Military Wiki
Chinese NL-37 Cannon.jpg
Chinese N-37 at the Beijing Military Museum
Type 37mm single-barrel automatic aircraft cannon
Place of origin USSR
Service history
In service 1946 -
Used by Soviet armed forces and export customers
Production history
Designer V. Ya. Nemenov
Designed 1945 on
Manufacturer OKB-16
Produced 1946 - ca.1960
Weight 103 kg (227 lb)
Length 2455mm (N-37D)

Cartridge 37x155mm
Cartridge weight 735 g/26 oz HEI-T, 760 g/27 oz AP-T
Caliber 37 mm (1.46 in)
Barrels 1
Action Short recoil
Rate of fire 400 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 690 m/s (2,260 ft/s)

The N-37 was a powerful, 37 mm (1.46 in) aircraft cannon used by the Soviet Union. It was designed by V. Ya. Nemenov of A.E. Nudelman's OKB-16 to replace the wartime Nudelman-Suranov NS-37, entering service in 1946. It was 30% lighter than its predecessor at the cost of a 23% lower muzzle velocity.

The N-37 was a sizable weapon firing a massive (735 g/26 oz HEI-T, 760 g/27 oz AP-T) shell. Its muzzle velocity was still considerable, but its rate of fire was only 400 rounds per minute. The weapon's considerable recoil and waste gases were problematic for turbojet fighter aircraft, as was finding space for the gun and a useful amount of ammunition, but a single shell was often sufficient to destroy a bomber.

The N-37 was used in the MiG-9, MiG-15, MiG-17, and early MiG-19 fighters, the Yakovlev Yak-25, and others. Production lasted through the late 1950s, although it remained in service for many years afterwards.


N-37D (front)

basic version without muzzle brake
N-37 with muzzle brake
N-37 with 1950mm long barrel (had no muzzle brake)
improved N-37L developed during the late 1950s for the Yak-27 reconnaissance aircraft. The NN-37 differed from the N-37L in having a pneumatic counter-recoil accelerator, therefore achieving a rate of fire of 600-700rpm. The ammunition feed mechanism was redesigned as well on this version.


The Soviet archives detail the following production numbers by year:[1]

  • 1947 — 518
  • 1948 — 508
  • 1949 — 1,314
  • 1950 — 3,043
  • 1951 — 3,885
  • 1952 — 4,433
  • 1953 — 4,600
  • 1954 — 1,700
  • 1956 — 285

Comparable Weapons

See also


  1. Shirokograd, p. 129; no number given for 1955

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