Artillery generally refers to large-caliber weaponry that are operated by a crew, as opposed to small arms or weaponry carried and fired by individual troops. Such heavy artillery rocket systems are extremely effective against large area targets, such as concentration of troops or armored vehicles, artillery and air defense batteries, airfields, command posts, ammunition depots, support facilities and other important military targets.
Artillery types can be categorized in several ways, for example by type or size of weapon or ordnance, by role or by organizational arrangements.
Artillery is usually ranked as light, medium, or heavy. According to one classification Light refers to projectiles up to 105mm for close support of ground troops, medium at 106 – 155mm for bombardment, and heavy, with projectiles over 155mm for attacking rear installations.
Artillery is also classified according to the method of ground transportation, either towed or self-propelled. Towed artillery is mounted on carriages and is designed to be towed behind other vehicles. Self-propelled artillery is mounted on tracked vehicles, and can move between firing positions under its’ own power. Towed artillery is generally lighter than self-propelled, but obviously requires a separate vehicle to tow it. Self-propelled artillery can be quicker to reposition to a new firing position.
Types of artillery include
Guns: Which fires at a high muzzle velocity through relatively long barrels and with a flat trajectory. Examples would be antiaircraft or antitank guns.
Mortars: Generally small tactical munitions fired from short tubes. Mortars are fired with a high trajectory and have a relatively short range.
Howitzers: Artillery weapons that have relatively short barrels, lower muzzle velocities, and more parabolic trajectories.
Multiple-launch rocket system: capable of engaging surface targets by delivering primarily indirect fire, with a calibre of 75 millimetres and above.
In this article we are considering only Howitzers and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.
Fundamentals of Artillery
There are some fundamental principles involved in operating artillery. The following are five basic requirements for achieving accurate artillery fire. The five basic requirements are:
Target Location and Size: Establishing the range from the artillery weapons to the target requires accurate and timely detection, identification, and location of ground targets. Determining the appropriate time and type of attack requires that the target size (radius or other dimensions), makeup (i.e., troops, vehicles, bunker, etc), and the direction and speed of movement be considered.
Firing Unit Location: Accurate aiming to the target requires accurately knowing artillery firing unit locations. There are different ways to determine the firing unit location, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) or site surveys. In addition to determining an accurate location for the firing unit, each howitzer in the firing unit must also be precisely positioned to make sure each projectile goes exactly where it was intended. One term that is prevalent in almost all weapon firing discussions is a mill radian – usually referred to as a “mil.” A mil is a measure of angle. Using a circle of 360 degrees does not provide enough precision, therefore artillery computations assume a complete circle is broken into 6400 mils. Pointing a howitzer requires two angle commands (given in mils): azimuth (horizontal direction measured from north) and elevation (vertical angle measured from level). In a practical sense, one mil of elevation or azimuth works out to be a change of one meter at a range of 1000 meters.
Weapon and Ammunition Information: The actual performance of the weapon is measured by the weapon muzzle velocity (velocity with which the projectile leaves the muzzle of the tube) for a projectile-propellant combination. The firing battery can measure the achieved muzzle velocity of a weapon and correct it for nonstandard projectile weight and propellant temperature. A howitzer can fire different types of projectiles, depending upon the target, and each projectile can be fired with different propellant loads. The combinations can put different stresses on the artillery piece, which must be factored into the design, operation, and maintenance of the artillery system.
Meteorological Information: The effects of weather on the projectile in flight must be considered, and firing data must compensate for those effects.
Computational Procedures: The computation of firing data must be accurate. Manual and automated techniques are designed to achieve accurate and timely delivery of fire.
If these five requirements are met, the firing battery will be able to deliver accurate and timely fires in support of the ground troops. If the five requirements for accurate predicted fire cannot be met, changes can be made to compensate for nonstandard conditions.
China is a world leader in Artillery systems. Chinese artillery systems are world class and outperform all other systems in terms of range. China is one of the largest exporters of self-propelled artillery. We will give details about the Chinese artillery regiments and units near Indian border at the conclusion part.
The NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) 122 mm howitzer Type 54-1 is the Chinese version of the Russian 122 mm howitzer M1938 (M-30). It is virtually identical to the original apart from some small manufacturing expedients. its improved design Type 54-1 finalized in 1966. The 122 mm Type 54-1 howitzer is fitted with a Type 58 panoramic sight weighing 1.3 kg (with a magnification of ×3.7 and a 10° field of view) and a collimator sight Type 58 (with a 10° 40' field of view).
The Type 54-1 uses a variable nine-charge propellant system and can fire at least four types of projectile: HE, smoke, illuminating and incendiary. No details are available regarding the incendiary projectile and it is thought to be little used.
A leaflet shell containing 1.1 kg of leaflets is also used. A 122 mm cargo round with six layers of HEAT bomblets has been developed to the prototype stage. These HEAT bomblets are dispensed over the target area and are highly effective against the upper surfaces of tanks and other armoured vehicles, as well as soft skinned vehicles and troops in the open.
The upper part, mount and 122 mm weapon are also used in the NORINCO 122 mm Type 70 and Type 70-1 self-propelled artillery system that are based on a full-tracked chassis. These are only used by the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Production was completed many years ago and they were never exported.
Max range : 12Km
Rate of Fire : 5-6 Rpm
In Service : 700- PL-54-1 & 800-PL-54-D1 in reserve
PL-54-1 & PL-54-D1: improved variants of the PL-54.
PL-66( Model 1955, D-20, Type-66)
The PL-66 is a 152 mm field howitzer. It is a license-produced version of the Soviet D-20 howitzer that was developed during the early 1950s. It is unknown if this howitzer is still in production. Though this artillery system is still widely used in China and was exported to some countries.
The PL-66 has 152 mm /L26 ordnance. This artillery system is capable of direct and indirect firing. It is compatible with all types of ammunition, developed for the Soviet D-20, including fragmentation, High-Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), High Explosive (HE), concrete-busting, and illumination rounds. China also developed a number of indigenous projectiles for this howitzer, including rocket-assisted projectiles. The Soviet D-20 was even capable of launching nuclear rounds, however it is unknown if China uses any.
Maximum range of fire is 17.4 km with a standard HE-FRAG projectile and 22 km with indigenous rocket-assisted projectile. Range is further increased on the Type 66-1. The HE round penetrates 250 mm steel plate at a range of 3 km. The PL-66 is also capable of launching 152 mm laser-guided projectiles, based on Russian Krasnopol laser-guided projectile technology. China obtained this technology and production license from Russia in the late 1990s. This laser guided projectile has a range of 20-25 km and can engage armored targets, buildings, bunkers, field fortifications, warships, and other targets. These shells can track targets after they are fired, making them as accurate as missiles. Electromagnetic jamming shells and flare shells are also included in its arsenal. PL-66 can also fire artillery reconnaissance artillery which gives a unique advantage, which is much cheaper than drone, and it does not need to wait for the drone to reconnaissance. It can realize reconnaissance by relying on the artillery itself, so that it can preempt the enemy and quickly destroy the enemy position.
