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Airborne Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun (SPATG) [ 1951 ]

The ASU-57 self-propelled anti-tank gun carrier was the mainstay for Soviet airborne divisions for decades.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/02/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The ASU-57 was a Soviet-designed system meant to provide a self-propelled anti-tank gun option to airborne elements. The ASU was armed with a 57mm main gun (hence the "57" occurring in the designation) but was lightly armored and offered basic protection to the crew. The ASU-57 was fielded in large numbers during its production run but was later relegated to training duty with the arrival of the more capable ASU-85. 30 projectiles was provided for the main gun and it is reported that a rate of 10 rounds per minute could be achieved optimally.

Crew accommodations in the ASU-57 amounted to three personnel. The driver and loader were stationed to the right of the compartment, leaving the commander to the left. The hull was of welded aluminum and only 0.24 inches at its thickest. The crew sat in an open-air compartment with nothing more than a tarp to cover themselves from the elements. Besides the 57mm main gun, the crew was afforded a 7.62mm machine gun for self-defense. This machine gun could be removed for ground duty as well.

Weighing in at 3.5 tonnes, the ASU-57 self-propelled system could be airdropped by parachute with rockets assisting in cushioning the landing. Initially transported externally under the wings of a Tupolev Tu-4 bomber, the system was later carried internally in an Antonov An-12 aircraft and dropped by pallet.

Despite its compactness, the ASU-57 suffered from the minimal protection afforded to the crew. the 57mm main gun was also under-gunned when compared to the similar M56 American version mounting a 90mm main gun. The ASU-57 would eventually be replaced by the ASU-85, which featured far better armor protection and a larger caliber main gun.©MilitaryFactory.com
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MMZ - Soviet Union
Egypt; Ethiopia; Soviet Union; Vietnam; Yugoslavia
Operators National flag of Egypt National flag of Ethiopia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Vietnam National flag of Yugoslavia
Service Year
Soviet Union
National Origin

Base model or variant can be used to track, engage, and defeat armored enemy elements at range.
Support allied forces through direct / in-direct fire, assault forward positions, and / or breach fortified areas of the battlefield.
Support allied ground forces through weapons, inherent capabilities, and / or onboard systems.
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.

16.4 ft
(4.99 meters)
6.8 ft
(2.08 meters)
3.9 ft
(1.18 meters)
7,379 lb
(3,347 kg)
3.7 tons

1 x M-20E 4-cylinder gasoline-fueled water-cooled engine developing 50 to 55 horsepower driving a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
Drive System
28 mph
(45 kph)
Road Speed
155 miles
(250 km)
Road Range

1 x 57mm autocannon main gun.
1 x 7.62mm machine gun (optional).
30 x 57mm projectiles

ASU-57 - Base Series Designation
ASU-57KShM - Command / Staff Variant; increased communications equipment.
BSU-11-57F (2T2) - Proposed Gun Carrier for 107mm B-11; single prototype example completed.
ASU-57P (Ob.574) - Proposed Amphibious ASU-57; five prototype vehicles completed.

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Image of the ASU-57
Front right side view of an ASU-57 gun system
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Image of the ASU-57
Rear right side view of the ASU-57 self-propelled gun

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