When 23mm ammunition is not a highly effective weapon against attack aircraft, including the A-10 Warthog, the 2K22 Tunguska air defense system is the answer.
In modern warfare, anti-aircraft missile complexes always play a very important role. However, the reality of the battlefield has proven that low-altitude anti-aircraft artillery complexes have promoted their power to deal with flying vehicles and missiles at low altitudes. Even when needed, low-level anti-aircraft artillery can be used as firepower against the enemy’s ground forces. Anti-aircraft artillery is still really a force that needs to be taken into account in the military equipment of countries around the world.
When 23mm ammunition is not a highly effective weapon against attack aircraft, including the A-10 Warthog, the 2K22 Tunguska air defense system is the answer. With the role of creating firepower to protect ground troops, the 2K22 Tunguska complex with 30mm cannons was accepted into the Soviet Army in the 1980s.
2K22 Tunguska is also known by the NATO reporting name SA-19 “Grison”. It was developed to replace the ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and 9K31 Strela-1 and Strela-1M2 mobile surface-to-air missile systems. Some sources report that its design was heavily influenced by a German Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft gun.
Tunguska is armed with two twin-barreled 30 mm anti-aircraft guns (2A38); and 8 9M311 short-range surface-to-air missile, designed to destroy aircraft and helicopters flying at altitudes from 15 meters to 3,000 meters. Tunguska can literally create a “firewall”, since in automatic fire the complex can fire up to 80 rounds per second. These guns use High Explosive Tracer (HE-T) and High Explosive Incendiary (HE-I) rounds.
The firing range of the twin-barreled gun on the Tunguska system is up to 4,000 m, while the surface-to-air missiles can hit targets at a distance of up to 10,000 m (10 km). The Tunguska is able to fire its guns on the move, however it must be stationary to fire missiles. The 9M311 missiles are effective against low-flying aircraft and helicopters. These have a hit probability of 65%, while hit probability with guns is 80%.
The Tunguska is based on a tracked chassis. The armor protects the Tunguska from small arms fire and shell splinters. The turret is located in the front and the engine and drivetrain are located at the rear. There is a tracking radar in front of the turret and a surveillance radar at the rear. The tracking radar can track targets up to an altitude of 3.5 km. The surveillance radar has a range of 18 km.
The vehicle is equipped with a water-cooled V12 diesel engine that provides up to 780 hp. The maximum speed is 65 km/h on roads. The tracked chassis provides good mobility in the field.
The Tunguska can effectively engage low-altitude targets such as attack helicopters or UAVs, but it is also vulnerable to most direct fire. Russian designers have gained a lot of experience in the Ukraine conflict when dealing with NATO weapons. Tunguska is expected to undergo further modifications based on that experience.