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T-60 SZU, Armored russian low rank SPAA


Would you like to see the SZU been added to the game  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like to see the SZU been added to the game

    • Yes
    • Yes as premium or event vehicles
    • No




I would like to suggest a fully armored, yet not overpowered, Russia SPAA. The SZU.





The SZU was a Self-propelled Anti-aircraft based on the T-60 light tank chassis. imrpoved development of the T-60-Z

The development started (indirectly) back in 1940 as the Russia was requiring a SPAA to provide the tanks regiment a anti-aircraft support. As the main AA weapons was towed, those semi-static Air-defense show a poor versatility due to the lack of mobility. A Soviet engineer was at the head of a primary project, his name was I.V. Savin. He was working not exactly on the T-60 But on a project of SPAA based on the T-50 light tank (who is superior but expensive). Only his work was delayed as the T-50 production was moved to Siberia in the city of Omsk. Due the the official cancellation of the production of the T-50 in January 1942, the SPAA variant of the T-50 was not abandoned but converted to the T-60 chassis. As the T-60 production was reestablished at the Factory plant No 37, in Sverdlovsk. The work was carry on quickly with two parallel project of SPAA. Both with the same modification on the turret. One based on the T-60 the other on the T-70.

A rather similar yet different project was also carried but not in parallel but in competition. This one on the T-70 chassis and named the T-90 SPAA.

As the T-90 was ready by September 1942, the T-60-Z was rushed to be send in the test ground the 5th December 1942. As the fate did favor the T-60, the vehicles arrived with a major Engine failure that was cased by the poor maintenance. As it happen, that was leaving a bad impression on the T-60-Z. As the T-60-Z was not in working order, the turret was tested on his sister development, the T-70-Z. The second problem came from the weapons itself. The twin 12.7mm Dhsk Machine-gun was badly lubricated. On the T-70-Z The right-one was not working at all, and the left one was working badly. The test was done on the 6th and 8th of July with only 65 rounds fired. As the test wasn't really successful, the report went with s recommendation for the T-90 been put into production. Something that didn't satisfy I.V. Savin as he pointed out the T-90 also suffer many gun failure and those failure came from the gun itself more than the T-60-Z and T-70-Z design. But some reserve was made about the capacity of the Savin Design to engage ground target. 

As for his advantage, Savin pointed out the complexity of the T-90 turret that required a complete new production and also a rather costly one. The T-60-Z, T-70-Z design was rather simple ad required no specialized tools. The T-60 and T-70 already build could be converted during maintenance giving them a important advantage for producing massive number of SPAA in no time right in the front line, as the turret was only a modified T-60 turret. The authority didn't had giving his decision and Savin was already testing a more polished design of the T-60 turret on his own initiative, on the 12th to 16 jully 1943, the SZU was tested proposing a new turret almost completely designed from scratch. the new tank was tested only a few days after the T-70-Z and the T-90 and show quit improved performance. the tank went into 200km mobility test but also a lot of firing test. the test was successful but show a few improvement was needed. the new turret was having a new foldable roof for improved protection who make the turret have lack of headroom and make the crew uncomfortable. the empty-rounds ejection was causing weapons jam and so the arraignment had to be review. the fire was pretty good however. the accuracy was good in both air and ground target as it was tested on both, using kite for air-target. the accuracy however sharply get reduced as the vehicles is on movement. the elevation, even improved was still judged insufficient and so despite the good result the SZU was not having much hope for production. Yet the surprise came out, the SZU and the T-90 was accepted for production as AA variant of both T-60 and T-70 tanks. yet no production came into effect for serial cause. the Dhsk production was delaying the SPAA production and was put on hold. on the same time, the American M17 was acquired by the lend-lease program who had more firepower and more reliable weapons. the ZSU-37 was also on development and there was a large amounts of truck using the 4M AA gun. slowly the Russian acquired the air-superiority and the German Stuka seem to disappearing. as the situation had change, the SZU never went into production and all SPAA designed using the 12.7mm went into a dead end.61k9ZPw.jpg




The T-60-z was a rather simple conversion of the T-60, the turret was modified, changing the 20mm gun for twin 12.7mm Dhsk gun with reduced magazine. Due to the space, the guns was using 30round magazine that was designed for this tank specifically. The turret was fully covered but foldable for better vision of the sky around. A K-8T sight was used for the AA use and a TMFP sight was used for ground target (infantry and unarmored vehicles). The total ammo load was rather low. With only of 480 rounds wich would give 16 magazines. Plans was made for drastically increase the ammo load to 1500 round (50magazines) but only in later model.The turret was having 35mm or armor all around and the hull was 15mm on the front and 25 on the side. The engine was as GAZ-202 providing 70hp. The tank was getting a top speed of 25 km/h with a total weight of 6420Kg.

The elevation was increased to -4.3°/+70° and the rotation speed increased to 10° by flywheels turn. The hull was untouched from the serial production but host a T-45 engine



There was a projected variant that was going to replace the production eventually was supposed to feature those improvents


1- increased elevation to 85°

2- new 5T sight for ground target (comfirmed)

3- reviewed gun arrangement to avoid jamming

4- increased ammo load to 1500 rounds (comfirmed)

5- reviewed roof for headroom (low priority)


But this variants was only projected for eventually replace the production and never build.




Specifications ([1])
Mass 6.42 tonnes
Length 4.10 m
Width 2.30 m
Height 1.75 m
Crew 2

Armor 35 mm
2x 12.7 mm DhsK machine-gun (480 rds.)
Engine GAZ-202 6-cylinder
70 hp (52 kW)
Power/weight 12 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion bar
Fuel capacity 320 l
300 km
Maximum speed

45 km/h on road

25 km/h off road



Souce (note the internet source ofthen missidentify it for the T-60-Z)

Red Machines 1: T-60 Small Tank & Varients by James Kinnear & Yuri Pasholok.







Special thanks to @ACR-N64@psn for sharing information to built this suggestion

Edited by CaID
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5 hours ago, eleks12 said:

+1 Seems like a decent Spaa at 1.7 or 2.0 :)

Its decent. Only there is a few weakness.


1. The ammo load of 16 magazine will quickly be depleted. 

2. The speed is rather slow off-road

3. The crew is a bit small


But also a few avantage.


1. Well armored for a SPAA (even decent as tank)

2. No exposed crew

3. Small size

4. Good turret rotation speed



Edited by CaID
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