Introduced in 1964 the ZU-23 was a lightweight air-transportable anti-aircraft gun system. The ZU-23 saw extensive use with airborne and airmobile units, as well as some use in lower readiness motorized rifle units that had not received the mechanized ZSU-23-4 self-propelled air-defense artillery vehicle.
The ZU-23 has an effective range of 2,500 meters vs. air targets, is effective against light armored vehicles and ground targets, and can be fired while limbered.
The ZU-23 weapon system consists of two air-cooled 23mm automatic only cannons mounted on a two wheel transport-firing carriage. While the gun can be fired while limbered for traveling, it is intended to be emplaced wheels up, suspended on its carriage. The carriage contains three built in jacks to level the platform.