The ZU-23 was an anti-aircraft turret used by the Soviet Union.
Development and usage
The ZU-23 was developed in 1957 in order to provide airborne units and motorized rifle divisions in the Red Army with their own self-propelled anti-air guns. As such, they required a six-man crew to operate generally, although actually using one only requires one person and come equipped with two 23mm air-cooled automatic cannons with a firing rate of 800 rounds per minute, and was capable of taking down both low-flying aircraft and lightly-armored land vehicles.
In 1964, the Tselinoyarsk region of the Soviet Union, in particular Krasnogorje, utilized these turrets to act as a means of circumventing a direct airborne strike against the primary base of the region, Groznyj Grad. At least one was also located near Groznyj Grad itself. Naked Snake used a couple to take down several of their prototype Hinds while traversing the mountainous region. He would later recall this when the Sandinista commander Amanda Valenciano Libre, during a briefing regarding infiltrating Fuerte la Ladera, suggested that he take over one of the fort's DShK turrets and use them against the Peace Sentinel forces stationed there, causing her confusion at the name.
Behind the scenes
The ZU-23 turret was first introduced in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The player could take out the gunner and then take over the DShK turret to use it against the enemy, in particular Hinds, if they so desired in certain cases. It could also be used to disable the Shagohod's treads at one point in the battle.
Although the ZU-23 never returned in any subsequent entry in the Metal Gear series, the aforementioned action against the Hinds via the ZU-23 was indirectly alluded to during a briefing file with Amanda in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and a similar weapon called the Zhizdra-45 appeared in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.