This artillery system is operated by a crew of 10 soldiers. In case of emergency it can be operated by a crew of 6, though with significantly reduced firing rate. Maximum rate of fire is 5-6 rounds per minute. It takes around 3 minutes to emplace this artillery piece from traveling order. It takes around 2-3 minutes to leave the firing position.
PL 66 has a two-cylinder recoil mechanism above the tube, and the gun tube is prominently stepped, with a semi-automatic, vertically-sliding, wedge breech block. The circular firing jack and caster wheels make it possible to rotate the whole gun swiftly through up to 360 degrees. It also has direct fire sights for both day and night and is capable of engaging armored targets with direct fire. The crew is protected by a steel shield. It can be towed by truck or tractor.
PLA has developed new tactics and equipment to let this old weapon shine even after 50 years of practical deployment. Fully manually operated, the 152 millimeter PL 66 howitzer is inexpensive compared to the modern Chinese 155 millimeter self-propelled howitzers, which has a similar caliber but is highly automated. PL-66 is fully manual; it is slower than the automatic ones, but it gives resistant to electromagnetic jamming. An advanced self-propelled howitzer often uses electronic systems to calculate trajectories, and the weapon cannot do much if these devices become jammed, the old howitzer's manual system is more reliable in these circumstances. The PLA plans to further revamp this old weaponry to make it more lethal in modern warfare.
The PL-66 was succeeded by a PLL-01 155 mm/L52 towed howitzer.
Maximum rate of fire : 5-6 rounds/Min
Maximum Range : 17 – 25Km
In Service : ~ 500
Type 66: Licensed version of the Soviet D-20
Type 66-1: Improved version of the PL-66.
Type 83: SPH with a modified ordnance of the PL-66 with an added semi-automatic loader and fume extractor. First introduced in the mid-1980s.
APU-66-152 : Latest version of the PL-66, fitted with auxiliary power unit. This allows self-deploying over short distances. Also auxiliary power unit aids in emplacement and displacement. This artillery system was first publicly revealed in 2018.
A truck-mounted version of the PL-66. It uses the same light armored chassis with 6x6 configuration as the SH-2 and SH-5 artillery systems. This truck-mounted howitzer was first publicly revealed in 2018, alongside the APU-66-152.
The Type 59 is a Chinese copy of the Soviet M-46 130mm towed field gun with some minor modifications. The improved variant Type 59-I with a lighter combat weight has been in service with the PLA ground forces as a standard long-range indirect artillery weapon since 1970.
The gun received its design certificate in 1959 and was produced in limited numbers for the PLA in the 1960s. In 1970, the manufacturer introduced an improved variant known as Type 59-I. This version features a modified two-wheel carriage originally developed for the Type 60 122mm towed gun. The Type 59-I entered service with the PLA in the early 1970s.
A significant number of the Type 59-I is still in service with the PLA. The PLA is considering replacing the Type 59-I and a number of other artillery weapons (Type 60 122mm towed gun, Type 66 152mm towed gun-howitzer, and Type 83 152mm towed gun) with the more capable PLL01 155mm/45-calibre towed gun-howitzer to simplify the logistic supply.
A self-propelled version based on a full track chassis was developed but never entered batch production.
The Type 59 and Type 59-I fire high-explosive projectile capable of penetrating 250mm of armour set at 0 degree at a range of 1.5Km. The gun fires HE rounds at a rate of 7~8 rounds/min (8~10 rounds/min for Type 59-I), with a maximum range of 27km. The gun can also fire illuminating rounds with a maximum range of 25km.
NORINCO developed a range of new types of 130mm rounds for the Type 59-I in the 1980s/90s, including:
Range : 25-37
Rate of fire : 9 rounds/min
In Service : ~234(PL-59-1)
PL-59-1: An improved version. Currently these systems are replacing with PCL-181
PLZ-83 (Type 83)
The Type 83 self-propelled gun-howitzer was developed by NORINCO. The Type 83 is a modified copy of the Soviet 2S3 Akatsiya SPH. The first prototype was completed in 1980. Production of the Type 83 began in 1983 and ceased in 1990.The Type 83 is armed with a modified PL-66 152 mm towed gun-howitzer. The Type 83 was additionally fitted with a semi-automatic loader and fume extractor. This artillery system fires all types of ammunition developed for the PL-66 gun-howitzer, however it usually carries only HE-FRAG and smoke rounds. Maximum range of fire is 17.2 km with a standard HE-FRAG projectile and 22 km with indigenous rocket-assisted projectile. A total of 30 rounds are carried. Maximum rate of fire is 4 rounds per minute. Ammunition is loaded through rear or side hatches.
The Type 83 is assumed to be capable of firing 152 mm laser-guided projectiles. China obtained this technology and production license from Russia in the late 1990s. This laser-guided projectile has a range of up to 20 km. Eventually China developed its own laser-guided projectiles.
PLZ-83 replaced in service the ageing Type 70 130 mm artillery rocket systems. Type 83 replaced with more capable PLZ-05. PLZ-83 decommissioned and few units are in reserve.
Range : 16Km
Rate of Fire : 8Rpm
In Service : Decommissioned, PLZ-83A-200
Type-89: it is a multiple launch rocket system. It is based on the same tracked armored chassis. This artillery rocket system was revealed in 1999. It is speculated that this system entered service in the late 1990s and was not offered for export.
PLZ-83A: an upgraded version with improved communications system and updated fire control system.
Armored engineering vehicle & Armored earthmover.
The Type 89 / PLZ-89 is a 122 mm self-propelled howitzer. PLZ-89 was first presented to the public during the 1999 statehood military parade. Type 89 self-propelled howitzers, was developed in the late 1980s. It was a Chinese attempt to develop an autochthonous SPH with similar capabilities as the Soviet 2S1 Gvosdika to replace the Type 85 and Type 70 122 mm SPH . Type 89 is currently in use by the Chinese Army and Marines .
Type 89 SPH is armed with a 122 mm / L32 howitzer. It is a variant of the towed type 86 (W-86), which in turn is a copy of the Soviet towed howitzer D-30. The pistol for PLZ-89 is mounted on a crawler chassis developed from a Type 77 amphibious armored personnel carrier. The PLZ-89 carries 40 bullets inside the turret and can fire on all types of 122 mm Chinese and Russian bullets. The pistol is equipped with a semi-automatic cartridge with a maximum firing rate of 6 ~ 8 rounds / min, and the precision of the fire is achieved by a digital fire control system and a roof electro-optical sight for day and night operations. PLZ-89 combat weight is 20 tons, crew of 5 people. Crew members are protected by collective anti-NBC systems and automatic fire extinguishing . The howitzer can swim with the help of certain floating devices. Its water propulsion speed of 6 km/h. The vehicle is powered by a 12V150L12 diesel engine, which develops 450 hp.
In terms of handling, PLZ-89 equipped with a new hydraulic control unit, making driving more convenient, energy, steering machine can be freely shifted; hydraulic shift mechanism and synchronization allows shifting light and easy; pneumatic suspension makes driving more artillery smooth, track adjuster for quick and easy adjustment of shoe elastic.
