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Russia Develops Advanced Ammunition Control System to Counter Drone Threats in Ukraine

The Russian Kizlyar Electromechanical Plant has unveiled a cutting-edge automated gun control system designed to optimize ammunition detonation for maximum impact against adversaries. A significant feature of this innovative system is its capability to counteract the rising threat of drone attacks. By engineering the ammunition to calculate the ideal detonation point, the system ensures the explosion produces a vast cloud of shrapnel aimed directly at airborne targets, making it a formidable defense against drones.
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Russian-made ZU-23M2 advanced 23mm anti-aircraft gun/missile system. (Picture source VK)

This technology is especially pertinent given the increasing reliance on drones in modern warfare and the potential security threats they pose. Drones, often used for surveillance, reconnaissance, and even direct attacks, can be challenging to detect and neutralize due to their size and agility. The Kizlyar system's ability to strike targets concealed behind barriers further enhances its utility against drones that might be operating from concealed positions.

Currently, the revamped Soviet ZU-23M2 anti-aircraft gun serves as the prototype for testing this system. However, the technology holds promise for modernizing an extensive array of artillery weapons, encompassing calibers of 30, 40, and 57 millimeters.

The ZU-23-2 is a Soviet-made towed 23 mm anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannon. It was developed in the late 1950s and was primarily intended to engage low-flying targets, including aircraft and helicopters.

In tandem with this development, the ZU-23M2, a modernized iteration of the Soviet-era ZU-23 anti-aircraft twin-barreled automatic cannon, has been enhanced to further bolster its combat capabilities. The ZU-23M2 is now equipped with a state-of-the-art targeting system that incorporates a laser rangefinder, television channel, and an optical-mechanic device. This ensures precise target acquisition and tracking, even in challenging conditions.

Furthermore, for operations in low-light or nighttime scenarios, the ZU-23M2 can be augmented with a thermal location channel and a specialized television system. To provide a multi-layered defense against aerial threats, the gun system can also be armed with two short-range air-defense missiles, such as the 9M32M "Strela-2M" or the 9M39 "Igla", offering a comprehensive anti-air solution for modern battlefields.

The military has long expressed a need for such remotely detonated shells. Should these become widely available, especially in the prevalent 30-mm caliber, it would significantly enhance the army's capability to counter enemy drones and infantry with heightened efficiency.

Defense News October 2023

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