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The KOMZ Gun Camera S-13 was installed in Soviet and Soviet-Bloc fighters and helicopters to record a pilot's success with his machine gun and rocket fire.

Technical Data


Aircraft machine gun camera S-13-300-100-OS (фотокинопулемет / фотопулемет C-13-300-100-OC) [1]

The camera is powered by 27V DC. Both camera and magazine have a grey hammer metal finish. The camera has a rotary shutter that passes the film gate. The film pressure plate is a sheet of glass with a cross-hair ensuring that the resulting image shows the target accurately. The gun camera was mounted either in the body of the aircraft or in an external photography pod[2]. As the camera did not have to be removed to change the film, harmonisation of the alignment of the camera with the alignment of the aircraft's machine gun or cannon was required only during standard maintenance. In the case of installation in a Mi-24 'Hind' attack helicopter, the S-13 tracked the tractory of rockets carried in weapons pods underneath the port and starboard stub-wings (instead of gunfire).


35mm. The cassette holds 5.2 m of fast (~1000ASA) 35 mm aerial b&w film of type A1000.


The camera S-13 is a fixed focus design that could be fitted with a number of lenses depending on the aircraft it was installed in. On record are:

  • S-13 (C-13) 100mm f/6.3 with aperture stops 6.3, 9, 12.5 [3]
  • FS-2 (фс-2) 300mm f/4.5 with aperture stops 4.5, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 (firm, audible clicks)[4]

A GOMZ Gun Camera S-13
image by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)



  • KOMZ[5] Kazan, Republic Tatarstan, Russia [6]


The basic design of the camera remained more or less unchanged since the late 1940s. Starting with the Mikoyan-Gurevich MIG-15, the camera was installed as a gun fire recording camera in a wide range of Soviet and Warsaw Pact aircraft:

  • Mig-15 (1949–)[7]
  • Mig-15UTI – Training (1949–late 1970s)
  • Mig-17 (1951–) [8]
  • Yak-17 (1947– ) [9]
  • Yak-17 UTI (1947– ) [10]
  • -17 experimental (1949) [11]
  • Aero L-29R Delfin (1959–1974) [12]

and has since then seen modifications for use in other aircraft, including the

  • Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter[13]
  • Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopter [14]

In more recent aircraft units, the long-lensed S-13 could be fitted into a camera pod that could be mounted externally[15]

The camera was still in use in 2001 as it is listed as one of skills required of "Repairman Arms" for Belarus[16] According to the website of CDB Photon a subsidiary of KOMZ[17], the camera system is still in production as Фотоконтрольный С-13А (‘Fotokontrolny S-13A’).


Notes and References

  1. (‘fotokinopulemet’ / fotopulemet S-13-300-100-OS).—The illustrated example has Serial number 820509. The Magazine has the matching serial number N 820509-1. If the GOMZ standard serial numbering system also extended to the S-13/FS-2, then the lens was made in 1981 and the camera in 1982. The camera photographed here was kindly given to me by Siim Vahur (Tallinn, Estonia) who sourced it from a former Soviet airbase in Estonia.
  2. http://www.ussrphoto.com/wiki/default.asp?WikiCatID=17&ParentID=1&ContentID=228
  3. see Fedka and USSRPhoto
  4. example shown here (sn #811508); see also: USSRPhoto (serial nº 121247)
  5. Казанский оптико-механический завод, Kazanskii Optiko-Mekhanicheskii Zavod [Kazan Optical-Mechanical Factory]),
  6. USSR Photo (serial nº 121247)
  7. Mig-15 ; the 100mm unit installed right in the top of the nose, above the air intake; see the “>technical drawing of a Mig-15 (item #1).—See also this photo and this
  8. Mig-17 (1951–).—See also this photo, this and this
  9. Yak-17 (1947– )
  10. Yak-17 UTI (1947–
  11. Su-17 experimental (1949)
  12. Aero L-29R Delfin (1959–1974) (many are still operational)
  13. Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter
  14. Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopter
  15. USSRPhoto
  16. see § 138 of Постановление Министерства труда Республики Беларусь от 29.03.2001 N 37 "Об утверждении выпуска 66-го Единого тарифно-квалификационного справочника работ и профессий рабочих. (Decree of the Ministry of Labour of the Republic of Belarus of 29.03.2001 N 37 "On Approval of issue 66 of the Uniform tariff schedule of works and trades workers) WebReference
  17. КОМЗ, Kazan Optical-Mechanical Plant, Kazan, Republic Tatarstan, Russia