Aviation of World War II

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An aviation rapid-fire machine gun of system Shpitalskiy-Komaritskiy


ShKAS 7.62-mm

The first sample of the Soviet rapid-fire aviation machine gun has been made in 1930. Machine gun has accepted the order about its acceptance on arms under the name «An aviation rapid-fire machine gun of system Shpitalskiy-Komaritskiy» on October, 11, 1932. Action of automatics of a machine gun occured due to energy of the powder gases removed from a bore. High rate of shooting of machine gun ShKAS has been received due to a short course of mobile parts of automatics and overlapping of some operations on a reload. Rate of shooting ShKAS has achieved 1800 shots/minutes that was a record the then.

After war B.G.Shpitalskiy wrote: « When our valorous troops, taken storm Berlin, have rushed into office of the third Reich among the numerous trophies grasped in office, appeared, at first sight, unusual kind a sample of the weapon carefully covered with a glass cap, and a sheet of a paper with personal signature of Hitler.

Arrived for survey of this sample experts with surprise have found out under glass the Tula air machine gun ShKAS-7.62, and the personal order of Hitler taking place at it, saying that the Tula machine gun will be in office until German experts will not create the same machine gun for fascist aircraft., as is known, hitlerites and did not manage it to make. German experts have failed to open all secrets of the Tula machine gun».

In the beginning of 1934 the batch production turret and wing variants of machine gun ShKAS has been started. Wing machine gun ШКАС was interchangeable with turret and had only those distinctions which were dictated by convenience of operation. The synchronous variant of machine gun ShKAS has been created in 1936 by designers V.N.Salishchev, K.N.Rudnev and V.P.Kotov.

the Weight of machine gun ШКАС made: turret variant 10,5 of kg; wing 9,8 kg; synchronous - 11,1 kg.

the Ballistics and rate of shooting at turret and wing variants are identical: at weight of a bullet 9,6 g and a charge 3,2 g - initial speed of 825 km/s, and rate of 1800 shots/minutes. At synchronous variant rate of shooting is lower - up to 1650 shots/minutes. But initial speed is a little bit higher (850 km/s) due to the greater length of a trunk.

Turret variant was established on the Il-4, Pe-8, TB-4, TB-3, Er-2, DB-3 aircrafts and others.

Wing variant was established on I-16 fighters and Il-2 attack aircraft, and synchronous - on I-16, I-153, LaGG-3, Yak-1, Yak-7 fighters etc.

The batch production of ShKAS machine guns constantly grew. In 1933 365 pieces, in 1934 - 2476, in 1935 - 3566, in 1937 - 13005, in 1938 - 19687, in 1940 - 34233, in 1943 - 29450, in 1944 - 36255 and per 1945 have been issued.


  • "The history of air armament." /Alexander Shirokorad/