Max Range : 21Km
Rate of Fire : 6-8 Rpm
In Service : ~500
SH-3: is an improved version of the Type 89, developed for export. It offers greater mobility, improved fire control system and delivers greater firepower than the Type 89.
PLZ-07: is a successor of the Type 89. It utilizes a similar 122 mm howitzer, but has a new tracked chassis. It has greater mobility, improved fire control system and delivers greater firepower than its predecessor.
PLZ-07B: Amphibious version of PLZ-07
PLL-01(W88, W890, Type-89, WA-021, WAC-21)
The PLL01 is a heavy gun-howitzer introduced in 1987. It was the first PLA artillery system to have adopted the Western-standard 155mm calibre instead of the Soviet/Russian standard 152mm calibre. The weapon was briefly displayed to the public during the 1999 military parade.
China obtained the Austrian 155 mm howitzer technology, alongside with technology of long-range ammunition. The PLL01 was based on the Austrian GHN-45, which itself was derived from the Canadian GC-45 howitzer designed by Dr Gerald Bull’s Space Research Corporation in the 1970s. The GC-45 combines a number of features to produce what is generally considered the best field artillery in the world. Its unique 155mm/45-calibre gun design has been adopted by a number of artillery systems around the world, including the famous South African G5 howitzer.
The PRC obtained the Austrian GHN-45 howitzer technology in the 1980s when it formed a temporary coalition with Western countries against the Soviet Union. The technology was used to develop the PRC’s own version of the 155 mm/45-calibre howitzers known as W88. The howitzer was promoted to the export market under the designation WA021/WAC-21, and later adopted by the PLA under the designation PLL01. The weapon was also sometimes referred to as the W89 or Type 89. The PLL01 design was also used on the PLZ45 self-propelled gun-howitzer system.
Only around 50-150 of these artillery systems were made. Eventually this howitzer evolved into a whole series of Chinese artillery systems.
PLL-01 uses Extended Range, Full Bore (EFRB) ammunition, which has a much longer range than typical howitzer ammunition, thanks to improved aerodynamics. The PLL-01 can also fire all standard NATO 155 mm ammunition. Though the maximum range with a standard M107 HE round is 24 km. Maximum range of fire with long-range ammunition is much greater. The EFRB ammunition has a range of 30 km. It is the same as rocket-assisted ammunition fired from a 155 mm/L39 weapon, except that the ERFB has no rocket booster. The EFRB-BB ammunition has a range of 39 km and again, this is not a rocket-assisted projectile. In 2004 NORINCO announced that it developed a 155 mm extended-range projectile with a maximum range of 50 km. This howitzer fires HE, HE-FRAG, illumination, smoke, white phosphorus, and cargo rounds. This artillery system is also capable of firing precision guided munitions. In the late 1990s China obtained a Russian Krasnopol laser-guided projectile technology and production license. Eventually China successfully developed its own laser-guided projectiles. These projectiles have a maximum range of 20-25 km.
The gun-howitzer is constructed using alloy steel. The muzzle velocity (using ERFB-BB projectile) is 903m/s. The PLL01 is able to deliver up to 4 rounds per minute under intense firing conditions and is able to provide a sustained rate of fire of 2 rounds per minute. The howitzer is capable of both direct (line of sight) and indirect (out of the line of sight) firing.
The PLL01 is fitted with a hydraulic power pack for operation of the load assist systems, for aiming and for opening/closing the carriage. When in travelling mode, the howitzer barrel is folded back 180 degree to reduce the total length of the howitzer.
Max Range : 50Km
Rate of Fire : 2-4 Rpm
In Service : ~36
AH-1: an improved version of the PLL-01. It has a more powerful auxiliary power unit, consisting of an air-cooled diesel engine, developing 110 hp. This howitzer has a maximum auto-propulsion speed of 20 km/h. reportedly; the AH-1 is in service with Ethiopia.
AH-2: 52-caliber version of the AH-1. It has a longer range of fire.
SH-1: Chinese truck-mounted howitzer consisting 6x6 truck with an armored cab, carrying the ordnance of the AH-2 howitzer. It is modeled after a French CAESAR. This artillery system was developed for export. The SH-1 is operated by Myanmar, Pakistan.
PLZ-05: a self-propelled howitzer, which utilized a modified version of the AH-2 towed howitzer, based on a traced armored chassis. It mounts a 155 mm/L52 howitzer and has an automatic ammunition loading system.
FGT-203: A 203 mm towed howitzer. It uses the same carriage as the PLL-01. This artillery system was developed in cooperation with Space Research International of Belgium and was a Chinese version of the FGH-203. Prototypes were completed in 1994. This artillery system had a range of up to 50 km. However this 203 mm howitzer never reached mass production.
In 2001, a truck-mounted variant of the 155mm gun-howitzer system was introduced. The design did not enter production; with only a technical demonstrate sample produced.
The PLZ-45 is a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer for the export market. It is based on Norinco's Type 89 (PLL-01) 155mm/45-calibre towed gun-howitzer. The PLZ45 was developed as a replacement for the aging Type 83 howitzer. Eventually the Chinese armed forces settled on the PLZ-05, which is a further development of the PLZ-45.
The PLZ-45 did not enter service with the PLA primarily because their existing artillery was all based on Soviet-standard 152 mm ammunition. However, two major batches of PLZ-45s were sold to the Kuwaiti and to Saudi Arabia.
China may have around 10 PLZ-45 in its inventory
PLZ-52: Fitted with 152 mm caliber barrel
PLL-05 (Type 05)
The PLL-05 120mm self-propelled mortar-howitzer system is one of the wheeled APC-mounted light artillery systems fielded by the PLA. The artillery system was initially introduced in mid-2001 for the export market, but failed to attract any buyer. A modified variant was later adopted by the PLA under the designation PLL-05, and entered service with the 127th Light Mechanized Infantry Division of the 54th Group Army in the Jinan Military Region in early 2008.
The artillery system features a 120mm gun, which combines the features of the mortar and the howitzer. The artillery fires projectiles at both short-range, high-arcing ballistic trajectories (maximum 80°) and longer-range, less steep ballistic trajectories for indirect fire.
The PLL05’s main armament is a 120mm gun,, which has an elevation range of -4°~+80°, and an azimuth range of 360° (in contrast to the +/-35° of the 2S23). The artillery system has a maximum range of 8.8km when firing the howitzer projectile, and 7.1km when firing the mortar projectile. The artillery could also fire the rocket-assisted mortar projectile, which has a maximum range of 12.8km. PLL05 is equipped with a semi-automatic loader, which gives a rate of fire of 6~8 rounds/minute (howitzer projectile), 10 rounds/minute (mortar projectile), and 4~6 rounds/minute (HE-AT projectile). The turret is fitted with a cylinder-shape electro-optical device, which may allow the use of smart ammunitions like the Russian KBP Gran laser-guided mortar round. The vehicle carries 36 rounds inside the turret and hull.
Fire accuracy is attained by a fire-control system, which allows three aiming methods: automatic, semi-automatic, and manual. Secondary weapon includes a Type 85 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the commander copula. There are two sets of smoke grenade launchers in group of three, with one fitted on each side of the turret. A crew of four (commander, driver, gunner, and loader) are protected inside the hull with collective NBC protection system.
