The M53/59 Praga is a Czechoslovak self-propelled anti-aircraft gun developed in the late 1950s. It consists of a heavily modified Praga Praga V3S six-wheel drive truck chassis, armed with a twin 30 mm AA autocannon mounted on the rear for which the vehicle typically carries 900 rounds of ammunition, each gun being gravity fed from distinctive 50 round magazines. The vehicle has an armoured cabin.

M53/59 Praga
M53 Praga.jpg
M53/59 Praga, self-propelled anti-aircraft gun of Serbian Army
TypeSelf-propelled anti-aircraft gun
Place of originCzechoslovakia
Production history
No. builtMore than 330[1]
Mass10.3 tonnes
Length6.92 m (22 ft 8 in)
Barrel length2.4 m (94 in)
Width2.35 m (7 ft 9 in)
Height2.95 m (9 ft 8 in)
Crew4 (driver, commander and two gun operators)

ShellFixed QF 30x210mmCz
Caliber30 mm (1.2 in)
Elevation-10° - +85°
Rate of fire500 rpm per barrel cyclic
100 rpm per barrel practical
Muzzle velocity1,000 m/s (3,300 ft/s)
Effective firing range3 km (2 mi) effective range[2]

30 mm twin AA autocannon (900 rounds)
EngineTatra T 912-2 6-cylinder inline air-cooled diesel
110 hp (82 kW) at 2,200 rpm
Power/weight10.7 hp/tonne (8 kW/tonne)
Suspensiontorsion bar
500 km (310 mi)
Speed60 km/h (37 mph)
Detail of 30 mm twin AA gun, vz.53/59

In Czechoslovakia it was known as Praga PLDvK vz. 53/59 - "Ještěrka" (PLDvK Model 53/59 - "Lizard").[3] PLDvK stands for Protiletadlový dvojkanón = Anti-aircraft twin-gun.

The system is optically aimed and can only be used effectively during the day with good weather conditions. The gun can be dismounted and used independently of the vehicle.

While mostly obsolete in anti-aircraft role, it can be used effectively as a ground support weapon against unarmored or lightly armored targets, as was shown during the Yugoslav wars. It remains in service with armies of Egypt, Libya, Serbia, Slovakia etc.

When Czechoslovakia imported one Soviet-made ZSU-57-2 for testing it considered it to be comparable to M53/59 which was the reason Czechoslovakia refused the Soviet SPAAG.[4]


Former OperatorsEdit

  •   Czechoslovakia - Passed on to the successor states.
  •   Czech Republic - Last vehicle retired from service in 2003.[8]
  •   Croatia - Two were given to a local army museum, rest was phased out and scrapped.[9]
  •   Cuba - Retired
  •   Slovenia - Retired. Some donated to museums.[10]
  •   Yugoslavia - 220 ordered in 1965 from Czechoslovakia and delivered between 1965 and 1968.[1] By 1991 their quantity grew to 789.[11] Passed on to the successor states.[12]

See alsoEdit


  • "M53/59 at ELDON s.r.o". 2003. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.

External linksEdit