of fire, but this fire was conducted for five to eight seconds, and then there was such an expansion that my mother did not cry, our "gunners" scummed even on combined arms, in front of high ranks from the Defense Ministry !!! But on the brick masonry during the storming of the quarters, "shilochka" really helped out, there accuracy is not needed, the target doesn’t maneuver, of course the barrels didn’t spare in the war, when the peas started to pour, it was just a delight, and not only for us, but also for those who just saw it, after the “shilka” work, ninety percent were that you won’t be shot at from the remnants of the building! If the brickwork was hollowed off OFZT, the brickwork simply crumbled into dust with those who hid behind it! Well, the BZT was pierced and the concrete, of course, did not carry walls, but all the same! In general, as the ZSU-23-4 air defense was outmoded a long time ago , but how an assault gun to support infantry can still serve, but we need modernization I!
    1. NIKNN
      NIKNN 22 November 2015 11: 14 New
      Igor 357 (8) SU Today, 09:28

      So guys right away for reference, Airman I am old, ...
      ..., our "gunners" scummed even on combined arms, in front of high ranks from the Moscow Region

      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 New
        Uh ... as a regular unit of the regiment there is no such thing as a “shilok” division there are ZDNs and ZRDNy, but if, purely theoretically, they could easily, we had one ZRD in the division, and one battery ZU 23-2 and ZSU 23-4, Well, the rem / company is essno, there were eight “shiloks” in the theory of probability, eight ZSU with such a fire density, can create an insurmountable sea of ​​lead for la, but this is only in theory and at not high altitudes, so the divisor told us directly ! Imagine eight "shiloks" pounding into the sky, but this is such a firework that nobody will suppress by aviation, just they dig the whole bunch with art, so we didn’t even work out on the march! On the march, creating a barrage fire does not make sense at all, peas on the go are useless waste, and the cover on the march is a very relative concept, a march is not a way from point A to point B without stops, this includes numerous unplanned stops and rest l / s, here the shilka can cover it, but even then only from an air striker !!! I think that the best use of ZSU 23-4 is ambush actions on helicopters and attack aircraft of the enemy! And By the way ... "shilka" to my surprise is very well masked tsya, and enemy helicopters entering combat on other positions, for it will be only feed laughing but all of this, of course, thirty years or more ago, now there are much more efficient systems, but in the city, in the capable hands and with the support of the Shilka infantry, it’s a terrible weapon! A bunch of two T-72 plus ZSU 23-4 plus a platoon of fired fir, this is ideal assault group, this is the death of any "abreks" who have sat somewhere anywhere !!! It’s a pity that there were few commanders who understood this, and those who knew little could do !!!
        1. NIKNN
          NIKNN 22 November 2015 14: 49 New
          Igor 357 (8) SU Today, 14:04

          Thank you enlightened! drinks
      2. Geroi voini
        Geroi voini 28 October 2017 15: 06 New
        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 New
        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 New
    Why didn’t the heels of the BMPT “Terminator” be thrown into Syria for a break-in? Plus, good advertising for potential buyers.
    1. geek2101
      geek2101 22 November 2015 13: 34 New
      Because it’s expensive and there is no one to serve.
      1. Lord_Sita
        Lord_Sita 22 November 2015 14: 58 New
        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 New
        And who said that they are not there? wink TOS too was not !!!! wink
    2. padded jacket
      padded jacket 22 November 2015 14: 42 New
      Quote: Lord_Sita
      Why didn’t the heels of the BMPT “Terminator” be thrown into Syria for a break-in?

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

      In general, I personally don’t understand why they don’t equip tanks and other armored vehicles with additional armor, because they have quite “suitable” examples:

    3. datur
      datur 22 November 2015 21: 02 New
      or maybe not Time ???? After all, each vegetable has its own time ??? wink
    4. Monetniy
      Monetniy 24 November 2015 11: 42 New
      because they are not there and if they do it, then on an advance payment order
  10. midshipman
    midshipman 22 November 2015 11: 55 New
    I remember in our factories of the USSR Ministry of Industry and Industry for the release of "Shilka" automated workshops, production and flexible production were created. This was the first time in our practice. Workshops worked in 3 shifts. Specialists of these enterprises were proud of this product. It was nice to see how the carts with parts moved around the workshop, they are automatically installed on the machines and processing is in progress. Also then we 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 New
      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 New
    "Terminators" would have thrown them ...
    Well, at least "Shilka" hung up with bars.
  12. forumow
    forumow 22 November 2015 13: 22 New
    Need an AK-630 on a tank chassis!
    1. geek2101
      geek2101 22 November 2015 13: 35 New
      And a cart of ammunition in the trailer. laughing
      1. forumow
        forumow 22 November 2015 13: 52 New
        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 New
    It looks just like a battle fortress!
  14. mitrich
    mitrich 22 November 2015 14: 33 New
    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 New
      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 New
        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 New
    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 New
    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 New
    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 New
      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 New
        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 New
    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 pinostan on further coexistence. And the launches of our cruise missiles, although more expensive than the use of terminators, clearly demonstrate our "sworn partners" our ability to retaliate in the event of an attack on our country. Moreover, the charges will not be simple, but vigorous. Let the Americans weigh everything well, and then we'll talk. Only as equal partners, not vassals of overseas bonzes.
  19. the47th
    the47th 22 November 2015 22: 06 New
    If this is the case, then ZSU-57-2 can be reincarnated.
  20. Irokez
    Irokez 22 November 2015 22: 10 New
    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 New
    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 New
    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 New
    There are already new Shilka. I don’t go into details, for the most part: we changed the radar components with all the consequences, added 4 missiles (like “Tunguska came out), but the artillery remained the same. As a result, it’s another anti-aircraft missile and artillery air defense system. no one remembered. And that modification, in my opinion, is intended only for export (that is, the alteration of vehicles standing on the arms behind the hill). And the Terminator was originally created as a BMPT: Tank Support Fighting Vehicle, the second echelon in attacking orders of tanks for destruction on the battlefield (first of all) calculations and PU ATGM, - downstream, - to the infantry.
    1. iAi
      iAi 25 November 2015 13: 22 New
      I inform suckers:

      the upgraded Shilka is equipped with Igla missiles with an infrared homing head (they already have protection against them) and lesion heights up to 4-6 km.
      Russian and American front-line bombers fly higher, and attack aircraft with a 23mm cannon cannot be effectively hit.

      “Terminator” is not the second echelon in the attack, but the first one (it has better booking than the tank), and the tanks, on the contrary, are in the second echelon along with the infantry.
  24. _dimasik_
    _dimasik_ 24 November 2015 05: 47 New
    Interesting article, thank you.
    As they say, "Goal for inventions of 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 New
    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 New
    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 New
    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. .