KPV heavy machine gun

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The KPV-14.5 heavy machine gun (KPV is an initialism for Krupnokaliberniy Pulemyot Vladimirova (Large-caliber Machine gun Vladimirov), in Russian as Крупнокалиберный Пулемёт Владимирова, or КПВ) is a Soviet designed 14.5×114mm-caliber heavy machine gun, which first entered service as an infantry weapon (designated PKP) in 1949. In the 1960s, the infantry version was taken out of production because it was too large and heavy. It was later redesigned for anti-aircraft use, because it showed excellent results as an AA gun, with a range of 3,000 meters horizontally and 2,000 meters vertically against low flying planes.[4] It was used in the ZPU series of anti-aircraft guns. Its size and power also made it a useful light anti-armour weapon on the BTR series of vehicles and the BRDM-2 scout car.

KPV 14.5×114 mm machine gun
14,5-мм счетверенная зенитная пулеметная установка конструкции Лещинского ЗПУ-4 (4).jpg
Four KPV heavy machine guns used on the ZPU-4 anti-aircraft gun.
TypeHeavy machine gun
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1949–present
Used bySee Operators
WarsKorean War
Vietnam War
Western Sahara War[1]
Afghan-Soviet War[2]
Libyan-Chadian conflict
Gulf War
First Chechen War
Second Chechen War
Russo-Georgian War
Iraq War
Lebanese Civil War
First Libyan Civil War
Second Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War[3]
Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)
Production history
DesignerSemyon Vladimirov
ManufacturerV.A. Degtyarev Plant
Mass49 kg (108.03 lb)
Length1,980 mm (78.0 in)
Barrel length1,346 mm (53.0 in)

Cartridge14.5×114 mm
Caliber14.5 mm
ActionShort recoil operation
Rate of fire600 rpm
Muzzle velocity1,005 m/s (3,297 ft/s)
Effective firing range3000m
Maximum firing range4000m
Feed system40-round belt
Sightsiron or optical


The KPV was a heavy machine gun developed by S. V. Vladimirov. It was developed in 1944 and adopted in 1949. It combines the rate of fire of a heavy machine gun with the armor-piercing capabilities of antitank rifles and was designed to combat lightly armored targets, firepower and manpower of the enemy located behind light cover, as well as to be an anti-aircraft machine gun. The muzzle energy of the KPV reaches 31 kJ (for comparison, the 12.7 mm Browning M2HB machine gun has 17 kJ, the 20 mm ShVAK aircraft mounted gun has about 28 kJ). It is one of the most powerful machine guns ever used by the Soviet and later Russian armed forces. The development of the machine gun began in 1944. The 14.5×114mm M41 cartridge can be used with High Explosive Incendiary - Tracer (HEI-T) or Armour-Piercing Incendiary (API) bullets. The KPV is air-cooled and fitted with barrel with a hard chrome plated bore. It uses a short recoil operation system with gas assistance and a rotary bolt. It can be fed with the 40-round metallic belt from either the left or right side. The barrel can be removed by turning the prominent latch on the forward end of the receiver and pulling on the barrel's carrying handle.

Rear view of a captured KPV machine-gun crudely modified for use as an anti-aircraft weapon on display at the headquarters of the 2-135 General Support Aviation Battalion at Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado. It is missing its feed tray cover and entire upper receiver.



The version for use in armoured vehicles is called the KPVT (tankoviy, 'tank'). KPVT is used for armoured vehicle installations, boats, movable and stationary mounts and various antiaircraft mounts. It features a shorter receiver and a heavier barrel jacket. The KPVT also uses a 50-round belt instead of the original 40-round belt. KPVTs are the primary armament of the wheeled BTR-60PB/70/80 series armoured personnel carriers and BRDM-2 armoured reconnaissance vehicles. It is intended for fighting against light armoured targets, weapons systems and light shelters at the distances of up to 3000 m, as well as air targets at distances up to 2000 m.

The distance at which the bullet retains lethal force is 8 km.[5] The maximum flight range of the bullet is 9 km.

