Autocanon 2A42 on the Mi28N heli.JPG
2А42 on the Mil Mi-28N 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 Shipunov 2A42 is a Soviet/Russian 30 mm autocannon. It is built by the Tulamashzavod Joint Stock Company.[3]


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.



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.[8][9]

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 Penetration
3UOF8[10] HEI 389 49g A-IX-2 960 A high-explosive incendiary round with A-670M nose fuze.[11] 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).[8] N/A
3UOR6[10] HE-T 385 11.5 g A-IX-2 960 Nose-fuzed high-explosive fragmentation tracer round, utilizing the same A-670M impact/self-destruct fuze as the 3UOF8. Tracer burn time 14 seconds. N/A
3UBR6[10] APBC-T 400 none 970 Solid shot with blunt penetrator covered by a hollow windshield cap.[11] Tracer burn time 3.5 seconds. 20mm RHA at 60 degree impact, 700m range
3UBR8[10] APDS 304 none 1120 A sub-caliber discarding sabot. No tracer. 25mm RHA at 60 degree impact, 1500m
3UBR10[12] APBC-T 398 none 970 A development of 3UBR6 with plastic driving band for reduced barrel wear. Expected to enter service in 2020 20mm RHA at 60 degree impact, 700m
3UBR11[12] APFSDS-T none Modern APFSDS round, developed late 2010s. Production and service status unknown. 1.5 second tracer burn. Unknown
M929 [13] APFSDS-T 235 none 1260 A sub-caliber fin-stabilized discarding sabot round with tracer from Belgian Mecar, with tungsten alloy penetrator. More than 50 mm RHA at 60 degree impact, 1,000m

Airburst munitions for Russian 30mm and 57mm autocannons are in development.[14][15][16][17][18]


Czech-made BMP-2 in Afghanistan, 2010.
Czech-made BMP-2 in Afghanistan, 2010.
Turret of Belarusian-made Volat V2 APC, 2021.
Turret of Belarusian-made Volat V2 APC, 2021.

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

Infantry fighting vehicles
Unmanned ground 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, with a longer barrel. While the latter has 578 parts, 2A72 has only 349 parts, allowing it to weigh only 84 kg (with 36 kg barrel). 2A72 use long recoil principle, resulted in lower recoil (7t instead of 20), but lower rate of fire (300-330 instead of 550). 2A72 is used in:

The 2A38 and 2A38M are 30mm twin-barrel autocannons, Gast-type. 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.

The Ordnance Factory Medak in India has developed the Medak gun[citation needed] and CRN 91 Naval Gun out of this platform.


Current Operators

Former Operators

See also


  1. ^ "30 mm automatic gun 2A42".
  2. ^ "2A42 30mm Automatic Cannon - Minotor-Service, Minsk, Belarus".
  3. ^ "30mm Shipunov 2A42".
  4. ^ "ОАО "Конструкторское бюро приборостроения" - 2А42".
  5. ^ "30-mm AUTOMATIC GUN 2A42". Tulamashzavod. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  6. ^ a b "RG31 gets TRT-30 weapon system". Jane's 360.
  7. ^ a b "30 mm 2A72".
  8. ^ a b Jane's Ammunition Handbook 2009, "Cannon – 20 to 30 mm cannon."
  9. ^ "An introduction to collecting 30 mm cannon ammunition".
  10. ^ a b c d "Land Forces Weapons" (PDF).
  11. ^ a b "Russian Ammunition Page,
  12. ^ a b[bare URL image file]
  13. ^[dead link]
  14. ^ "Cloud from shrapnel: how controlled ammunition will strengthen the power of Russian armored vehicles |".
  15. ^ "Russia's military built a "Terminator" and now it's getting smart weapons". Newsweek. 21 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Russia to develop anti-drone shrapnel ammunition". TASS.
  17. ^ "UVZ to unveil modernized BMP-1 with 2A72 cannon at Army 2018 | August 2018 Global Defense Security army news industry | Defense Security global news industry army 2018 | Archive News year".
  18. ^ "Russia has developed low cost programmable air explosive ammunition that can be detonated by laser remote control. | jqknews".
  19. ^ "New K-4386 Typhoon-VDV 4x4 armoured field tested by Russian army".
  20. ^ "Russia upgrades Uran-9 combat UGV". Jane's 360.