VYa 23mm cannon

15k b/w drawing of the VYa cannon from "Sowjetische Bombenflugzeuge" ("Soviet Bombers") by W. Kopenhagen.
Year 1941
Caliber 23mm
Projectile 200g
Rate of fire 600rpm
Muzzle velocity 900-920m/s
Weight 66-68.5kg
Overall length 2,140mm
Barrel length ?mm

Designed by A.A. Volkov and S.A. Yartsev.

The VYa (or VYa-23 in some sources) became ready for series production in May 1941. Another designation found for it in documents is MP-23VV. It was gas-operated and the ammunition was fed by a belt. The VYa served mainly as an armament for assault aircraft like the Il-2 and Il-10.

Compared with the 20mm ShVAK it was much more powerful than the small increase in caliber at first suggests. Its projectile weighed more than twice of the 20mm projectiles and the armor-piercing shell of the VYa could penetrate up to 25mm of armor from a distance of 400m. Due to its superior range and very effective high-explosive ammunition it could be used with good effect against aircraft, too. Its ammunition is still in use today with anti-aircraft guns.


Created August 8, 1996
Modified May 7, 2000
by Thomas Heinz;
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