Harbin Type 83 Self-Propelled Gun/Howitzer

     Notes:  The Type 83 152mm SP Gun/Howitzer is the Peoplesí Liberation Armyís standard heavy howitzer, with the addition of a fume extractor and a large muzzle brake, as well as an autoloading system.  It entered service in the early-1980s and is present in large numbers in the Chinese Army.  The gun used on it is a version of the Type 66 152mm towed gun/howitzer, and in shape is very similar to the US M-109A2 except for the gun barrel and roadwheels (though the vehicle is in fact based on the SO-152 Akatsiya).  Initial design work was done in Qiqihar, but final design and adjustments, as well as production, was carried out by Harbin. The gun is capable of firing standard 152mm howitzer rounds as well as a new RAP round known as the MP-152, and a Chinese copy of the Russian Krasnopol laser-guided round.  Some 78 were built for the PLA and an unknown number for foreign armies and marines.  The vehicle from first prototype to LRIP took from 1980-1981, then initial testing to Type standardization in 1983.  The Type 82-152 was the first of the series built, and it was revealed in a parade in Beijing in 1983.  The Type 83 chassis is also used as the basis for the Type 83 trench-digging engineer vehicle, the Type 762 425mm mine-clearing rocket system, and the PZT-89 tank destroyer.

 

The Type 83-152

      The armament is centered around an adaptation of the Type 66-1 152mm L/45 Self-Propelled Gun/Howitzer, and is capable of direct as well as indirect fire missions.  The Type 66-1 is designed specifically for use on vehicles, and is capable of mounting one of several lengths of barrels. The gun operation is largely automated, with one of the loaders being necessary to fix fuzes, load charges, and load certain special ammunition.  Guns are laid using radio information relayed to the firing computer, requiring the gunner to simply press a few buttons and switches on his fire control panel to send the round downrange.  Gun elevations goes from +62 degrees to 0 degrees, so direct fire is possible; however, the Type 83-152 does not normally carry antiarmor rounds. Indirect fire sights are provided as well as infrared night sights.  Clusters of four-round smoke grenade launchers are as the bottom of the front turret corners.  The commander has a pintle-mounted Type 88 heavy machinegun.  A special rack carries a Type 69 RPG and four rounds, which are considered part of the basic weaponry of the vehicle. The Type 83-152 has inertial navigation and a mapping system with computer to give the driver instructions and make a low-accuracy non-FDC strike if necessary; such fire will be one level more difficult.  The ammunition is replenished by large rear doors, which may also be used for crew ingress and egress.

     Power is provided with the 520-horsepower turbodiesel WR4B-12V160LD engine coupled to an automatic transmission. Armor is of steel, but it is thin steel and provides minimal protection. The crew has a vehicular collective NBC system.  The Type 83-152 ended production in 1990, after only 78 were built; production ended in favor of the Type 05 self-propelled howitzer; many analysts say that the Chinese basically considered the Type 83-152 a stopgap vehicle, and that they considered the vehicle obsolete shortly after its introduction.

 

The Type 83-130

     The Type 83-130 has a chassis and turret nearly identical to the Type 83-152, and internally very similar, but the Type 83-130 is more a mobile field gun or tank destroyer than an SP Howitzer, as the Type 59 130mm gun is not normally considered a howitzer in most armies. (The Chinese classify it as a gun/howitzer, but its elevation of only 45 degrees greatly limits its indirect fire range, and itís depression of -5 degrees lend it more to direct fire missions.) The fire control system is therefore more akin to a tank than an SP Howitzer, and the Type 83-130 has only incidental indirect fire capability. 

     The rear doors for ammunition resupply remain; the chassis is, in short, as common to the Type 83-152 as possible to simplify production.  Used only in small numbers by the PLA, the Type 83-130 is most often sold as a kit to countries already fielding the Type 58 field gun or M-54 or M-46 Russian field guns and with them to be more mobile.  Fire control includes better gun stabilization and better fire control computers, a laser rangefinder, and equipment.

