Shipunov 2A42

The Shipunov 2A42, is a Soviet/Russian 30 mm autocannon. It is built by the Tulamashzavod Joint Stock Company.[3]

2А42 on the Mil Mi-28 helicopter
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1980–present
Used byRussia
Production history
Mass115 kilograms (254 lb)
Length3.027 m (9 ft 11.2 in)
Barrel length2,416 millimetres (95.1 in)[1]

Cartridge30 × 165
Caliber30 mm
Rate of fire200 to 300 rds/min (low)
550-800 rds/min (high)[2]
Muzzle velocity960 metres per second (3,100 ft/s)
Effective firing range2,000 metres (2,200 yd) (AP-T)
Maximum firing range4,000 metres (4,400 yd) (HEI)
Feed systemTwin feed


The 30 mm 2A42 autocannon was developed as a replacement for 2A28 Grom and 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.[4] 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.[5] 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, a longer barrel, and higher muzzle velocity, but also a lower rate of fire.
    • 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.[6]


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.[7][8]

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
3UOF8HEI389[9] 49 g[9] 960[9]A high-explosive incendiary round with A-670M nose fuze.[10] 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).[7]
3UOR6HE-T385[9] 11.5 g[9] 960[9]Nose-fuzed high-explosive fragmentation tracer round, utilizing the same A-670M impact/self-destruct fuze as the 3UOF8.[10] Tracer burn time 10 to 14 seconds.
3UBR6APBC-T400[9] none 970[9]Solid shot with blunt penetrator covered by a hollow windshield cap.[10] Tracer burn time 3.5 seconds. Penetration:

20mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 700 m range[9]
14mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 1500 m range[10]
18mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 1500 m range[11]

3UBR8APDS304[9] none 1120[9]A sub-caliber discarding sabot. No tracer. Penetration:

25mm RHA at flat angle of impact, 1500 m range[11]

25mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 1500 m [9]

M929 [12]APFSDS-T235 none 1260A 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

Airbust munitions for Russian 30mm and 57mm autocannons are in development.[13][14][15][16][17]


The autocannon has been used since the 1980s on the following platforms:

Infantry fighting vehicles
  • K-4386 Typhoon-VDV[18]
Unmanned ground vehicles
  • Bars BRShM (2A72)
  • Uran-9 (2A72)[19]
  • Vikhr UGV (2A72)
Attack helicopters

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.

The 2A38 and 2A38M are 30mm twin-barrel autocannons. They are mainly used on air defense vehicles like 2K22 Tunguska and Pantsir-S1. It weighs 195 kg and has a maximum rate of fire of 2500 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)[20]
  • 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)


See also


  • Koll, Christian (2009). Soviet Cannon – A Comprehensive Study of Soviet Arms and Ammunition in Calibres 12.7mm to 57mm. Austria: Koll. p. 271. ISBN 978-3-200-01445-9.
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