Testing firing of the Russian 9-A1-4071K 30 mm cannon

There’s a new video showing tests of Russia’s new 30 mm cannon. We might not remember it by its real name, as it’s a bit awkward: “9-A1-4071K”.  I’m sure it will get some evil nick-name in the future, especially from those on the wrong side of the barrel.

The 9-A1-4071K cannon is a redesign of the GSh-30-1 30 mm automatic cannon, which was developed by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau.  KBP describes itself as one of the leading design companies in the Russian defense industry. They have developed over 140 models of weapons and military equipment, which were put into series production and introduced in service with the Russian Army. For instance, they make the PP-2000 9mm Sub-machine gun which might be better know to TFB readers?

For those interested in digging deeper into the company, KBP’s homepage can be found here.

The test firing seem to take place in a scrap yard and the cannon shoots some serious flames which I estimate are over 200 centimeters long. Not a dream to be a pilot when that happens, so for their sake I hope they can work on that.

I guess temporary blindness and permanent deafness is part of the game as a pilot?


Below: The 30 mm 9-A1-4071K cannon mounted on a surrogate Suchoj T-50 aircraft. Earlier tests have been conducted on Sukhoi SU-27SM jet fighter.


Below: filling up the ammo box with 30 x 165 mm, and there is a choice of blast-fragmentation, incendiary and armor-piercing tracer rounds effective up to 1 800 meters.


Effective scrap-yard, low-tech from Russia. The 30 mm cannon is said to get the latest targeting systems available on the future T-50 PAK FA fighter plane to ensure good hits.


The cannon looks heavy, but the weight is “just” 50 kilograms making it one of lightest 30 mm cannons made.


The cannon has an autonomous water cooling system, apparently there is water inside the barrel jacket which evaporates as it heats up.


The rate of fire is up to 1 800 rounds per minute. In Russia cannon owns you!


I’m sorry for the choice of music, but enjoy the video.

Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too.


  • Anonymoose

    Can’t wait until Century starts importing the parts kits!

    • BattleshipGrey

      I’m in as long as they’re at $1500 or under.

  • Minuteman

    Vivaldi still rocks!

    • QuadGMoto

      It’s not often you hear his music played in speed metal style.

      • Giolli Joker

        …or it’s never enough.
        I re-watched now with sound and it matches pretty well the climax of the preparation until the cannon roars.

    • Doom

      wow, I literally listen to the four seasons every night before bed, and if you hadn’t said that I never would have picked it up. lol! Though I really dont have much of an ear for music.

  • Giolli Joker

    “The cannon looks heavy, but the weight is “just” 50 kilograms making it one of lightest 30 mm cannons made.”

    I watched the video first and I was really impressed to see the two guys handling it with limited effort.

    • micmac80

      Superlight considering they pack near A-10 punch

  • LazyReader

    but will it fit on my truck rack

    • Sianmink

      Would be an interesting thing to have on a pivot mount in the bed of a technical.

      • Giolli Joker

        Point it backward and it works as boost.

    • iksnilol

      Yeah… but… will your suspension handle the recoil?

  • Tritro29

    For the love of God, just make a succint description of the system, instead of seminating virtual rolleyes about “lowtech Russia”. It’s embarrasing..

    • Iggy

      I’m pretty sure the two main questions to approach Russian military technology (at least for firearms) with are: ‘Will it do the job, when asked, with decent effectiveness for at least 20 years?’ and ‘Can a conscript fix it with a hammer?’
      Which is a pretty winning formula in my book.

      • Tritro29

        I typed and aswer, it doesn’t show, so i’ll tell you this way. The simplicity of most of our kit is also its greatest flaw. It runs for so long, than maintenance is something extraordinary, which in the long run is detrimental. You service it so few in order to run, that at some point you don’t and then it goes down and you have to rely on possibly the worst log train ever for a developed country. Comparatively most NATO kit I’ve seen maintained (granted it was German for most part) looks like a hot mess but it gets done, well and often so the machine doesn’t stop when you need it most.

        • Iggy

          That’s where the 20 years bit came from. The main example I remember hearing is that Russian jet engines will run very reliably with little maintenance, but will basically self destruct as soon after they exceed their recommended flight hours.

