The ZPU-4 is a towed quadruple barreled anti-aircraft gun based on the Soviet KPV 14.5 mm machine gun. It entered service with the Soviet Union in 1949 and is used by over 50 countries worldwide. Double and single barreled version of the weapon exist - called the ZPU-2 and ZPU-1 respectively.


Development of the ZPU-2 and ZPU-4 began in 1945, with development of the ZPU-1 starting in 1947. All three were accepted into service in 1949. Improved optical predicting gunsights were developed for the system in the 1950s.

All weapons in the ZPU series have air cooled quick change barrels and can fire a variety of ammuniiton including API (BS.41), API-T (BZT), I-T (ZP) projectiles. Each barrel has a maximum rate of fire of around 600 rounds per minute, though this is practically limited to about 150 rounds per minute.

The quad ZPU-4 uses a four-wheel carriage similar to that once used by the obsolete 25 mm automatic antiaircraft gun M1940. In firing position the weapon is lowered onto firing jacks. It can be brought in and out of action in about 15 to 20 seconds, and can be fired with the wheels in the travelling position if needed.

The double ZPU-2 was built in two different version, an early model with large mud guards and two wheels that are removed in the firing position. The late model has wheels that fold and are raised from the ground in the firing position.

The single ZPU-1 is carried on a two wheeled carriage. The weapon can be broken down into several 80 kg units for transport over rough ground.

Versions of the weapon are built in both China and North Korea.


The series was used during the Korean War by Chinese and North Korean forces, and was later considered to be the most dangerous opposition to U.S. helicopters in Vietnam. It was also used by Iraqi forces during Operation Desert Storm.

In the Russian military it was replaced by the newer and more powerful twin 23 mm automatic anti-aircraft gun ZU-23.


* API (BS.41) - Full metal jacket bullet round with a tungsten-carbide core. Projectile weight is 64.4 g (2.27 oz) and Muzzle velocity is 976 m/s (3,202 fps). Armour penetration at 500 m (547 yds) is 32 mm (1.25 in) of RHA at 90 degrees.
* API-T (BZT) - Full metal jacket round with a steel core. Projectile weight is 59.56 g (2.10 oz) and muzzle velocity is 1,005 m/s (3,297 fps). Tracer burns to at least 2,000 m (2,187 yds).
* I-T (ZP) - Projectile weight is 59.68 g (2.10 oz).

Rounds are also produced by Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Poland, and Romania.


* ZPU-4
** Type 56 - Chinese built version.
* ZPU-2
** Type 58 - Chinese built version ( [http://www.sinodefence.com/army/crewserved/type58aamg_01.asp picture] ).
* ZPU-1
* BTR-40A SPAAG - A BTR-40 APC with a ZPU-2 gun mounted in the rear. Entered service in 1950.
* BTR-152A SPAAG - A BTR-152 with a ZPU-2 mounted in the rear. Entered service in 1952.



Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Chad, China, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, North Korea, Laos, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, Zaire, Zimbabwe.


* "Jane's Land Based Air Defence 2005-2006". ISBN 0-7106-2697-5

External links

* [http://scalemodels.ru/modules/photo/viewcat_cid_256.html Walkaround ZPU-2]
* [http://www.thetankmaster.com/ENGLISH/AFV/ZPU2.asp ZPU-2 - TWIN MOUNT 14.5 mm ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS (Twin mount anti-aircraft 14.5 mm KPV machine guns) – Walk around photos]
* [http://www.thetankmaster.com/ENGLISH/AFV/ZPU4.asp ZPU-4 - QUAD MOUNT 14.5 mm AA Guns (QUAD MOUNT KPV MACHINE GUNS) – Walk around photos]
* [http://www.sinodefence.com/army/crewserved/type58aamg.asp Type 58 Twin-14.5mm Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun]

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