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FAPLA Equipment & Specifications
14.5mm Anti-Aircraft Heavy Machineguns

Some specifications taken from an old manual from my training days at School of Artillery: "Weapons and Equipment, East European and Communist Armies, Volume II":


14.5mm antiaircraft heavy machinequn ZPU-1
14.5mm antiaircraft heavy machinegun ZPU-2 (early model)
14.5mm antiaircraft heavy machinequn ZPU-2 (late model)
14.5mm antiaircraft heavy machinegun ZPU-4

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 antiaircraft rotes.

The ZPU-1 is a single towed weapon which is now obsolete in the Soviet Army. The light two-wheeled carriage is somewhat similar to the late model ZPU-2, although the tires are smaller. The single ammunition box is to the right of the quick-change barrel. Although not used in the Warsaw Pact countries today, the ZPU-1 has been identified in Southeast Asia and in the Middle East.

The twin ZPU-2 has appeared on two different two-wheeled carriages. The earlier model has larger fenders and a double tubular tow bar. In firing position the crew removes the wheels, and the weapon rests on a three-point platform. The later model, which is tighter in weight, has smaller fenders, a lighter single tow bar, and a tower silhouette. When in firing position the wheels are raised, but not removed. A very similar carriage is used for the twin 23mm automatic antiaircraft gun ZU-23, although the ammunition boxes, barrels and flashhiders are distinctly different. The ZPU-2 is no longer found in first tine Soviet units, although it is still used as a close-in defense weapon for certain airfields. It is used by some Warsaw Pact armies and by security elements such as the East German Workers' militia. The Chinese Communist-produced ZPU-2 is referred to as the Type 58, the individual KPV machineguns as the Type 56.

The quad ZPU-4 uses a four-wheel carriage similar to that once used by the obsolete 25mm automatic antiaircraft gun M1940. In firing position the weapon is lowered onto firing jacks. The ZPU-4 is still used widely within the Warsaw Pact, although in many units it has been replaced by the newer and more powerful twin 23mm automatic antiaircraft gun ZU-23.

Caliber mm 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.5
Length of barrel   1348 1348 1348 1348
Length of machinegun w/flashhider mm 2007 2007 2007 2007
Weight in firing position kg 413 639 621 1810
Weiqht in travel position kg 413 994 649 1810
Length in travel position mm 3440 3536 3871 4633
Width in travel position mm 1620 1920 1372 1859
Height in travel position mm 1340 1830 1097 2286
Track mm 1384   1100 1641
Clearance mm 280   270 458
Tire size    4.50x16 6.50x20 6.50x20 6.50x20
Height of axis of bore 0° mm 635 800   1020
Elevation ° +88 +90 +85 +90
Depression ° 8 -3 -15 8.5
Traverse ° 360 360 360 360
Rate of fire per barrel          
cyclic rpm 600 600 600 600
practical rpm 150 150 150 150
Projectile weight:  API g 64.4 64.4 64.4 64.4
Muzzle velocity:   API m.s 1000 1000 1000 1000
Maxi muni-range:  horizontal m 8000 8000 8000 8000
vertical m 5000 5000 5000 5000
Effective AA range m 1400 1400 1400 1400
Pointblank range:  API m        
2m high target           
Armor penetration:   API mm 32 32 32 32
Crew   4 5 5 5
Unit of fire rds 1200 2400 2400 4800







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