The PLL05 uses a 6X6 wheeled chassis derived from the ZSL92/WZ551 armoured personnel carrier (APC). The combat weight is 16.5 tonnes, enabling the vehicle to be airlifted by a Y-8-sized transport aircraft. The vehicle is powered by a BF8L413F 4-stroke, 8-cylinder, turbo-charged, air-cooled diesel engine, which produces a standard power of 235kW (320hp) at 2,500rpm. The vehicle is capable of a maximum speed of 85km/h on paved road and 8km/h when afloat. Two propellers are fitted at the rear of the vehicle for swimming.
Max range : 13Km
Rate of Fire : 6-8 Rpm
In Service : ~450
PLZ-05 (Type 05)
China PLZ-05 self-propelled howitzer is a long-tube tracked self-propelled gun with a diameter of 155mm. It is one of the main artillery equipment developed by China. Two versions of the same 155 mm howitzer were initially developed, the PLZ-05 with a 54 caliber and the PLZ04 with a more standard 52 caliber. PLZ 04, has a slightly (4 percent) longer barrel than the PLZ 05.
The PLZ-05 was adopted by Chinese army in 2008 to replace the older Type 83 152 mm self-propelled howitzer. The gun was developed in the 1990s and developed from the PLZ-45 self-propelled howitzer. PLZ-05 is a modern artillery system with which China has reached the world's advanced level.
The PLZ-05 carries 30 rounds of 155mm ammo, with 24 ready to be used by the autoloader. Max rate of fire (for a few minutes) is ten rounds a minute. Max range of the howitzer is 50 kilometers (with rocket assisted shells). Normal shells are got about 39 kilometers and laser guided shells for 20 kilometers. All three of these systems use a lot of technology from the Russians. The maximum range was 53 km. Recently PLZ-05 is upgraded to fire guided rounds to a maximum range of 100KM
PLZ-05 self-propelled howitzer weighs 35 tons, from 5 person operation; the turret houses a fully automated loading system which is derived from the Russian 2S19 Msta. The crew of five consists of a commander, driver, gunner and two loaders. The 155mm barrel is good for about 2,500 rounds.
PLZ-05 howitzer has some armor protection. The advanced crawler chassis can be used without preparation directly into the battle, and after the completion of the shooting, quickly evacuate the launch position to avoid the enemy's anti-artillery counter-battery fire.
PLZ-05 has a high fire response speed and advanced fire control command and operation automation level. It is the new type of informationized artillery with the largest caliber and the longest range in China. It has advanced fire control system, and is equipped with first-speed radar and a satellite positioning system, which can achieve single-shot operations and multiple shots at the same time. The performance indices of the PLZ05 155mm self-propelled howitzer have reached the international first-class level.
The type of artillery chassis used in Type 05 has been comprehensively improved. PLZ-05 adopts the advanced 540KW class ZZ8V-150HB series water-cooled diesel engine and CH700 series crawler-type integrated transmission. There are four smoke bomb launchers on each side of the front of the turret, and a direct sight of the gunner is mounted on the left side of the turret. In an emergency, the gun can be operated for direct aiming. The top of the turret is equipped with a digital artillery perimeter sight and a long-sighted night vision mirror. The addition of the captain's mirror is also a highlight of the 05-type artillery, effectively improving the command and observation ability of the artillery captain and the control of the battlefield environment.
Each of PLZ-05 howitzer battalion consists of three batteries; each battery is equipped with six howitzers each. In addition, each unit also has a maintenance and equipment - technical support company, and to improve the accuracy of conventional munitions for shooting fire control radar system.
PLZ-05 is compatible with all standard 155 mm rounds, including: ERFB/HE, ERFB-BB/HE, ERFB-BB/Cargo, ERFB/Smoke, ERFB/ILL, and ERFB/WP.
Max Range: 100Km with (WS-35 Rocket)
Max Rate of fire: 10 Rpm
In service: ~320
PLZ-05A (PLZ-52): An export variant similar in appearance to the PLZ-45, but based on a slightly different hull. Having a gross vehicle weight of 43 tonnes, the PLZ-52 features a new power pack, which consists of a diesel engine developing 1,000 hp at 2,300 rpm coupled to a fully automatic transmission.
PLZ-04: Self-propelled howitzer with a 54 caliber barrel and apparently offered for export.
PLZ-52 is a new Chinese self-propelled howitzer. It is similar in appearance to the PLZ-45, however it packs a heavier punch. It was first unveiled in 2014. Currently it is among the most capable artillery systems in the world. However the PLZ-52 is aimed mainly at export customers, rather than Chinese army. The new PLZ-52 has a modified hull and turret. This artillery system is fitted with a 155 mm/L52 howitzer and uses a modular charge system. This howitzer is capable of firing a full range of Chinese 155 mm munitions. Range of a standard High-Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) projectile is around 30 km and around 40 km of extended-range projectile. Maximum range of fire is 53 km with rocket-assisted projectile. It has been reported that China developed a GPS-guided 155 mm projectile. It was claimed that this projectile has a whooping maximum range of 100 km and accuracy of 40 m.
The projectiles include killing explosives, flares, smoke bombs, submunitions, yellow phosphorus bombs, GS-1 end-sensitive bombs, GP-1, GP-6 laser-guided bombs. Among them, the GS-1 terminal sensitive bomb is equipped with 2-3 end-sensitive bombs, and the terminal-sensitive bomb is equipped with a search sensor, which can automatically search for attacking armor targets, and is a weapon for long-distance anti-armor. The GP-6 Laser Terminal Guided Projectile is the newest laser semi-active terminal guided projectile in China. It can attack fixed targets and moving targets with a speed of no more than 36 km/h, with a first hit probability of 90%.
This artillery system has an automatic ammunition and charge loading system. Maximum rate of fire is around 8 to 10 rounds per minute. The PLZ-52 is capable of Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) firing. It can launch up to 4 rounds that would hit the same target simultaneously. Secondary armament consists of a 12.7 mm machine gun, mounted on top of the roof. The PLZ-52 is operated by a crew of around 4 to 5 soldiers. Armor of the PLZ-52 protects the crew against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems are fitted as standard.
This artillery system uses an armored tracked chassis, which is very similar to that of the PLZ-05. It is powered by a new diesel engine, developing 1 000 hp. Engine is located at the front of the hull. Vehicle is fitted with an automatic transmission system.
This self-propelled howitzer is supported by an associated ammunition resupply vehicle, which carries ammunition under armor on the battlefield. The resupply vehicle is based on the same tracked armored chassis and carries around 90 rounds of ammunition with associated charges though it has a slightly different design and ammunition delivery method, than resupply vehicles of PLZ-05 and PLZ-45 self-propelled howitzers. It resembles a South Korean K10 resupply vehicle of the K9 self-propelled howitzer. Automated ammunition delivery is around 8 rounds per minute.
A battery of PLZ-52 howitzers includes command post vehicle, forward observation vehicle, ammunition resupply vehicles, and maintenance vehicles. Also there are proposed some optional battery support vehicles, such as artillery locating and fire correction radar, meteorological radar and armored recovery vehicle.
