SOVIET ZPU-1 14.5-MM ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN

The ZPU-1 was introduced into the Soviet Army in the immediate post Second World War period. The ZPU-1 is a single towed weapon which was obsolete in the Soviet Army by the mid-1970s.  Although not used in the Warsaw Pact countries today, the ZPU-1 has been identified in Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

 The quick change barrel is air cooled with the ammunition box located on the right side of the barrel.  The two wheel carriage of the ZPU-1 was designed by Vodop-Yanov and the Rachinskiy Company for transport over rough terrain and the complete system can be dismantled into units weighing about 176 lbs each.  The single and multiple mounts of the ZPU series all use the basic 14,5mm Vladimirov (KPV) heavy machinegun which is also found mounted in various armored vehicles in both the ground and anti-aircraft roles.  All weapons in this series fire the 14,5 x 114mm API (BS 41) projectiles weighing 64.4 grams and having a muzzle velocity of 1000 meters per second which will penetrate 30 mm of steel plate.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Length:  11 ft
  • Width:  5 ft
  • Height:  4 ft
  • Weight:  910 Lbs
  • Range:  8 000 metres

AMMUNITION SPECIFICATIONS
The 14,5 x 114mm round was developed in 1939 and comprised of a BS (API) (Armour Piercing Incendiary) round with a tungsten carbide core and incendiary composition in the bullet tip.  The projectile weights 65,5g and measures 51,0mm long, with an overall weight of the shell at 200g, and an overall length of 155mm.  The core weighs 38,7g, and the incendiary composition is 1.8g.  The lacquered steel case is filled with a propellant charge of 30.5g of smokeless powder.  With a muzzle velocity of 1000m/s, the bullet could penetrate 30mm of steel plate at 100m, or 25mm at 500m.  The strength of the steel plate was 120kg/mm², angle of incidence 60°.  B-32 cartridges have lacquered steel cases with a steel core and incendiary in the bullet tip and a percussion primer.  This round could be identified by a black bullet tip with a red ring below.

AMMUNITION DESIGNATIONS

USSR Desig          NATO Abbr   Bullet Weight [g]    Muzzle Velocity [m/s]    Description
B-32 API                 64,0    1000     Steel core bullet with incendiary in tip
BZT  API-T             59,6     1000     Steel core bullet with incendiary in tip and tracer element
BS    AP (special)     64,4     1000    Tungsten carbide core bullet
ZP     Inc.-T            60,0     1000    "Instantaneous Incendiary" bullet with internal fuze, incendiary in tip, tracer container in base
MDZ   HEI               59,7     1000     Projectile filled with HEI charge, internal air compression fuze.

PACKING

80 cartridges are packed into two metal tins (40 rounds per tin).  The two tins are packed into a wooden crate.  Each sealed tin measures 480 x 350 x 160mm and has the caliber, type of bullet, Lot number, number of rounds and type of propellant painted on the lid.  Each tin weighs 23kg.

Ammunition for this weapon is known to have been manufactured in the former Soviet Union, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, North Korea, Poland, Romania, and the former Czechoslovakia.