     Most details of the Type 83-130 conform to those of the Type 83-152, though the autoloader is replaced with a semiautomatic loading system, with the gun automatically ramming the rounds and charge and closing the breech, then popping it open once the gun comes to rest after its recoiling action.  The 52-caliber gun (new barrels are fitted as part of the manufacture process, if the gun is not already L/52) is tipped with a large pepperpot muzzle brake, and recoil is further reduced with hydraulic shock absorbers, leaving only a small amount or recoil travel within the turret.

     Production for the Chinese Army was sparing and few were produced for China.  These were used for a few short years, but are now out of service in China. Greater production was achieved as an export system, and it has seen several sales to countries that wished their Type 56, M-54, or M-46 130mm towed gun/howitzers to be more mobile.

 

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Type 83-152

$808,191

D, A

400 kg

30 tons

5

24

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G)

Shielded

Type 83-130

$979,269

D, A

399 kg

30.9 tons

5

21

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

Type 83-152

128/90

36/25

885

194

Trtd

T4

TF6  TS4  TR4  HF8  HS3  HR3

Type 83-130

140/98

37/27

885

165

Trtd

T4

TF6  TS4  TR4  HF8  HS3  HR3

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Type 83-152

+1

Basic

152mm L/45 Type 66-1 Gun/Howitzer,Type 88 (C), Type 69-1 RPG

30x152mm, 650x12.7mm, 4xType 69 Rounds

Type 83-130

+3

Fair

130mm L/52 Type 59 Gun/Howitzer, Type 88 (C), Type 69-1 RPG

38x130mm, 1050x12.7mm, 4xType 69 Rounds

 

NORINCO Type 70-I

     Notes: The first Chinese indigenous self-propelled howitzer, design-wise very similar to the later Type 85.  The Type 70 is based on a Type 63-I APC chassis, lengthened by one roadwheel.  The Type 70 was a quick-and-dirty solution, meant to quickly mechanize Type 54 122mm field guns. It was therefore somewhat of a stopgap solution, and less than 200 of these conversions were built.  They were never exported.  Despite their being obsolescent at conception, they had a long service life; their last known appearance to the West was at the Tiananmen Square Protests.

     The chassis is a straight conversion, with a roadwheel added and the vehicle lengthened appropriately.  At the rear the field gun was mounted, in an open-topped superstructure with a large and heavy gun shield in front.  The main gun is a development of the Russian M-30, a predecessor of the D-30.   The crew ride inside of the vehicle during moves, but have their chest and above (abdomen and up for the gunner and AG) exposed when operating the howitzer.  Sights are limited to the gunís telescopic sights and stadia reticule.  The Type 70 was a rather rudimentary design, little improved over the idea of plopping a gun on top of an APC. At the corners of the glacis are clusters of four smoke grenade launchers, but these are a relatively recent (late 1970s) addition.  The M-30, while able to fire most standard types of 122mm rounds, cannot employ the newer type of 122mm rounds, including smart rounds, base-bleed, and RAP projectiles.  The Type 70-I also carries a small amount of antiarmor rounds for self-defense against vehicular threats.

     The chassis is also little-modified for its role.  Other than itís longer size, the hull is largely identical to the Type 63, though the driverís station has been moved to the front left and the engine to the front right.  A small raised area is just ahead of the right gun shield; this has vision blocks to the right and front and slightly to the left side, meant to provide one crewmember (normally the assistant gunner) observation outside of the vehicle without exposing himself.  The gun shield is thick and is AV3. The engine is the same 260-horsepower 6150L diesel of the Type 63 APC.  This makes the larger Type 70-I underpowered.

     The M-30 has been little-modified for its role; essentially, the gun was mated to the hull and little more was done than to do this.  In the front left gun shield is a spring metal cover for the sights.  Traverse is limited to 22.5 degrees to each side. Depression is -2.5 degrees, and elevation maximum +70 degrees.  The M-30 can therefore be used for direct fire if required. At the rear of the fighting compartment is a pintle mount for a light machinegun. In addition, the door is retained from itís Type 63 relative, allowing for replenishment from an outside ammunition source.

     The Type 70-I can be fitted with a flotation kit which includes pontoon floats on the sides and rear, the trim vane inherited from the Type 63 APC, and balloon floats attached to the wheels, as well as the switching on of a bilge pump.  It takes 20 minutes to ready the Type 70-I for swimming.

