37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K)

37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) (Russian: 37-мм автоматическая зенитная пушка образца 1939 года (61-К)) was a Soviet 37 mm caliber anti-aircraft gun developed during the late 1930s and used during World War II. The land based version was replaced in Soviet service by the ZSU-57-2 during the 1950s. Guns of this type were successfully used throughout the Eastern Front against dive bombers and other low- and medium-altitude targets. It also had some usefulness against lightly armored ground targets. Crews of the 37 mm AD guns shot down 14,657 Axis planes. The mean quantity of 37 mm ammunition to shoot down one enemy plane was 905 rounds.

Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1939
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) View

The Soviet Navy purchased a number of Bofors 25 mm Model 1933 guns in 1935, trials of the weapon were successful and it was decided to develop a 45 mm version of the weapon designated the 49-K. The development under the guidance of leading Soviet designers M. N. Loginov, I. A. Lyamin and L. V. Lyuliev was successful, but the army thought that the 45 mm calibre was a little too large for an automatic field weapon. In January 1938 the Artillery Factory Number 8 in Sverdlovsk was ordered to develop a 37 mm weapon based on the same design. The task was fulfilled by the chief designer of the Factory Mikhail Loginov and his assistant Lev Loktev. Firing trials of the new 61-K were conducted in October 1938.

Competitive firing trials were conducted in 1940 between the 61-K and the Bofors 40 mm/56. They found that there were no substantial differences between them.

Type Air defense gun
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
Used by Users
Wars Second World War, Vietnam War, Cambodian Civil War,Cambodian–Vietnamese War
Production history
Produced 1939–?
Number built 20,000 (USSR)
Weight 2,100 kg (4,600 lb)
Shell 37×250 mm. R
Caliber 37 mm (1.5 in)
Elevation -5° to 85°
Traverse 360°
Rate of fire 60 rpm
Muzzle velocity 880 m/s
Maximum firing range 8.5 km (5.3 mi)

End notes