At the Army-2023 International Military-Technical Forum in Moscow on August 14, Russia unveiled its latest 8×8 self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery (SPAAG) prototype called the ZAK-23E short-range air defense system.
According to Army Recognition, the system consists of two 23mm ZU-23 automatic cannons mounted on BTR-82A armored vehicles. The system is developed by Tulamashzavod Joint Stock Company and the Elins Research and Development Center Joint Stock Company.
With a rate of fire of up to 3,500 rounds per minute, the ZAK-23E air defense system is capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 2.5km and at an altitude of up to 2,000m. Equipped with advanced opto-electronic detectors, the ZAK-23E is capable of automatically dealing with aerial threats such as drones, helicopters and cruise missiles.
BTR-82A, evolved from BTR-80A. On the vehicle, the cannon and machine gun are arranged inside a stable turret, ensuring accuracy when firing on the move. Protective features like a reinforced floor, energy-absorbing seats, and advanced ballistic materials prioritize crew safety.
The ZAK-23E achieved its effectiveness by integrating the 2A7M anti-aircraft gun. This 23mm automatic cannon is a descendant of the ZU-23-2 model, designed to destroy low-flying aerial targets as well as armored vehicles. The ZU-23-2 fires armor-piercing-incendiary-tracer (API-T) and high-explosive incendiary-tracer (HEI-T) rounds to engage both aerial and ground targets. With a manual targeting mechanism assisted by the ZAP-23 optical mechanical sight, the system is capable of aiming at targets at an azimuth from 90° to -10° and with 360° coverage. The ZU-23-2 has been used by the militaries of more than 20 countries and continues to serve as a reliable air defense solution.
The 8×8 drive configuration fitted to the ZAK-23E allows this air defense system to be flexible when moving on different types of terrain. Off-road capability helps the system approach many different terrains, expanding the operating range.