     The Type 85 howitzer (below) is a further development of the Type 70-I, primarily by basing it on a YW-531H APC chassis.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Type 70-I

$243,719

D, A

400 kg

15.3 tons

7

13

Passive IR (D)

Enclosed

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

Type 70-I

125/88

35/24/3

450

96

Stnd

T3

HF6  HS3  HR2

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Type 70-I

None

None

122mm L/22 Type M-30 Howitzer, PK (R)

40x155mm, 1000x7.62mm

*The AV of the front third of the hull deck is 2, but for the rear two-thirds, the AV is 0.

 

NORINCO Type 85 Self-Propelled Howitzer

     Notes:  This is a self-propelled howitzer variant of the YW-531 armored personnel carrier, used by China.  It has the industrial designation of YW-523. In this role, the basic APC chassis is topped with a fighting compartment housing a Chinese copy of the Russian D-30 122mm howitzer.  It was decided in the early 1990s that the Type 85 SPH was not a successful design and it was pulled from service in favor of the improved Type 89 SPH.  Before that, it was used primarily by Tibetan mountain troops and airborne artillery, along with small numbers of mechanized infantry, where its shortcomings became most apparent.

 

Type 85 SPH

     The Type 85 SPH is an extended Type 85 APC chassis with an extra roadwheel on each side.  It was designed to be an update of the Type 70-I, and as such is similar in design to the Type 70-1, with the gun atop the vehicle unprotected by armor or a turret, instead having a thick forward gun shield.  The Type 85 SP howitzer is based on the hull of the Type 85 APC, using a W-86 122mm howitzer, which itself is an improved version of a Chinese copy of the Russian D-30 howitzer.

      The gun has a very limited traverse, no more than 22.5 degrees left and right.  Elevation and depression are +70 and -3 making it a direct fire threat, though normally no antiarmor rounds are carried.  The muzzle is fitted with a large multi-slotted muzzle brake, and the gun also has hydraulic recoil dampeners. The howitzer is mounted on a semi-open superstructure (low sides and a gun shield up front).  The superstructure is normally covered with a large fitted tarp.  For the most part, the crew is unprotected from small arms fire of shrapnel, though when operating the gun, the raised sides protect up to the head and chest (except the gunner, who must step up on a platform and his abdomen is also not protected when aiming the gun. When seated in the hull, the crew has the full protection of the armor (except for the open top). From the front, however, the crew has the benefit of the AV3 gun shield.

     The driver is on the front left side, as is normal for the Type 85 chassis.  The rest of the crew is in the superstructure, and normally sits in the hull when not operating the howitzer.  There is no commanderís position as such, just a seat in the hull where the commander usually sits. The rear ramp of the Type 85 APC remains, and is used for crew entry or exit or ammunition reloading. There is a commanderís weapon and the small arms provided by the crew.  The crew has a vehicular NBC pack to plug their protective mask hoses into.

     Power is provided by a German-designed Deutz BF8L413F turbocharged diesel engine developing 320 horsepower, which is to the left of the driver.  The transmission is automatic.  The vehicle is amphibious, but only after a large amount of preparation; pontoons must be attached to the sides of the vehicle and balloons to the roadwheels, a trim vane lowered, and a bilge pump turned on, and this takes about 20 minutes.  Without these pontoons and balloons, the Type 85 SPH is capable only of deep (2.5-meter) fording.  On either side of the hull is a bank of four smoke grenade launchers.

    

Type 89 SPH

     The Type 85 SPH was, in many ways, inadequate, the largest omission being the lack of a full turret for the howitzer and crew, and the resulting lack of side, rear, and overhead protection for the gun crew.  The Chinese also saw the Russian 2S1 Gvosdika, and wanted something indigenously-built, but similar in capabilities.  So far, the Type 89 SPH is used not only by the PRA and PLAMC, but by the Rwandan Army (a recent acquisition that is still being delivered as of December 2017).

