TechUkrainian forces intercept Russian missile with antiquated Soviet-era gun

Ukrainian forces intercept Russian missile with antiquated Soviet-era gun

Ukrainians with a machine gun and ZU-23-3
Ukrainians with a machine gun and ZU-23-3
Images source: © X | Ukrainian Front
1:54 PM EST, January 3, 2024

"Ukrainian forces succeeded in shooting down a Russian maneuvering missile using the anti-aircraft gun ZU-32-2," reported the Ukrainian Front account on platform X. Despite its brevity, the footage has already been viewed by roughly 400,000 people. It features an unidentified Russian missile skimming the Ukrainian sky and soldiers firing upwards, one presumably armed with an AK-74 and another using a ZU-23-2 gun to hit the target.

The Ukrainian Front stated that the target was neutralized with the ZU-23-2, an anti-aircraft gun. Nonetheless, commenters were quick to commend the shooter wielding a Kalashnikov. This incident is not a first; past videos showed Ukrainians employing machine guns to attack aerial targets. Clips of such successful interceptions circulated widely last year.

Over 60-year-old Gun Active in Ukraine

Besides the machine gun featured in the recent Ukrainian video, the Soviet towed anti-aircraft gun ZU-23-2 also commanded attention. This post-war era weapon ranks among the most prevalent of its type. With production initiated in 1960, its blueprint later influenced the creation of the Polish rocket-artillery systems, the ZUR-23-2 Jodek.

The ZU-23-2, a Soviet anti-aircraft gun, is engineered to neutralize targets within a 1.55-mile radius from its positioning. It's capable of combating lightly armored targets and live force, hence its deployment for direct protection of troops against incoming aerial objects.

The ZU-23-2 features a 23 mm gun and utilizes 23 x 152B mm projectiles. The gun's anti-aircraft range is within 1.55 miles, whereas for land targets its impact range spans up to 1.24 miles. A projectile propelled from the gun reaches an initial velocity of 3175.9 ft/s.

Theoretically, the operation of the gun necessitates a five-person crew. However, as the recent Ukrainian footage indicates, just one person manning this nearly 2094 lbs gun suffices to engage fire.

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