Russia is developing a new 57mm anti-aircraft system which will feature increased firepower and will replace the Shilka and Tunguska systems that now form the basis of the Russian military air defense.The new anti-aircraft system was showcased in September 2015 at the international military exhibition RAE-2015 in the city of Nizhny Tagil in the Ural Mountains.
Called the Derivatsiya system, it has the AU-220M cannon mounted on the BMP-3 amphibious armored vehicle and the main feature of the AA system is the caliber of its gun – 57 millimeter. The Soviets had earlier used the 57mm caliber guns, notably the S-60 AA Gun during the 1950’s but later shifted to 23mm and 30mm cannons. AU-220M marks a return to a larger caliber for AA guns as it is claimed to have a number of advantages in the present circumstances.
The shift back to 57mm is attributed to the increased power of military helicopters equipped with anti-tank guided missiles that now can strike targets at a distance of 8-10 kilometers which could well extend to15 kilometers in the future. Thus the need to have an AA gun with extended range which the 30mm cannon cannot deliver. Also, there is a need to create the required density of fire that can assure the destruction of cruise, guided and anti-radar missiles, as well as guided air bombs and drones.
Though the increased caliber of the anti-aircraft cannon will reduce the ammunition carrying capacity, the reduced requirement of ammunition to destroy one target will decline thereby maintaining the effectiveness of the system. Ability to engage ground targets will increase battlefield survivability of the system.
The performance characteristics of the new system however are strictly classified though the appreciated capability would be to effectively engage aircraft at a distance of 6-8 kilometers and drones at a distance of 3-5 kilometers. Open sources indicate that it will have the capability to fire guided missiles through the gun barrel, which serves as a launcher in this case.
Vadim Matveyev, New Russian anti-aircraft gun can hit targets at greater distances, Russia Beyond The Headlines, January 14, 2016 https://www.rbth.com/defence/2016/01/14/new-russian-anti-aircraft-gun-can-hit-targets-at-greater-distances_559189