All you need to know about Nigeria’s ZSU-23-4 Shilka System.

While long range missiles are all the rave now, good ole cannons which pose a deadly threat to low flying aircarfts and enemy morale are still a force to be reckoned with. The ZSU 23-4 Shilka system still remains a much feared anti aircraft system for pilots of low flying aircarft all over the world.

Until the late nineties no anti aircraft gunnery platform in the NATO inventory could match the lethality that was the ZSU-23-4 Shilka series. In a conflict scenario attack helicopters will be called to limit the usefulness of Nigerian armoured forces. The Shilka System was acquired to protect Nigerian tanks and amouerd forces from rotary and fixed winged low flying attack aircraft.

The Shilka features four water cooled 23 mm auto- cannons and a radar, this makes it accurate and deay. 

A Nigerian Army ZSU Shilka. The guns can elevate to 85 degrees.

In between the four barrels we can see the ejection chutes for casings that’s ejected forward and deflected sideways.

The rate of fire is too high when the gun is fired hence the need for water cooling in other to keep the barrels at a reasonable temperature. 

The track is a very simple steel single pin track with bolts holding the pins in place.

It carries a crew of four.

  • Driver
  • Gunner
  • Commander
  • Radar operator.

The driver is in the front left.

The driver in the front left has the typical has the typical three pedals- clutch, break and acceleration.
To his fromt centre is the manual gearshift.

The left hand side of the turret is where the commander sits. In the centre is the gunner and to the right is the radio operator.

To the centre is the gunner..

Storage bin for the ammunition.

Two thousand rounds of ammunition combination, from amour piercing to high explosives or variants thereof. Usually in three round belts.

The radar is mounted at the very rear of the turret. It has an optical backup system. So if the radar goes down you can still engage manually with simply using the eyeball.

The optical backup site is located in the two armoured houses with the springs loaded.

Elevation and azimuth display for the target tracking radar.
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