Towed Anti-Aircraft Gun
The Soviet 130mm KS-30 Air Defense Gun followed closely the scope and function of the German FlaK 40 anti-aircraft gun system encountered in World War 2.
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Developed in the latter part of the 1940s, the KS-30 130mm Air Defense Gun was utilized by the Soviet military to counter the threat of Western bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. The type was delivered to several Soviet-allied powers as well and went on to see a considerably long service life throughout the Cold War and beyond. Examples exist today in inventory, though largely held in reserve with the advent of guided and homing missiles that having taken the mantle of air defense.
Design of the KS-30 followed the 128mm FlaK 40 series anti-aircraft guns of World War 2, no doubt several examples perhaps having fallen into the hands of eager Soviet Army forces during their rapid advance on Berlin. About 1,125 FlaK 40 series guns were produced from the period spanning 1942 to the end of the war in 1945. While the system did not see widespread procurement, and therefore widespread use, it proved one of the most lethal and effective large-gun aircraft counters of the war.
The Soviet version featured similar lines including a long slim barrel assembly, integrated recoil mechanism and complex mounting system. The weapon sat atop a twin-axle steel carriage mounting eight wheels (four per axle) with a stationary platform as part of the overall design. The platform was stowed when the weapon was in transport (by heavy mover vehicle, usually tracked) and lowered to form the four-point base of the KS-30 when readied to fire. The gunnery crew was aided by a fire control system coupled to radar while the weapon was fed via a breech system and semi-automatic horizontal sliding block action. The weapon required a standard operating crew of 15 personnel.
With its proven pedigree, the KS-30 gave Soviet air defense crews a good reach and effective firepower for decades. It is estimated that some 5,000 units may have been produced.