Max Range : 53Km
Rate of Fire : 8-10Rpm
In Service : < 250
PL-96 (Type-96, D-30 / 2A18, Model 1963)
The PL-96 is a Chinese copy of the Soviet D-30 howitzer. It is also referred as the Type 96. It is a slightly improved version of the Type 86 howitzer.
This howitzer uses separate-loaded ammunition with projectiles and their charges. This howitzer fires High Explosive (HE), High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), cargo, incendiary, smoke, illumination, and possibly other types of shells. The PCL-09 is compatible with all standard 122 mm ammunition of Russian D-30 howitzer. Maximum range of fire is 18 km using standard High Explosive (HE-FRAG) projectile, 21 km with extended-range projectile and 27 km with rocket assisted projectile. The PL-96 is also capable of firing 122 mm laser-guided projectiles. These are based on Russian Kitolov projectile technology.
This artillery system has a 3-leg mounting and is capable of 360° traverse. It is also capable of direct firing. It’s HE projectile penetrates up to 180 mm of steel armor. Also there are dedicated HEAT rounds that penetrate around 450-500 mm of steel armor. So this artillery system can defend against various approaching lightly armored vehicles.
The PL-96 is operated by a crew of 5. Maximum rate of fire is 6-8 rounds per minute. This field howitzer is towed by a 6x6 truck. It is typically seen towed by Dongfeng EQ2102 or Shaanxi SX2150 trucks that also carry crew and ammunition. In travelling order this howitzer is towed by its muzzle. This howitzer can be rapidly emplaced or displaced. It takes only 1.5-2.5 minutes to prepare this artillery piece for firing from travelling order. Also it takes the same amount of time to leave the firing position.
Max range : 27Km
Rate of Fire : 6-8rpm
In Service : ~500
Type-89: A tracked 122 mm artillery system with the 122 mm ordnance. Type 89, also known as the PLZ89, was developed in late 1980s. Currently these are being replaced by the PLZ-07 and PLZ-07B self-propelled howitzers.
SH-2: is another truck-mounted howitzer. It is based on a 6x6 light utility truck chassis and uses ordnance of the PL-96. This artillery system was first publicly revealed in 2007. It was aimed mainly at export customers. However it received no production orders.
PCL-09: is a truck-mounted howitzer. It is based on a Shaanxi 6x6 military truck and uses ordnance of the PL-96. This artillery system was adopted in around 2009 and is widely used by Chinese army.
PLL-09: is a self-propelled artillery system, which is based on a ZBL-09 Snow Leopard armored personnel carrier chassis with 8x8 configurations. This self-propelled howitzer is widely used by the China's army. A number of these systems are used by China's marines. It provides indirect fire support for rapid deployment brigades. The PLL-09 has good cross-country mobility and is capable of keeping pace with main battle tanks.
SH-4: is a recent truck-mounted artillery system, which utilizes modified ordnance of the PL-96 122 mm howitzer, based on a 4x4 military truck chassis with an armored cab.
The PCL-09 or CS/SH1 (Chinese export name) is a 122mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured by Norinco. The PCL-09 is similar to the French Caesar 155 wheeled howitzer, and uses a wheeled 6×6 truck chassis with a Chinese-made 122mm howitzer PL-96 mounted at the rear part. It was developed in the 2000's as a cost-effective design to increase the mobility of existing units using the 122mm PL-96 towed howitzer. As such it replaces towed howitzers in use with infantry formations. This vehicle is already in service with the Chinese armed forces.
The PCL-09 can fire at a maximum range of 22 km with a rate of fire of 8 rds/min and 27 km with rocket assisted projectile. The 122mm howitzer of the CS/SH1 can fire High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), cargo, incendiary, smoke, illumination, and all standard 122 mm ammunition used by the Russian D-30 howitzer. It can be ready to fire in less than 90 seconds from traveling mode. PCL-09 has combat weight of less than 11.5 tons and can carry 24 rounds of ammunition, crew of 4 to 5 people, can achieve zero angles shooting, all guns height 2.95 m.
The PCL-09 is based on 6×6 Shaanxi truck chassis. A fully enclosed cab is mounted at the front of the vehicle and has individual seats for the crew of five. There are two doors on each side of the crew cabin and one hatch is available at the top right side. The PCL-09 uses a 6×6 chassis with one axle at the front and two axles at the rear. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 85 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km. The truck is equipped with a central tire inflation system to provide control over the air pressure in each tire as a way to improve performance on different terrain conditions.
A typical battery of PCL-09 consists of one 6 self-propelled howitzers and a battery command post. This artillery system comes with a semi-automatic loading system, which simplifies loading of the howitzer. There are ammunition boxes for projectiles and their charges.
The PCL-09 can launch its first round in less than one minute. A typical shoot-and-scoot mission of stopping, firing six rounds and transforming back to traveling mode can be completed within 3 minutes. Such result is a huge improvement over PL96 towed howitzers that are widely used by the China's army. Brief redeployment time allows avoiding counter-battery fire.
Max Range : 27Km
Rate of Fire : 6-8 Rpm
In Service : >350
CS/SH1: Export version of PCL-09.
PLL-09: A self-propelled howitzer based on ZBL-09 8x8 armored personnel carrier chassis. It was adopted alongside the PCL-09. The PLL-09 is more mobile due to its chassis. It is capable of keeping pace with main battle tanks. Also this artillery system is fully amphibious and can ford water obstacles afloat.
PLL-09 is a 122 mm self-propelled howitzer which is in service with the Chinese Army. A version of this artillery system is also used by China's marines. The vehicle is based on a ZBL-09 8x8 armored personnel carrier chassis. It is armed with a version of the 122 mm PL96, or Type 96 howitzer. The PLL-09 is fitted with a semi-automatic loader. It has a maximum firing range of 18 km with standard HE-FRAG projectiles and 27 km with extended-range projectiles. The PLL-09 is also capable of firing 122 mm laser-guided projectiles. The PLL-09 provides indirect fire support for rapid deployment brigades. These Chinese brigades are similar in concept to the US Stryker brigades
PLL-09 SPH has good cross-country mobility and is capable of keeping pace with main battle tanks.PLL-09 artillery systems replaced the older PLZ-89. PLL-09 is fitted with a semi-automatic loader. The PLL-09 is fitted with computerized fire control system with digital ballistic computer. It is most likely to use digital battlefield management system. The PLL-09 SPH is powered by a Deutz BF6M1015C turbocharged diesel engine, developing 440 hp. It is a German engine, produced in China under license. Engine is located at the front. Vehicle is fitted with a tyre pressure regulation system for improved mobility over difficult terrain. This self-propelled howitzer is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by two water jets.
Max Range : 27 km
Rate of Fire : 6 Rpm
In Service : ~ 350
The PLZ-07 is 122 mm self-propelled artillery. It evolved from the SH3 that was aimed mainly at export customers. The PLZ-07 self-propelled howitzer was first unveiled to the public during the military parade celebrating 60th anniversary of the PLA on 1 October 2009. The PLZ-07 was developed to replace the older Type 89, Type 85 and Type 70/70-1 122 mm self-propelled artillery systems.
