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antiaircraft gun[′an·tē′er‚kraft ‚gən]
an artillery gun designed to destroy air targets. Antiaircraft guns appeared before World War I in Germany, France, and Italy and were scarce in number.
In Russia the 3-inch (76-mm) 1914 model antiaircraft gun was adopted. In the USSR on the eve of the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), the following were available: 76-mm 1915–28, 1931, and 1938 models of antiaircraft guns, 37-mm and 85-mm 1939 model antiaircraft guns, and 25-mm 1940 model automatic antiaircraft guns. After World War II the 57-mm, 100-mm, and 130-mm antiaircraft guns provided with antiaircraft directors and gunlaying radar were adopted; these constituted antiaircraft artillery complexes. With the appearance of antiaircraft missile complexes in the 1950’s, medium-caliber (60–100 mm) and large-caliber (100 mm and more) antiaircraft guns have gradually been discarded; the small-caliber (20–60 mm) two to four barrel self-propelled automatic antiaircraft guns remain. They have an elevation range up to 90°, an all-around traverse of 360°, muzzle velocity of 800–1,000 m/sec, and a rate of fire of more than 500 rounds a minute. Antiaircraft guns are equipped with computers, automatic sights, and radar sets.
IU. V. CHUEV and K. A. NIKOLAEV