     As with the Type 85 SPH, the Type 89 SPH (also called the PLZ-89, and not to be confused with the Type 89 wheeled howitzer or Type 89 assault gun or Type 89 towed artillery piece) is based on a lengthened APC; in this case, the Type 89 APC, itself an improved version of the Type 85 APC.  The driver is therefore on the front left, with the engine to his right.  The Type 89 SPH has a full turret, mounted at the rear and extending forward half of the vehicle.  The rear door from the Type 89 APC remains, and is used both for entry/exit and to resupply the vehicle with ammunition and other supplies. The commander is on the top left of the turret, with a pintle-mounted heavy machinegun and a manually-operated turret.  The commander has all-around vision blocks, including one with a night channel.

     The main armament is again a modified version of the D-30 122mm howitzer.  This has fire control for direct and indirect fire, and the gun has a semiautomatic autoloader, requiring fuzes be attached by hand (usually done before a bombardment), and special ammunition and charges to be loaded by hand. The modified Type 86 howitzer employed on the Type 89 can fire most 122mm howitzer ammunition found in the world today. An inertial navigation system with a mapping computer allows the Type 89 SPH to undertake slightly-inaccurate missions without an FDC; such fire missions are one level harder. Secure radios and a mapping computer module allow fire directly from a FISTís coordinates if necessary. Modifications to the gun also include a reduction in length to 32 calibers to allow the Type 89 to be airdropped.  For direct fire, the Type 89 SPH can fill the role of a tank destroyer to an extent, having computerized direct fire control equipment and night sights as well as telescopic sights.  On the roof is an electronic day/night sight with channels for the gunner and commander.

     The engine is a German-designed 12V150L turbocharged diesel engine developing 450 horsepower.  This is coupled to an automatic transmission. On each side of the turret is a cluster of four smoke grenade launchers.  The crew is protected by an NBC overpressure system with vacuum air extraction and recharge, and a vehicular collective NBC system when the hatches are open. The Type 89 also has a five-compartment automatic fire/explosion detection and suppression system. The Type 89 SPH is amphibious in the same way as the Type 85 SPH Ė with lots of preparation with pontoons and balloons.

 

The SH3

     The SH-3 is an improved version of the Type 89 (though the electronics suite is somewhat abbreviated), built primarily for export; itís RL cost, as well as itís T2K cost, is lower than the Type 89, due to modernized systems.  So far, Rwanda and Myanmar have ordered SH3s, but there is a lot of interest in the vehicle from Second and Third-World armies.  It is notable that before its first exports to Rwanda, the Chinese stated that the SH3 was only an experiment and was not going to enter series production. The SH3 is also known as the WMZ-322 (its industrial designation).  It is meant to be a lower-cost and updated version of the Russian 2S1 Gvosdika.  The Chinese do not use the SH3, but do use a further updated version of it called the Type 07 (below) and have fielded it in large numbers.

     The SH3 uses an updated version of the W-86, the PL-96 122mm L/32 howitzer.  The barrel is tipped with a large multibaffle muzzle brake and a fume extractor. It can fire all sorts of Russian, Chinese, and Eastern European ammunition, including a Chinese version of the Russian Kitlov laser-guided shell and a new Chinese GPS-guided 122mm shell.  Gun laying and fire are controlled by an advanced fire control computer which automatically calculates the gunís position, targetís location, and a fire solution, and trains the gun to the correct elevation and rotation of the turret.  GPS, inertial navigation, and a mapping computer and module equip the vehicle.  The SH3 is capable of conducting fire missions on its own, without the need for an FDC.  The gun has an autoloader feeding from two magazines; there is also a bin for 10 special or non-standard projectiles such as antiarmor rounds.  The rear door of the Type 89 is retained, and there are side doors in the turret, allowing for quick ammunition resupply, especially with a conveyor.  Elevation is +70 and depression is -3, making direct fire possible; the SH3 normally carries a few antiarmor rounds for this purpose, and direct lay is possible.

