ShVAK 20mm cannon

Shpital'nyj-Vladimirov Aviatsionnaya Krupnokalibernaya - large caliber aircraft gun designed by B.G. Shpitalnyj and S.V. Vladimirov.


15k b/w drawing of standard ShVAK cannon
12k b/w drawing of ShVAK cannon for flexible installation
(from "Sowjetische Bombenflugzeuge" ("Soviet Bombers"), by W. Kopenhagen)

Year 1936
Caliber 20mm
Projectile 96g
Rate of fire 750-800rpm
Muzzle velocity 790-800m/s
Weight 42-45kg
Overall length 1,760mm
Barrel length 1,250mm

Standard Soviet aircraft cannon since 1936. It was a compact, gas-operated weapon based on the design principles of the ShKAS machine gun. There was also developed a version of 12.7mm caliber, which was abandoned in favour of the Berezin UB series.

First installed in 1936 on the I-16P fighter. First use in combat took place in 1939 during the fighting with the Japanese at Khalkhin Gol on the Siberian-Manchurian border.

The ShVAK was installed both as a fixed and as a flexible weapon. For the latter purpose it was equipped with grip handles. One source states that the variant for flexible installation was designated as MP-20, but this designation can also be found in connection with the whole ShVAK family.


Modified May 5, 2000
by Thomas Heinz;
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