|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Designer||Vassily P. Gryazev and Arkady G. Shipunov|
|Manufacturer||KBP Instrument Design Bureau Tula|
|Weight||73-76 kg (161-167 lb)|
|Length||1.4 m (4 ft 7 in)|
|Height||18 cm (7 in)|
|Rate of fire||10,000 rpm (test models up to 12,000 rpm)|
|Muzzle velocity||715 m/s (2345 ft/s)|
|Feed system||Belt or linkless feed system|
The Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-6-23 (Russian: Грязев-Шипунов ГШ-6-23) (GRAU designation: 9A-620 for GSh-6-23, 9A-768 for GSh-6-23M modernized variant) is a powerful, fast-firing six-barreled 23 mm rotary cannon used by some modern Soviet/Russian military aircraft.
The GSh-6-23 differs from most American multi-barreled aircraft cannon in that it is gas-operated, rather than externally powered via an electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic system. Although the engineering difficulties involved in producing a gas-operated rotary cannon with such a high rate of fire are considerable, they create less of a drain on the aircraft's power systems, and they accelerate to their maximum rate of fire much more quickly. There is less "spin-up" time for the barrels than with an externally powered rotary cannon, a significant advantage in aerial combat, where the window of opportunity to place multiple rounds on target can be vanishingly short.
The GSh-6-23 uses the 23x115 Russian AM-23 round, fed via linked cartridge belt or a linkless feed system. The linkless system, adopted after problems with the belt feed, is limited to 8,500 rpm. Fire control is electrical, using a 27v DC system. The cannon has 10 pyrotechnic cocking charges, similar to those used in European gas-operated revolver cannons such as the DEFA 554 or Mauser BK-27.
The GSh-6-23 has an extremely high rate of fire, with maximum cyclic rates of 9,000 to 10,000 rounds per minute. Compared to the U.S. M61 Vulcan, the GSh-6-23 fires 50-66% more rounds per minute, has a heavier projectile, but lower muzzle velocity. The weapon is also lighter and shorter. The rapid rate of fire exhausts ammunition quickly: the Mikoyan MiG-31 (800 rounds maximum) aircraft, for example, with 260 rounds of ammunition, would empty its magazine in less than two seconds.
The GSh-6-23 is used by the Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft, the MiG-31 interceptor aircraft, and the now-obsolete Sukhoi Su-15 among others. However, after two Su-24s were lost because of premature shell detonation in 1983, plus some different problems with gun usage (system failures, etc.), usage of the GSh-6-23 was stopped by a decision of the Soviet Air Force Command. For now all aircraft in the Russian Air Force are flying with fully operational guns, but without ammunition.
It is also used in the SPPU-6 gun pod, which can traverse to -45° elevation, and +-45° azimuth.
- Rapid Fire, Anthony G. Williams, Airlife UK, August 2000
- Koll, Christian (2009). Soviet Cannon - A Comprehensive Study of Soviet Arms and Ammunition in Calibres 12.7mm to 57mm. Austria: Koll. p. 162. ISBN 978-3-200-01445-9.
- KPB Tula (designer/manufacturer)
- Izhmash (Archive copy of manufacturer's page, in Russian)
- Gsh-6-23M (9-A-768) (automatic translation of the above)
- (Animated gif of operation)