2А42 on the Mil Mi-28 helicopter
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Mass||115 kilograms (254 lb)|
|Length||3.027 m (9 ft 11.2 in)|
|Barrel length||2,416 millimetres (95.1 in)|
|Cartridge||30 × 165|
|Rate of fire||200 to 300 rds/min (low) |
550-800 rds/min (high)
|Muzzle velocity||960 metres per second (3,100 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||2,000 metres (2,200 yd)|
|Maximum firing range||4,000 metres (4,400 yd)|
|Feed system||Twin feed|
The 30 mm 2A42 cannon has a dual feed. One is for HE-T and the other for AP-T rounds. The gunner can select one of two rates of full automatic fire, low at 200 to 300 rds/min and high at 550 to 800 rds/min. According to the manufacturer, effective range when engaging ground targets such as light armoured vehicles is 1,500 m while soft-skinned targets can be engaged out to 4,000 m. Air targets can be engaged flying at low altitudes of up to 2,000 m at subsonic speeds and up to a slant range of 2,500 m. In addition to being installed in a two-person turret on the BMP-2 mechanised infantry combat vehicle, this gun is also fitted in the BMD-2 airborne combat vehicle, BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle and BTR-90 (or GAZ-5923) (8 × 8) armoured personnel carrier. A small number of these have now entered service. More recently, the 30 mm 2A42 cannon has been installed in a new turret and fitted onto the roof of the BTR-T heavy armoured personnel carrier based on a modified T-54/T-55 MBT chassis. The cannon is also the main armament of BMPT (Tank Support Fighting Vehicle). It is also used for various armament projects from various manufacturers. The design bureau for the 30 mm 2A42 cannon is the KBP Instrument Design Bureau.
The 2A42 autocannon has also been used on the BMPT and Bumerang-BM, and on unmanned remote controlled weapon station turrets on the new Russian infantry fighting vehicles, Kurganets-25, VPK-7829 Bumerang. and T-15 Armata.
- 2A42 – standard version.
- 2A72 – lighter simplified variant with a lower number of parts, and a longer barrel.
- ABM-M30M3 – remote Weapon Station made by Impulse-2, for Uran-9 or different armored vehicles.
- ABM-M30M3 Vikhr – another remote weapon station made by Impulse-2.
- TRT-30 – remote weapon station.
The 2A42 fires 30×165 ammunition, a cartridge introduced in the 1970s in the Soviet Union to replace previous 30 mm autocannon cartridges. Other weapons using this size of cartridge case include the 2A38, 2A38M, and 2A72 autocannons for various vehicle, helicopter and air defence applications, as well as numerous single-, dual- and six-barrel naval and air force cannons. The 2A42, 2A38, 2A38M, and 2A72 fire percussion-primed ammunition; the naval and aerial cannons use electrical priming, and therefore their ammunition is not interchangeable with the land-based ammunition types, despite the same cartridge case size.
Originally three basic types of ammunition were developed in the Soviet Union for the land-based weapons: high-explosive incendiary, high-explosive fragmentation with tracer, and an armour-piercing ballistic capped with tracer. Later a sub-caliber armour-piercing round was introduced, and today also countries other than Soviet Union/Russia manufacture 30 x 165 percussion-primed ammunition. The main types of ammunition are summarized in the table below:
|Designation||Type||Projectile weight (g)||Bursting charge (g)||Muzzle velocity (m/s)||Notes|
|3UOF8||HEI||389||49 g||960||A high-explosive incendiary round with A-670M nose fuze. The fuze produces a 0.15 millisecond delay on impact, and a self-destruct mechanism detonating the projectile after 7.5 to 14.5 seconds of flight (3900–5300 m distance from muzzle).|
|3UOR6||HE-T||385||11.5 g||960||Nose-fuzed high-explosive fragmentation tracer round, utilizing the same A-670M impact/self-destruct fuze as the 3UOF8. Tracer burn time 10 to 14 seconds.|
|3UBR6||APBC-T||400||none||970||Solid shot with blunt penetrator covered by a hollow windshield cap. Tracer burn time 3.5 seconds. Penetration:|
|3UBR8||APDS||304||none||1120||A sub-caliber discarding sabot. No tracer. Penetration:
25mm RHA at flat angle of impact, 1500 m range
25mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 1500 m 
|M929 ||APFSDS-T||235||none||1260||A sub-caliber fin-stabilized discarding sabot round with tracer from Belgian Mecar, with tungsten alloy penetrator. Penetration:
50 mm RHA steel at 60 degree impact at 1,000 m range
The autocannon has been used since the 1980s on the following platforms:
- 2T Stalker
- MT-LBM 6MB
- BMP-1AM (2A72)
- BMD-4 (2A72)
- BTR-80A (2A72)
- BTR-82A (2A72)
- Fahd 280-30
- T-15 Armata
- VPK-7829 Bumerang
- Lazar 3
- Scorpion IFV (2A72)
- K-4386 Typhoon-VDV
- Bars BRShM (2A72)
- Uran-9 (2A72)
- UDAR UGV
- Vikhr UGV (2A72)
Similar 30mm autocannons
The 2A72 30mm autocannon, designed by KBP Instrument Design Bureau, is a lighter, less complex cousin of the 2A42, with a longer barrel. While the latter has 578 parts, 2A72 has only 349 parts, allowing it to weigh only 84 kg. Its rate of fire is up to 400 rd/min.
- Barrels: 1
- Length: 3,027 mm
- Weight: 115 kg
- Rate of fire: 200-300 rds/min (slow mode), 550-800 rds/min (fast mode)
- Effective range
- Light armor: 1,500 m
- Air targets: 2,000 m
- Ground: 4,000 m
- Type: Twin feed, gas operated mechanism
- Calibre: 30 × 165 mm
- Ammunition: APDS, APFSDS-T, APERS-T, AP-T, HE, HEI, HE-T, HETP-T, TP, Air burst (in development)
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