AU-220M, a New 57mm turret

At IDEX-2015, Russia unveiled the AU-220M, a turret for a 57mm gun, designed for IFV mounting. Let’s take a look:


It’s unmanned, holds 200 rounds of 57mm, and has a coax 7.62mm gun with 2,000 rounds of ammunition. It’s been mounted on a couple BMP-3 prototypes, and demoed at some Russian trade shows.

I don’t like it and neither does Fishbreath. Congratulations, you’ve built an IFV-destroyer. It’s like an old tank destroyer, but the gun is too small to threaten a tank from the front. It can threaten an MBT from the side, but 30mm is generally enough to do that as well, especially since supplemental armor packages are focused on shaped-charge threats. The Russians are also usually very good about adding modern ATGMs to their IFVs.

On the BMP-3 in particular, this is both an annoying design challenge and a firepower lateral move. I’m not convinced that this is an appreciable firepower improvement over the 100mm low velocity gun and 30mm autocannon that’s already mounted. The 100mm gun can already fire missiles that will be problematic for IFVs but will have trouble killing tanks, and that’s a bigger HE option.

The AU-220M is also problematic from a vehicle engineering perspective. It has a large turret basket that eats internal volume, just like a manned turret. But it’s unmanned. You have to relocate the vehicle commander and gunner somewhere else in the crew compartment. As if it wasn’t cramped in there already.

So there you have it folks. We’re not a fan. And I haven’t seen it on any production vehicles either. I’m certainly not going to lose any sleep over it.

9 thoughts on “AU-220M, a New 57mm turret

  1. Steve

    Bigger news is probably that the Russians admitted that they can’t afford to mass-produce the T-14. Not the biggest of surprises, but interesting regardless.

    1. parvusimperator Post author

      I saw that too! I’m trying to come up with some good commentary on that one.

  2. Chris Bradshaw

    While I’m happy for all the worried Eastern Europeans with Russian minorities in their countries who won’t have to actually fight the thing (in numbers), the lack of a credible T-14 threat might set back Western tank development for a few years.

    A 57mm gun for an IFV sounds kind of meh to me as well. They might be able to make a good airburst shell for it for infantry support that is more lethal than 30mm, but able to be carried in large numbers unlike 100mm though. That capability plus Puma/CV-90 busting isn’t the worst idea. Did the Rooskies ever provide data on rate of fire?

    1. parvusimperator Post author

      Yeah. I would also complain about OUR lack of tank development, but there were no major plans to fast track anything before. Looks like we’re going to soldier on with Abrams and Leopard 2 derivatives. Also puts more stock in the idea that 120mm and 125mm are going to continue to be the tank gun calibers of choice.

      Rate of fire: most sources have it at 120 rds/min, though I’ve also seen 80 rds/min in a couple places.

    1. parvusimperator Post author

      Yep. It’s also not very ambitious, but that’s probably for the best. Better the tank upgrade sequence that you can get rather than the wonder tank that gets cancelled.

      I’m not convinced right now that existing/near future 120mm stuff isn’t sufficient to take on T-14. It’s certainly more than enough for the rest of the standard threat vehicles.

      And good comic.

  3. Chris Bradshaw

    You know, it is kind of funny that the Koreans built their K2 with planned upgrade potential for the Reinmetall 140mm, when their entire CONOPs is based around fighting off the Norks, who have slightly upgraded T-62s as their best tanks and T-55 variants as standard issue. What a ridiculous mismatch in offense and defense. Although, you could argue that they would be worried about facing down presumably capable Chinese Type 99A units in the long term.

  4. Checkmate
    57 mm Bofors vs this one 😛 . One thing you be forgetting: this is a NAVAL gun, so it can function as light artillery, with a range of 17 klicks. Being cartridged means it can’t do MRSI, but with a firing rate of roughly 3-4 rounds a second, it can saturate a target fast enough to kill infantry before they have the chance to go for cover.
    Using it in an AA role requires some kind of targeting system with either a short-range radar or an opto-electronic turret.

    1. parvusimperator Post author

      Do you have a better source? That doesn’t tell how many rounds it holds or protection level(s), which is kind of important.

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