By MSW Add a Comment 4 Min Read
ASU 85

Soviet Aviadezantnaya Samochodnaya Ustankova or airborne
self-propelled gun. The ASU equipments of the Soviet army are specialized
self-propelled antitank and direct support guns, developed for airborne delivery.
There are two types, the ASU-57 and the ASU-85.

The ASU-85 is a heavier vehicle, based on the chassis of the
PT-76 tank, though the ASU version is not amphibious. The gun is an
85-mm/53-cal weapon and is fitted with a fume extractor and a muzzle brake. It
can achieve a muzzle velocity of about 800 m/sec (2600 ft/sec) firing
armour-piercing shell. The vehicle is air-transportable by fixed-wing aircraft
only, due to its weight, and has an armour basis of 40 mm. Night vision
equipment and an NBC system are fitted as standard. First seen in Soviet
service in 1962. it appeared in the Polish army in 1964 and later in the East
German army. The 85mm gun is effective against light armour and its own thicker
armour provides more effective protection for paratroop units, which because of
their airborne weight restrictions are woefully short of effective artillery
support weapons. The increased weight of 14 tonnes means that the ASU-85 cannot
be para-dropped but nevertheless is air-transportable. Each Soviet air- borne
division fields 18 ASU-85s and since their introduction in 1961 they have seen
service in Prague in 1968 and more recently in Afghanistan.

The Soviet Airborne Forces used the ASU-85 in airborne
operations. Its primary role was light infantry support or assault, with
limited anti-tank capability. Each Airborne Division had one assault gun
battalion with 31 ASU-85. The Polish 6th Pomeranian Airborne Division (Polish:
6 Pomorska Dywizja Powietrzno-Desantowa) had an equal number.

The ASU-85 became possible with the introduction of the Mi-6
and Mi-10 helicopters and high-capacity multi-chute and retro-rocket systems
for fixed wing-drops. It was first observed by NATO in 1962, and was widely
used by Soviet and Polish airborne units.

During the Soviet–Afghan War, Soviet Airborne troops used
ASU-85s in combat.

In early 2016, Vietnam expressed interest in an upgrade package for the ASU-85 that includes more powerful powerpack that increases road speed from 45 to 60 km/h (28 to 37 mph) and cruising range from 400 to 450 km (250 to 280 mi).

Type Assault gun
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1959–1993
Used by Soviet Union
Wars Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
Soviet–Afghan War
Production history
Designer Astrov Design Bureau
Designed 1951–1959
Manufacturer MMZ
Produced 1959–1966
Mass 15.5 tonnes (34,171 lb)
Length 8.49 m (27 ft 10 in)
Width 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
Height 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in)
Crew 4
Armor 40–45 mm
85 mm main gun D-70 (2A15)
1× 7.62 mm PKT or SGMT coaxial machine gun
Engine YaMZ-206V 6 cylinder inline water-cooled diesel engine
210 hp (154 kW)
Power/weight 13.5 hp/tonne
Transmission mechanical
Suspension torsion bar
Fuel capacity 400 l
230 km (161 mi)
Speed 45 km/h (28 mph)
Forschungsmitarbeiter Mitch Williamson is a technical writer with an interest in military and naval affairs. He has published articles in Cross & Cockade International and Wartime magazines. He was research associate for the Bio-history Cross in the Sky, a book about Charles ‘Moth’ Eaton’s career, in collaboration with the flier’s son, Dr Charles S. Eaton. He also assisted in picture research for John Burton’s Fortnight of Infamy. Mitch is now publishing on the WWW various specialist websites combined with custom website design work. He enjoys working and supporting his local C3 Church. “Curate and Compile“
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Exit mobile version