    • Giolli Joker

      The low-tech scrap yard style environment is pretty obvious and in stark contrast with the fact that they are testing a cannon for one of the most advanced aircraft ever.
      I find it quite funny, but it is functional and the cannon seems a very interesting design and that is what matters at the end.

      • Tritro29

        That’s Knaapo’s adjacent proving ground…it’s not exactly a scrap yard. It looks like that because Russia doesn’t get to understand PR. Like in Nizhnii Tagil’s proving ground that looks like a dumping place, yet the think has also some eye-watering modern facilities. Newest Izhmash complex has brand new assembly line and facilities for 5000 people, the testing area that is in the old facility, looks like Leningrad anno 1942.

        • randomswede

          The explanation I’ve heard is: “We aren’t going to war in a cleanroom, so why would we test in a cleanroom?”.

          “Russia doesn’t get PR” I always assumed it was just a matter of “eyes”, as in that we look for different things when judging quality.

      • Uniform223

        From my understanding this is a more updated version of the GSh-301. Unlike the American M61A1 or European revolver cannons, the GSh-301 uses a short recoil mechanism which gives its high rate of fire.

        • micmac80

          Its made to be light fast and hard hitting ,but i suspect barrels are consumable material ,

          • iksnilol

            Aren’t barrels in general a consumable item?

            Especially for machine cannons.

      • Darkness 99

        Well, if you test heavy weapons at one and the same place for a few decades, it will eventually get a bit worn down look)

        • Giolli Joker

          Good point. 🙂

    • micmac80

      In terms of aircaft cannon theirs are world beaters low tech or not, Guns in F22 and F35 weigh 2-3 times as much and fire much smaller rounds. This cannon and round is packing only about 15% less than A-10 Gau-8

      • Tritro29

        Not the same thing, not the same effect, not the same design. Also barrel wear on the Gsh’s was abysmally bad from fighter pilots until recently. I don’t know much about the US side, but on ours it’s pretty much do with what you have until it falls to pieces. And the put it back together and pretend it’s all OK. Off course the damn things just don’t want to die, doesn’t mean it’s optimal.

        • VietVet67

          We are pretty much at the same place with military equipment after Obama has stripped the military operations budget bare and if you can believe the news broadcasts nowdays. We have totally different concepts tactically between us. They are working to develop a cannon for a fighter jet, while the US develops radars and air to air missiles with the range to fix a target way beyond visual and other nation’s radar, as well as systems capable of targeting a dozen aircraft at the same time and automatically firing on those targets at extreme range. They simply aim, fire and go to the rest of the mission before the opposition knows they are shot down. This capability was developed on the F16 – but only a few targets could be handled at a time on that system. Don’t get me wrong, I am only saying that the air combat of today and the future will not be within gun range, which makes this an air to ground attack weapon at best.

          • Tritro29

            We develop the same kind of assets for our fighters, dare I say we went IRST when you still had Radar enslaved missiles as your first close combat asset. This cannon test was meant to deploy a even lower recoiling gun, because of titanium structure of the new plane. It’s not some kind of priority, just part of the spec sheet. You should check in open source on the multi-mode radars, the first to field it were the French, then Israel adopted it, before the US thought is was cool to have multi-target, multi-mode. We got hold of our first BVR missile pretty much in the same time as anyone else which is late 50’s early 60’s. This gun, is meant as a way to allow a lighter and tighter structure, not some kind of end all fighting device.

      • Uniform223

        a 2 second burst of 20mm API or HEI from an M61 is more than enough to bring down or seriously damage any fighter aircraft.

        • micmac80

          larger guns add range and a single hit become deadly , plus in ground support it will pinch trough anything but MBTs frontal armor.

          • Blake

            You are aware that a traditional aircraft dogfight will probably never happen again between modern air forces right?

        • iksnilol

          Not disputing that, but if something has more effect for the same or less weight it is superior.

          Same reason why 5.56 is better than 9×19. Does more for the same weight.

      • VietVet67

        It doesn’t matter if they have the best gun on the planet – the F22 and F35 radar systems and missiles will blow them out of the sky well before the Mig or Sukhoi pilot can detect them. Closing at mach, the Russian pilot will see the F22/F35 blow past them and then they will eat a missile, rendering this cannon a moot point for anything but ground attack.

