The Shahed-136 suicide drone being used by Russia on the battlefield may be ineffective before the “rain of bullets” that Ukraine wants to receive.
Against the Russian Army’s Shahed-136 suicide drones, the Ukrainian Armed Forces found the use of expensive air defense missile systems too wasteful, while man-portable missiles are proved as ineffective against drones.
Now to combat the threat posed by russian low-altitude drones such as the Shahed-136, Ukraine thinks that it needs the “rain of bullets” of the American M163 VADS or the polish made ZSU-23-4MP Biala. Ukrainian Army will soon ask these nations to supply these above-mentioned weapon systems. These weapons will support the Gepard anti-aircraft guns and other similar weapons in ukrainian arsenal.
The M163 Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS) is a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) that was used by the United States Army.
The M168 gun is a variant of the General Dynamics 20 mm (0.79 in) M61 Vulcan rotary cannon, the standard cannon in most U.S. combat aircraft since the 1960s, mounted on either an armored vehicle or a trailer.
The weapon is mounted on a modified M113 vehicle (the M741 carrier). The system was designed to complement the M48 Chaparral missile system.
The M163 uses a small, range-only radar, the AN/VPS-2, and an M61 optical lead-calculating sight. The system is suitable for night operations with the use of AN/PVS series night vision sights that can be mounted to the right side of the primary sight.
The gun fires at 3,000 rounds per minute in short bursts of 10, 30, 60, or 100 rounds, or it can fire in continuous fire mode at a rate of 1,000 rounds per minute.
Currently, some M163 VADS systems are also equipped with Stinger man-portable air defense missile systems, this weapon will prove to be very easy-to-use and effective in countering the russian suicide drones threat.
Meanwhile, the Poland’s ZSU-23-4MP is a Polish modification of the ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. The ZSU-23-4MP “Biała” includes a new digital optical targeting system and 4 Grom surface-to-air missile launcher.
The AZP-23 autocannons are equipped with modern ammunition and have an increased effective anti-aircraft range to about 3.5 km, 0.5–1 km more than the original ZSU-23-4. The Grom missiles’ maximum range is about 5.5 km.
Around 70 ZSU-23-4MP “Biała” self-propelled anti-aircraft guns are to be produced for the Polish army, as a cheaper alternative to the modern Polish 35 mm PZA Loara self-propelled anti-aircraft gun.
The Polish Armed Forces wants to quickly get rid of its old soviet-era military equipments, so when receiving a request from Ukraine, it is almost certain that warsaw will quickly provide Kyiv with ZSU-23-4MP systems similarly like the supply of soviet-era T-72M1 Main Battle Tanks.