Naval armamentEdit

The naval version was called the marine tumbovaya (MTPU). It was mounted in the following turrets; 2M-5 was for torpedo boats, the 2M-6 for patrol boats, and the 2M-7 for trawlers. The 14.5mm marine pedestal machine gun mount (14.5mm MTPU) is intended for combat against armoured surface, coast and air targets. It is mounted on decks of boats and can defeat surface and coast targets with a range of 3,000 meters horizontally and 2,000 meters vertically against low flying planes.[6]


The ZPU is a towed anti-aircraft gun based on the KPV. It entered service with the Soviet Union in 1949 and is used by over 50 countries worldwide.

  • ZPU-1 single barrel,
  • ZPU-2 double-barreled and,
  • ZPU-4 quadruple-barreled.

Remote weapon stationsEdit

The Emirati remote weapon station IGG-RWS14 uses the KPV machine gun.[7]



Rounds are also produced by Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Poland, and Romania.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Francesco Palmas (2012). "Il contenzioso del sahara occidentale fra passato e presente" (PDF). Informazioni della Difesa (in Italian). No. 4. pp. 50–59.
  2. ^ a b c Campbell, David (30 November 2017). Soviet Paratrooper vs Mujahideen Fighter: Afghanistan 1979–89. Combat 29. Osprey Publishing. p. 26. ISBN 9781472817648.
  3. ^ a b "Syrie: l'EI inflige un revers aux FDS dans l'est, mais reste acculé". France Soir (in French). 25 October 2018.
  4. ^ "KPVT large-calibre tank machine-gun". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  5. ^ "КПВ — крупнокалиберный пулемёт Владимирова | Армейский вестник".
  6. ^ "MTPU 14.5mm marine pedestal machine gun mount". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  7. ^ "[DSEi 2017] Vehicle Mounted Remote Control Weapon Station Round up -". 6 October 2017.
  8. ^ Bhatia, Michael Vinai; Sedra, Mark (May 2008). Small Arms Survey (ed.). Afghanistan, Arms and Conflict: Armed Groups, Disarmament and Security in a Post-War Society. Routledge. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-415-45308-0.
  9. ^ Gander, Terry J. (22 November 2000). "National inventories, Albania". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2001-2002. p. 445.
  10. ^ Gander, Terry J. (22 November 2000). "National inventories, Benin". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2001-2002. p. 948.
  11. ^ a b c d e Gander, Terry J. (4 May 2001). "14.5 mm KPV heavy machine gun". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2002-2003. pp. 3732–3734.
  12. ^ Gander, Terry J. (22 November 2000). "National inventories, Cambodia". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2001-2002. p. 1134.
  13. ^ Gander, Terry J. (22 November 2000). "National inventories, Cameroon". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2001-2002. p. 1135.
  14. ^ Gander, Terry J. (22 November 2000). "National inventories, Congo". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2001-2002. p. 1441.
  15. ^ Gander, Terry J. (22 November 2000). "National inventories, Guinea-Bissau". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2001-2002. p. 2361.
  16. ^ "OFT develops Gen-X weapons". 19 March 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  17. ^ de Tessières, Savannah (April 2012). Enquête nationale sur les armes légères et de petit calibre en Côte d'Ivoire: les défis du contrôle des armes et de la lutte contre la violence armée avant la crise post-électorale (PDF) (Report). Special Report No. 14 (in French). UNDP, Commission Nationale de Lutte contre la Prolifération et la Circulation Illicite des Armes Légères et de Petit Calibre and Small Arms Survey. p. 97. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 November 2012.
  18. ^ Gander, Terry J. (22 November 2000). "National inventories, Malawi". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2001-2002. p. 3094.
  19. ^ "KPV".
  20. ^ Gander, Terry J. (4 May 2001). "ROMARM machine guns". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2002-2003. p. 3407.
  21. ^ Gander, Terry J. (22 November 2000). "National inventories, São Tomé and Príncipe". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2001-2002. p. 3849.
  22. ^ "World Infantry Weapons: Sierra Leone". 2013. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016.[self-published source]
  23. ^ Engelbrecht, Leon (17 December 2009). "Fact file: Special Forces main equipment".
  24. ^ Gander, Terry J. (22 November 2000). "National inventories, Togo". Jane's Infantry Weapons 2001-2002. p. 4569.
  25. ^ "Google Sites".

External linksEdit

External video
  KPV in Libya