30 mm automatic cannon 2A42

This article is about the automatic cannon. For modular one-man turret that utilises it, see 2A42 Cobra.

2А42 on the Mil Mi-28 helicopter
Type Autocannon
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1980
Used by Russia
Production history
Designer KBP
Designed 1970s
Manufacturer Tula Machine-Building Plant
Produced 1980
Variants 2А72
Weight 115 kilograms (254 lb)
Length 3.027 m (9 ft 11.2 in)
Barrel length 2,416 millimetres (95.1 in)[1]

Cartridge 30 × 165
Caliber 30 mm
Barrels 1
Action Gas-operated
Rate of fire 200 to 300 rds/min (low)
550 rds/min (high)[2]
Effective firing range 4,000 metres (4,400 yd)
Feed system Twin feed

The 30 mm automatic cannon 2A42, also known as the Shipunov 2A42, is a Soviet/Russian 30 mm automatic cannon. It is built by the Tulamashzavod Joint Stock Company.


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.[3] 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.[4] 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 Bumerang-BM, an unmanned remote control turret on the Kurganets-25 and T-15.


The 2A42 fires 30x165 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 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 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.[5][6]

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[7] 49 g[7] 960[7] A high-explosive incendiary round with A-670M nose fuze.[8] 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).[5]
3UOR6 HE-T 385[7] 11.5 g[7] 960[7] Nose-fuzed high-explosive fragmentation tracer round, utilizing the same A-670M impact/self-destruct fuze as the 3UOF8.[8] Tracer burn time 10 to 14 seconds.
3UBR6 APBC-T 400[7] none 970[7] Solid shot with blunt penetrator covered by a hollow windshield cap.[8] Tracer burn time 3.5 seconds. Penetration:

20mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 700 m range[7]
14mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 1500 m range[8]
18mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 1500 m range[9]

3UBR8 APDS 304[7] none 1120[7] A sub-caliber discarding sabot. No tracer. Penetration:

25mm RHA at flat angle of impact, 1500 m range[9]

M929 APFSDS-T ? none ? A sub-caliber fin-stabilized discarding sabot round with tracer from Belgian Mecar, with tungsten alloy penetrator.[10] Penetration: 55 mm steel at 1,000 m, 45 mm at 2,000 m range.[9]


Czech-made BMP-2 in Afghanistan, 2010.

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

Infantry fighting vehicles
Attack helicopters

Similar 30mm autocannons

The 2A72 30mm autocannon, designed by KBP Instrument Design Bureau, is a lighter, less complex cousin of the 2A42. While the latter has 578 parts, 2A72 has only 349 parts, allowing it to weigh only 84 kg.Its rate of fire is 400 rd/min.

The 2A38 is a 30mm twin-barrel autocannon. It is 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.



See also



External links

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