PLZ-07 self-propelled artillery chassis is developed from ZBD-04 infantry fighting vehicles. PLZ-07 is armed with a variant of the PL-96 122 mm/L32 howitzer that is of similar design as the Russian D-30 and a 12.7 mm machine gun as a secondary armament. The PLZ-07 is powered by 600 hp diesel engine.PLZ-07 has greater mobility, improved fire control system and delivers greater firepower than its predecessors. PLZ-07 is fitted with a semi-automatic loader. This artillery system is compatible with standard Chinese and Russian 122 mm ammunition. PLZ-07A artillery system is not amphibious; however it seems that it may be fitted with floatation kit in order to ford inland rivers and lakes
The gun has a maximum range of 18 km with normal ammunition, 22 km with base bleed and 27 km with rocket assisted rounds. Armor of the PLZ-07 provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. NBC protection and automatic suppression systems are fitted as standard. This artillery system is operated by a crew of 5.
The PLZ-07 122 mm tracked self-propelled gun mounts a 122 mm gun armed turret on the PLZ-45 hull. The vehicle weighs 22.5 tons fully loaded and carries 40 rounds of ammunition. It is 6.66 m long, 3.28 m wide and 2.5 m high to the turret roof. It carries a crew of five and its 440 kW diesel engine gives it a top road speed of 65 km/h and a maximum road range of 500 km.
Max firing Range : 18-27 Km
Rate of Fire : 6-8 rpm
In Service : PLZ-07A~150, PLZ-07B~300
PLZ-07/PLZ-07A: Land based variant.
PLZ-07B: Amphibious variant with unique dedicated-designed amphibious chassis. China's Marine Corps using PLZ-07B artillery system has a boat-like hull for improved floatation and is fitted with a trim vane. Though it uses the same turret as the PLZ-07. On water this artillery system is propelled by two water jets. The PLZ-07B can be launched at sea from amphibious assault ships and swim over short distances to shore.
SH3 : SH3is a forerunner of the PLZ-07. It is a similar 122 mm self-propelled howitzer, which was developed mainly for export. It emerged as PLZ-07.
The PCL-161 is a truck-mounted 122 mm self-propelled howitzer. PCL-161 was first unveiled while doing exercises in Tibet Autonomous Region in October 2020.It is speculated to be a successor of the 122 mm truck mounted howitzer PCL-09. PCL-09 features various improvements over the PCL-09, including better firing accuracy, the ability to fire directly in the forward direction of the vehicle. PCL-161 122mm truck gun is the latest equipment of the mountain infantry brigade.
The howitzer has a range of 22 km with conventional ammunition and 30 km with rocket-assisted projectiles. Supposedly, it has ammo commonality with the Russian D-30 howitzers.
The PCL-161 features a semi-automatic loading system where the operator places the shell on the loading arm and the loading arm loads the round into the breech. Its fire control system featuring automatic calculation and gun-laying via the vehicle-mounted fire control computer.
The design of the truck is based on the CTM-133 military truck. During combat, two front vertical stabilizers are extended, as well as two rear stabilizers that dig into the ground in order to reduce recoil. Mobility of the new generation 4X4 military wheeled high-mobility off-road truck chassis is also significantly better than the previous PCL-09.
Rate of Fire : 8 rounds/minute
Max Range : 22- 30Km
In Service : Numbers unknown
PCL-171 is a 122mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer. The basic layout of the PCL-171 truck gun is similar to that of the PCL-161. PCL-171 may still use the body of the Type-96 122mm howitzer. PCL-171 was commissioned with the troops in the second half of 2020.
PCL-171 has a semi-automatic loader assembly, which can greatly increase the rate of fire. It may be similar to the PCL-161. It is estimated that the PCL-171 is also equipped with an advanced fire control system, the Beidou satellite navigation and positioning system and the positioning and orientation system of the elevation measurement function, and the information equipment is connected to the fire control system. It can be provided by the information combat platform of the entire battlefield information network. As long as the soldier enters the attack coordinates, the artillery can automatically calculate the firing elements. The pitch and direction motors on the gun mount can calculate the electrical signals generated and transmitted by the terminal with the help of the attitude sensor. The downward-driven artillery can quickly complete the adjustment of the angle of fire and the direction of fire. After the gun enters the firing position, the assisting hoe and hydraulic jack touch the ground to firmly fix the gun. The gun mount and pitching machine are controlled by hydraulic systems. The ammunition loading is also semi-automatically loaded by a robotic arm, 122 mm
PCL-171 self-propelled howitzer, using "Warrior 3rd generation" CSK181 6×6 light armored vehicle as the chassis, "Dongfeng Cummins" ISDe 300 inline 6-cylinder water-cooled turbocharged diesel engine with a maximum output of 300 horsepower, with powerful high-mobility off-road capabilities With a maximum road speed of 120 km/h and a maximum endurance of 700 km, it is also one of the most advanced light armored vehicles in the world.
PCL-171 gun is designed to be very compact, with barrel, gun mount, hoe... etc. After the large part is folded, the volume of the whole cannon is small, and the small body is more conducive to concealment in a small space and better road passing performance. It can drive at high speed on the lowest grade earth and stone roads at high altitudes. The howitzer has a maximum firing range of 18- 22 km with conventional ammunition and up to 27 - 40 km with extended range ammunition. . There are 2 rows of 6 ammunition on the right side. The frame and 2 rows of 7 rounds can carry 28 rounds of 122mm rounds, a total of 6 × 28 = 168 rounds of rounds for a company of 6 cannons, enough for a large-scale continuous firepower support.
The PCL171 gun weighs less than 5 tons. Chinese medium transport aircraft can carry 4 vehicles. Two aircraft can transport one artillery company to a distance of 1,000 kilometers. The transport 20 strategic transport aircraft has a load weight of 60 tons, and one vehicle can be transported in one sortie. , And it is the light weight of the artillery that greatly improves the mobility of the troops.
Each combat unit consists of 6 PCL-171 guns, command vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles, ammunition supply vehicles and other equipment. Some of the other vehicles are based on Dongfeng Mengshi CTL181A 4×4 armoured vehicles, of at least two variants. The command vehicle has mounted communications equipment. The reconnaissance vehicle is configured with counter-battery radar, fitted with a radar antenna and an opto-electronic sight mounted on top of a folding and elevating mast.
Max Range : 40Km
Rate of fire : unknown
In Service : ~100?
The PCL-181 is a truck-mounted 155 mm self-propelled howitzer . It was developed as more mobile replacement of older towed artillery pieces. The PCL-181 currently delivered to the PLA Army artillery troops will be mainly used to replace the active PL-66 152-mm towed gun-howitzers and a small part of the remaining Type 59-1 130-mm towed cannons. PCL-181 is based on an older SH-1.
The PCL-181 is equipped with the world-leading automatic fire control system (AFCS). Following the input of the target azimuth data, the vehicle-mounted fire control computer can automatically settle the shooting elements and automatically adjust the azimuth and height of the artillery
The PCL-181 has a full combat weight of 25 tons, only about half compared with the PLZ-05. In addition, with a smaller overall size, the PCL-181 has no worries about "overrun"(the overall height exceeds 3.6 meters or overall width exceeds the train cabin) when transported by rail, and can get through almost all railway sections to reach a freight station nearest to the destination.
