The ZPU-1 is a russian made anti-aircraft 14.5 mm gun. The ZPU-1 14.5 mm light anti-aircraft gun was introduced into Soviet Army service immediately after the Second World War and, like the ZPU-2 and ZPU-4, uses the 14.5 mm Vladimirov KPV heavy machine gun which has a quick-change barrel.
Design of the ZPU-1 is highly utilitarian and conventional. The system is essentially made up of three major components that include the barrel, gun mount and carriage - though the barrel and gun mount can be fitted to a vehicle for an improvised mobile weapons platform if desired. The air-cooled 14.5mm machine gun sits on a semi-flexible mounting that allows for engagement elevations of -8 to +88 degrees.
The ZPU-1 14.5 mm can fired the following fixed ammunition: - API (BS 41) projectile weighing 64.4 g, with a muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/s, which will penetrate 32 mm of conventional steel armour at an incidence of 0º at a range of 500 m - API-T (BZT) projectile weighing 59.56 g - I-T (ZP) projectile weighing 59.68 g. The ZPU-1 14.5 mm has an effective slant range of 1,402 m, effective limit at +45º elevation is 975 m while effective altitude limit at +65º is 1,280 m.
The basic version of ZPU-1 14.5 mm is fitted to a two-wheeled, rubber-tired carriage system with a tow arm for ground transport by light or heavy vehicles. The two-wheeled carriage of the ZPU-1 was designed by Vodop'yanov and Rachinskiy. For transport in rough terrain, it can be dismantled into units weighing about 80 kg each.
The ZPU-1 14.5 mm is equipped with an air cooled quick-change barrel, with the ammunition box on the right side. Typically, some 1,200 rounds of 14.5mm ammunition are supplied to a ZPU-1 crew though this may vary based on operator and ammunition carrier. The ZPU-1 is fitted with an optical sight.