        • Tritro29

          … And no F117 was detected ever…nor was it shot by missile that was a Vietnam war relic. Don’t worry man, you bring your spear, we’ll bring our shield.

    • 11b

      Not to mention the weird non-sequitur about the fireball. “I hope they can work on that”. Really? Are you an engineer working on military systems? Pretty sure they have it worked out.

      • Phillip Cooper

        I’m thinking a 400-knot headwind might tend to abate some of it.

  • Major Tom

    So the Russians are installing flamethrowers on fighter jets? We need this capability NOW!

  • Sianmink

    “The rate of fire is up to 1 800 rounds per minute”
    With only 120 or 150 rounds on board. I believe the fire control system is set up to fire short bursts in concert with the radar system to ensure hits. It only takes 2 or 3 hits with a 30×165 HE-I round to ruin a modern unarmored aircraft’s day.

    • Tritro29

      Half a second bursts, 15 rounds to be precise, squeeze twice for override or fiddle with the controls. It’s a 5 second full auto for the whole canister/Magazine. Su 34 has 180 (in Syria they’ve been flying with 200, gopnik style).

      • iksnilol

        Gopnik style?

        Please explain, comrade.

        • Tritro29

          It’s the closest thing to hillbilly or redneck in Russia with Rodina Twist, in present case means that you overload capacity, because “it will fit”, despite what techinical specs you need to respect. Like 50 rounds on T-72…with more than half lying around ready to ruin every one’s day inside tank. Reason why 50 rounds? Because it’s easier than having your logistic guys coming around and reloading. Safety and Russian tankers (military) have always been two parallel realities.

          • iksnilol

            I know what a Gopnik is but never heard about gopnik style 😛 , I just wondered how they got 20 more rounds into those planes. They basically just crammed them in?

          • Tritro29

            There’s always little space.

          • Giolli Joker

            They scrapped the transponder. 😛

  • DIR911911 .

    I doubt many pilots are looking down and to the right when engaging a target , so i doubt the flash will be a problem

  • micmac80

    Its probably down to powder chemistry in US Gatlings most just smoke no flame at all . All Russian GSH-30 1-2-6 , etc flame like hell no matter the barrel lenght

  • ReadyorNot

    Gonna need a big trash can for this one

  • guest

    “The test firing seem to take place in a scrap yard and the cannon
    shoots some serious flames which I estimate are over 200 centimeters
    long. Not a dream to be a pilot when that happens, so for their sake I
    hope they can work on that.

    I guess temporary blindness and permanent deafness is part of the game as a pilot?”

    And I guess pulling s*** like that out of your rear end IS part of the game.

    On a brighter and more constructive note – the cannon weighs less than the M2 machine gun with tripod, while firing ammo at roughly 3 times the rate and each shot having almost 10x the muzzle energy… and it is even lighter than the old german MK 108 which was pretty light even by today’s standards.

  • Ron

    What is the steel to HE ratio of the rounds? For anti-aircraft work it is not all that important but for anti-personnel work it is an important consideration.

  • Rooftop Voter

    Damn. I was saving money for a ZU-23-2. Now I have to re-think my plans. “Honey, what do you think your car is worth?”

  • glenn cheney

    Russians are gearing up for some serious ground opps., this baby is for herdin’ and flattening anything and everything in it’s sights. I can think of several applications. If they are rolling this heart warmer out to the public one may assume if is currently receiving rave reviews from operators using it in Syria.
    NATO will be wanting to borrow a few for expected needs soon in the EU. 2017 promises to be a prolific year for new arms testing and integration.

  • lapkonium

    605 combat losses of Phantom jets vs a US claim of 86 Mig-21s shot down? So much for the distribution of Mig parts… I’ve come up with a better statement: S-75 Dvina, the world’s largest distributor of F-4 AND U2 parts!

  • lapkonium
  • Tritro29

    It is easy to claim, things that may never happened (so were those Su24’s Russian or Syrian? Should be able to tell from fadio chatter). Furthermore this wasn’t a shooting allley, we have DC procedures with the US. So you can be there all you like, we are not going to shoot noone down that isn’t a Turkish plane. Also we didn’t shoot that F117. A poor country under embargo did.

  • Typical Russian muzzleflash-fest: a beautiful thing to behold.