Besides, the PCL-181 weighs only 25 tons, which is just within the cargo capacity of China's Y-9 tactical transport aircraft. Each Y-9 tactical transport aircraft can carry one PCL-181, and as long as there are a sufficient number of transport aircraft groups, the rapid deployment of the organically assigned artillery troops as a whole within nearly a thousand kilometers can be realized. This will undoubtedly greatly improve the rapid reaction capability of the PLA Army.
The PCL-181 vehicle-mounted howitzer is equipped with the military high-mobility truck chassis (Shaanxi 6x6 truck chassis), which make it good at long-distance mobility on road. It was reported that the service members of an Army brigade under the Eastern Theater Command just drove the PCL-181 to their camp after unloading at the freight station.
The 155mm howitzer is mounted the rear. In the firing position two large hydraulic jacks are lowered. Shells and charges are stored on the sides of the truck. A semi-automatic loading mechanism feeds the shell into the breech. The PCL181 has a 155mm 52-caliber howitzer that fires a Chinese range of NATO standard shells. The semi-automatic loader allows for a rate of fire of 4 to 6 rpm. The howitzer has a maximum firing range of 40 km with conventional ammunition and up to 72 km with extended range ammunition and can carry 27 rounds of ammunition. The armored cab protects against small arms fire and shell splinters. Three crew members load the howitzer in the open while the driver and commander remain in the cab
The export model is known as SH-15. In 2019 Pakistan ordered 236 of these artillery systems
Max Range : 72Km
Rate of Fire : 4-6 Rpm
In Service : ~100?
AH4 is a 155 mm/39 caliber Lightweight Gun-howitzer developed by NORINCO. AH4 is considered to be the direct equivalent of the American gun M777. This artillery system was designed to be as lightweight as possible for maximum mobility and air transportability. Many parts of this howitzer were designed to serve multiple functions in order to reduce weight. Development of AH-4 completed in July 2016. Due to its light weight AH4 can air lifted to desire positions makes it extremely useful in mountain warfare.
NORINCO states that the AH4 has a combat weight of 4,500 kg, including its hydro-pneumatic suspension that enables the weapon to be deployed in firing position within three minutes and returned to its towed position in two minutes. The AH4's elevation and traverse limits are almost identical to the M777 at -3 to 72° and 22.5° respectively. Gun tube is 39 times the diameter, because the use of ramming machine gun in the intensive fire, the initial rate of fire is up to 5 rounds per minute, with continuous shooting at 2 rounds per minute. This artillery system is operated by a crew of 8. In case of emergency it can be operated by a crew of 5, though with significantly reduced rate of fire.
AH-4 has a 155 mm/L39 tube. It can use a wide array of ammunition, including High Explosive (HE), High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), smoke, incendiary, cluster, mine -scattering and other specialized projectiles. AH4 is also capable of firing NORINCOs expanded family of 155 mm precision-guided munitions (PGMs). These include the latest 155 mm laser-guided projectile (LGP) GP6, which has minimum range of 6 Km and maximum range of 25 km with a first round hit probability of 90% and is capable of engaging stationary and moving targets. The GP6 is claimed to be more resistant to jamming than the GP1 (earlier version of LGP), while its multiple laser coding technology enables co-operative multi-target engagement. The GP1 and GP6 are also referred to as the GP155 and GP155A respectively. Norinco also markets the GP155B, which is guided by a global navigation satellite system (GNSS). With rocket-assisted projectile AH4 can fire up to 40 km. AH-4 howitzer is compatible with any NATO-standard 155 mm projectiles. This feature hugely expands the variety of ammunition it uses.
Max Range of Fire : 20-40Km
Rate of Fire : 2-4 RPM
In Service : Unknown
SH-11: SH-11is a self-propelled artillery system, based on an 8x8 armored personnel carrier. It uses modified 155 mm /L39 ordnance of the AH-4. This artillery system was developed mainly for export. It was first publicly revealed in 2018.
AHS-4: a three-ton variant that is designed for mountain warfare.
The SH-1 is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer developed by China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO). SH-1 started as an export project with Pakistan and Burma. The artillery system has been in development since 2002, it was first revealed during the 2007. It was modeled after a French CASEAR.
SH1 has advantages such as high mobility, large fire-power, fast hit capability, modular design, good cost-effectiveness, etc. SHI has a combat weight of about 22 tonnes and is normally operated by a crew of five who are seated in the armour protected four door cab towards the front of the chassis to the rear of the diesel powerpack. Mounted on the cab roof is a 12.7 mm machine gun for local and air defence purposes.
The SH-1 self-propelled artillery system is fitted with an ordnance of an AH-2 155 mm/L52 howitzer, which can fire a range of ammunitions developed by NORINCO, including: Extended-Range, Full-Bore, Rocket-Assisted, High-Explosive (ERFB-RA/HE) and Extended-Range Full-Bore, Base-Bleed, High-Explosive (ERFB-BB/HE). When using the ERFB-BB/HE round, the howitzer can reach a maximum range of 53km. The howitzer can also fire the 155mm semi-active laser-guided projectile developed by NORINCO based on the Russian Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) 152mm Krasnopol projectile. In addition, the howitzer is able to use the standard NATO 155mm ammunitions. The vehicle carries 20 rounds onboard. Secondary weapon includes a 12.7mm QJC88 anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the roof of the driving cab.
The artillery system is mounted on a 6X6 wheeled chassis with a forward engine and an armour-protected driving cab. The vehicle can climb a 1.2m-high vertical obstacle, and has a maximum road speed of 90km/h. The vehicle is equipped with two hydraulically operated stabilizers which are lowered in preparation for the firing. The howitzer barrel is electric-operated, with an elevation of 0~70 degrees. The artillery system has a combat weight of 22 tonnes, and is operated by a crew of five.
The SH1 is equipped with a computerized fire-control system, with a muzzle velocity sensor which feed the data directly to the fire-control computer. The artillery system is equipped with navigation, positioning, targeting, and communications systems, all of which adopt the modular design for easy maintenance and upgrade. The onboard communication system enables the artillery system to be connected into the C4ISR network of an artillery company or battalion for information sharing and automated command and control.
Pakistan acquired a total of 90 SH-1 truck-mounted howitzers. Deliveries were completed between 2012 and 2013.
Max Range : 53Km
Rate of Fire : 6-8 Rpm
In Service : Not applicable
SH-1A: is an improved version, based on a new 6x6 vehicle.
PCL-181/ SH-15: is a similar howitzer, based on 6x6 truck. It was first publicly revealed in 2018, though first images of this artillery system appeared little earlier.
The SH2 122mm self-propelled howitzer is the second 6x6 truck-mounted artillery system developed by NORINCO. The artillery system was first revealed during the 2007. The SH2 was developed mainly for the export market, but it cannot be ruled out that the artillery system may also be adopted by the PLA in its airborne force and Marine Corps.
