Military Wiki
GSh-23 in the tail of an Il-102.
GSh-23 mounted on an Ilyushin Il-102
Type Automatic cannon
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1965-present
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer KBP Instrument Design Bureau
Designed 1960s
Manufacturer KBP Instrument Design Bureau
Variants GSh-23L
Weight GSh-23: 49.2 kg (108 lb)
GSh-23L: 50 kg (110 lb)
Length GSh-23: 1,387 mm (4 ft 7 in)
GSh-23L: 1,537 mm (5 ft 1 in)
Barrel length 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 in)

Cartridge 23x115 mm AM-23
Barrels 2
Action Gast principle
Rate of fire 3,400-3,600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 715 m/s (2,350 ft/s)

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

GSh-23 displayed in the Egyptian Military museum

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[citation needed] in the former Soviet Union on a variety of weapons.

The cannon comes in a basic GSh-23 variant, and the 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, SM, 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 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 helicopters (in the 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.[1] An Il-76M with just such a configuration could be seen at the 2002 Ivanovo airshow.[2]

Some 2nd generation MiG-21 models 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° and carried 280 rounds of ammunition in each (they were most often carried by the Su-17/-20/-22 as well as the Su-25/-39 in pairs).


See also


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