GSh-6-23M 23mm cannon

This 6-barrel aircraft gun was designed by Prof. Vasilij Gryazev and Shipunov and is produced in Russia by Izhmash JSC.

10/11k color photos of GSh-6-23M cannon and its ammunition, found at manufacturer's site.

The GSh-6-23M (another designation is 9-A-768) aircraft cannon is a weapon with six rotating barrels. This construction principle is called "Gatling principle" after its inventor, the American Richard Jordan Gatling who got a patent for it already in 1862. This construction principle can be found today with numerous aircraft guns of American and Russian origin, ranging in caliber from 7.62 to 30mm.

Its main advantage is its extremely high rate of fire and because there is more than one barrel, the wearing-down of the barrels is also appreciably reduced. The main disadvantage - at least with those designs relying on the aircraft's power supplies for operation - is the immense strain they impose on the aircraft's power systems. This usually prevents the installation of more than one gun of this type.

Year ?
Caliber 23mm
Projectile 175-200g
Number of cocking charges 10
Standard Ammo 500 rounds
Rate of fire 10,000-12,000rpm
Muzzle velocity 690-740m/s
Weight 76kg
Overall length 1,400mm
Cross-section 243x180mm2
Barrel length ?mm

This cannon is known to be installed in the Su-24M. Compared with the American 20mm M-61 Vulcan of the same construction principle, the GSh-6-23 is weighing only 50% of the American gun, has twice the firing rate and - due to its mechanism operated by powder gases - does not need an external power source. The cocking mechanism is operated by pyrotechnic cartridges and firing control is done electrically by a 27V DC system.

The gun is produced in two variants, one using chain links for ammunition feeding, the other a system without links. The ammunition used is of the AM-23 family and comprises high-explosive fragmentation/incendiary and armor-piercing incendiary/tracer bullets.

Small movie of GSh-6-23M in action.
Modified May 9, 2000
with help of Thomas Heinz;
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