The main armament of the SH2 artillery system is a 122mm howitzer possible developed from the PL96 122mm towed cannon towed howitzer design. Like the PL96/D-30, the SH2 has a recoil-recuperator mechanism mounted above the gun barrel. The electric-operated howitzer has an elevation range of 0~70° and an azimuth range of +/- 30°. The howitzer has a rate of fire of 6~8 rounds/min. There are 24 rounds carried onboard the vehicle.
The howitzer has a maximum firing range of 22km when using the NORINCO Extended-Range, Full-Bore, Hollow-Base (ERFB-HB) round, or 27km when using the NORINCO Extended-Range, Full-Bore, Rocket-Assisted (ERFB-RA) round. The howitzer can also fire the Russian D-30 122mm ammunitions. NORINCO has been producing the 152/155mm laser-guided projectile based on the Russian Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) 152mm Krasnopol projectile design under license, but it is not known whether NORINCO has also obtained the license to produce the KBP Kitolov 122mm laser-guided projectile.
The artillery is mounted on a 6X6 wheeled chassis developed from a 4x4 HMMWV-like utility vehicle, with a maximum road speed of over 90km/h and a maximum range of 600km. The vehicle is capable of climbing 60% gradient and has a turning radius of less than 13m. The artillery system is operated by a crew of 4~5 people, and have a combat weight of 11.5 tonnes. The system can transform between travelling and combat mode within 45~50 seconds. A typical mission of transforming from travelling mode to combat mode, firing six rounds, and transforming back to the travelling mode can be completed with 2 minutes.
The vehicle is equipped with two hydraulically operated stabilizers which are lowered in preparation for the firing. The artillery crew is seated inside an armour-protected driving cab. The vehicle is fitted with a central-inflating system, and can reach a maximum road speed of 90km/h. The artillery system can be airlifted by a large transport aircraft such as IL-76 or Y-8.
The SH2 is also equipped with a computerized fire-control system, including GPS navigation and positioning, targeting, and communications systems, all of which adopt the modular design for easy maintenance and upgrade. The artillery is used within a C4ISR network at company or battalion level. The artillery system is operated by a crew of 4~5 people
Max Range : 27 Km
Rate of Fire : 6-8 Rpm
In service : unknown
SH-5: is a similar artillery system, based on the same 6x6 chassis. Though it is fitted with a lighter 105 mm howitzer.
There is also a 152 mm version, based on the same 6x6 chassis. It mounts modified ordnance of the PL-66 gun-howitzer. It was first publicly revealed in 2018.
SH-3 artillery system is an improved version of the Type 89. Its industrial designation is WMZ322. This artillery system was offered for export customers. The only known customer of the SH-3 is Rwanda. This country acquired 6 units in 2007. SH-3 is in the service of the Chinese army. It is armed with a variant of the PL-96 122 mm/L32 howitzer. Maximum range of fire is 18 km with standard HE projectile, 22 km with extended-range and 27 km with rocket assisted projectile. This artillery system is also capable of firing 122 mm laser-guided projectiles.
Secondary armament consists of a roof mounted 12.7 mm machine gun. The SH-3 is fitted with improved fire control system.
Armor of the SH-3 provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. NBC protection and automatic suppression systems are fitted as standard.
This artillery system is operated by a crew of 5.
The SH-3 uses a new chassis, which is based on the Type 89 chassis, but has numerous improvements. It is powered by a BF8M1015CP turbocharged diesel engine, developing 590 hp. It is based on a German-made Deutz engine. Due to the new chassis the SH-3 has greater mobility than the previous Type 89.
Standard equipment of SH3 includes a infrared night vision device, a meteorological sensor, a NBC protection, an automatic fire-extinguishing system and a GPS navigation system. WMZ322 is also equipped with an automatic fire control system that includes a digital ballistic computer, an optical sight for day and night vision and a laser range finder installed at the top of the turret.
Max Range: 27Km
Rate of Fire: 6-8 Rpm
In Service: ~50
PLZ-07: is a version of the SH-3.
SH5 is a further development of the SH2 which is armed with a 105 mm howitzer. SH-5 105mm self-propelled Artillery System is installed on a 6X6 truck chassis and similar to French GIAT CAESAR self-propelled howitzer. SH-5 is developed for exporting.
The SH5 is armed with 105 mm/37-calibre ordnance. The 105 mm gun is mounted on a turntable fitted to a flatbed just behind the crew compartment. This has elevation from zero degrees to plus 70 degrees with traverse being 30 degrees left and right. The maximum range depends on projectile/charge combination but NORINCO has released the following range figures for this 105 mm system: A total of 40 × 105 mm projectiles at carried in the ammunition containers located at the rear of the chassis. During firing, two stabilizers are lowered at the rear of the vehicle.
The armor crew compartment is mounted just behind the engine. The crew cabin is protected again small arms firing and shell splinters. The front of the crew compartment is fitted two large bulletproof windows to the front with two forward opening doors down either side. Each of these doors has a large bulletproof window in the upper part. All the windows of the vehicle provide the same level of protection as the crew armor cabin.
The SH5 is based on a 6 × 6 cross-country chassis that is a new design that is also used for the SH2 122 mm (6 × 6) self-propelled artillery system. The vehicle's high-road speed reaches 100km/h and range can reach over 800 km. The engine is mounted at the front of the vehicle.
SH5 is fitted with a computerized fire-control system, including GPS navigation and positioning, targeting, and communications systems, all of which adopt the modular design for easy maintenance and upgrade. The artillery is used within a C4ISR network at company or battalion level. The SH5 is fitted with a central-inflating system. A spare wheel is mounted at the rear of the vehicle. The SH-5 is also is equipped with two hydraulically operated stabilizers mounted at the rear of the vehicle which are lowered in preparation for the firing. A spare wheel is mounted at the rear of chassis.
Max Range : 18Km?
Rate of Fire : 8 Rpm?
In Service : unknown
SH-11 is a new 155mm 8x8 wheeled self-propelled howitzer which unveiled during Air Show China 2018. This system is intended mainly for export. This artillery system is based on the VN1 8x8 armored vehicle fitted with a turret mounted at the rear top of the hull which is armed with one 155 mm/L39 howitzer.
The SH-11 uses modified ordnance of the AH-4 lightweight field howitzer. Fume extractor was added.It has a maximum firing range of 25 km with standard projectiles and 40 km with rocket-assisted projectiles. The SH-11 can also use precision-guided munitions, such as GP155 laser-guided projectiles (Chinese copy of the Krasnopol), GP155B GPS-guide projectiles (Chinese copy of the M982 Excalibur), GP155G, also known for export as GS1, smart anti-armor projectiles (Chinese copy of the Bonus).
SH11 howitzer is fitted with a fully automatic loading system offering fast firing and manoeuvring while the autonomous system integrates seamlessly into the networked and centralized command and control system.
The SH11 has a crew of three including driver, commander and gunner. The roof of the turret seems to be equipped with latest generation of optics that includes a new panoramic sight. The turret has a traverse of 360°.
The hull and the turret provide protection against firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters. It has a combat weight of 36,000 kg.
Max Range : 40Km
Rate of Fire : ??
In Service : unknown
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