Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23

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GSh-23L cannon.jpg
Type Autocannon
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
Mass 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
Caliber 23mm
Barrels 2
Action Gast principle
Rate of fire 3,400–3,600 rounds/min (alleged)[citation needed]
Muzzle velocity 715 m/s (2,350 ft/s)

The Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23 (Russian: 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 sustained rate of fire of an electric Gatling gun like the M61 Vulcan, its initial rate of fire can be higher than that of a rotary cannon like the M61 due to it not needing to spin up to fire. It requires no external power source to operate, but is instead powered by the recoiling of the floating barrels, somewhat like the action of the German MG-42. The Gast principle has been little used in the West, but was popular 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).


  • Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23L, is a modernized air-cooled version with a muzzle brake added to reduce recoil. Used on NPPU-23 helicopter turret.[3][4]
  • Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23V, is a water-cooled version of GSh-23L. Used on NPPU-23 helicopter turret.[5]


See also


  1. ^ "OKB-144 OKB-004 1/144 Ilyushin Il-76TD Soviet four-engined heavy commercial and military freighter. Model kits, Military and Technical Books and Magazines on". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  2. ^ "WWW.FOXBAT.RU ==". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Alexander Mladenov (2012). Mil Mi-24 Hind Gunship. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-84603-954-6.
  5. ^ Yefim Gordon (2013). Russian Gunship Helicopters. Pen and Sword. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-4738-3139-1.
  6. ^ "OFT develops Gen-X weapons". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  7. ^ "cal. 23mm AIRCRAFT GUN GSh 23 TYPE". Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Su-25 M1 Frogfoot". Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  • Koll, Christian (2009). Soviet Cannon – A Comprehensive Study of Soviet Arms and Ammunition in Calibres 12.7mm to 57mm. Austria: Koll. p. 155. ISBN 978-3-200-01445-9.
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