     Next to the commanderís hatch is a pintle-mounted machinegun; the commander is in a cupola with all-around vision blocks and night channels for the three front blocks.  The loader has a hatch next to the commander on the left, with three vision blocks to the front.  The driver is in the front left, with the engine to his right; he three wide-angle vision blocks to the front and partially to the sides.  The front block has a night vision channel, and the driver has a back up camera.  The driver also has a panel that connects to the vehicleís mapping computer, and the driver and commander have access to the same information, including the mapping computer and GPS information.  The SH3 also has a few perks Ė an air conditioner is an option (included in the stats below), and heater is standard. An Overpressure system is provided, along with a vehicular NBC backup for operation when the hatches are open.

     The SH3 uses a licensed copy of the German Deutz BF8M1015CP turbocharged diesel engine developing 590 horsepower. The vehicle also has a 5kW APU for operations with the engine off.  This is coupled to an automatic transmission. The chassis is highly-modified and though based on the Type 89, is almost two meters longer and has a different suspension. On each side of the turret is a cluster of four smoke grenade launchers.  The crew is protected by an NBC overpressure system with vacuum air extraction and recharge, and a vehicular collective NBC system when the hatches are open. The Type 89 also has a five-compartment automatic fire/explosion detection and suppression system. The SH3 is amphibious in the same way as the Type 89 SPH Ė with lots of preparation with pontoons and balloons.  The SH3 is airportable by medium and heavy-lift helicopters and air-droppable by medium and heavy-lift aircraft.

 

 

     Twilight 2000 Notes: During the Twilight War, lots of Type 85 SPHs were built, despite their obsolescence Ė they were cheap and quick and easy to build.  Liberal amounts of Type 89 SPHs were also employed, mostly of pre-war manufacture.  The SH3 does not exist in any of the Twilight 2000 timelines, though it does in the Twilight 2013 timeline, and in the Twilight 2013 timeline, the Pakistanis are using SH3s to supplement their Type 89 force.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Type 85 SPH

$364,784

D, A

400 kg

16.5 tons

5

13

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

Type 89 SPH

$919,903

D, A

500 kg

20 tons

5

17

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G, C), Thermal Imaging (G, C)

Shielded

SH3

$881,193

D, A

555 kg

24.5 tons

5

18

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G, C),

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

Type 85 SPH

166/116

46/32/5

885

149

Stnd

T4

HF8  HS3  HR3*

Type 89 SPH

156/109

43/30/4

885

167

Trtd

T4

TF6  TS4  TR2  HF8  HS3  HR3

SH3

165/116

46/32/5

975

219

Trtd

T4

TF8Sp  TS5Sp  TR3  HF10Sp  HS4Sp  HR4**

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Type 85 SPH

Nil (+1 in Direct Fire)

None (Basic in Direct Fire)

122mm L/40 Type 86 Howitzer, Type 88 (C)

40x122mm, 1000x12.7mm

Type 89 SPH

+1 (+2 in Direct Fire)

None (Fair in Direct Fire)

122mm L/32 Modified Type 86 Howitzer, Type 88 (C)

40x122mm, 1000x12.7mm

SH3

+1 (+2 in Direct Fire)

Basic (Fair in Direct Fire)

122mm L/32 PL-96 Howitzer, Type 88 (C)

50x122mm, 2000x12.7mm

*Crew exposed from chest up when standing. Forward gun shield is AV3.

**HR and TR AV is 4.  Belly armor is 5Sp.

 

Norinco Type 88

 

The Type 88

     Also known by its industrial designation of PLZ-45, this is based on the ground-mounted WAC-21 gun/howitzer; the Type 88 is the self-propelled version of this howitzer.  (The WAC-21 is itself based on an Austrian design.) At first it was designed specifically for export, and is used by Algeria, Bangladesh, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, but it also came to be used in small numbers by the PLA itself.  In addition, the Pakistanis have recently made a sizable purchase of Type 88s, and the Kuwaitis have greatly increased their order of Type 88s. This vehicle looks very similar to the US M-109 series howitzer (except for the M-109A6 and A7 Paladin), but it is heavier, has a longer gun, larger turret and more roadwheels, which are irregularly spaced.  It is rumored that the Chinese may be in a process of changing over to the 155mm Western-type howitzers, as they can use a wider variety of ammunition; and the Chinese can benefit from Western howitzer design improvements. The Type 88 saw first combat use when Saudi Arabia attacked Yemeni Houthi rebels in 2017.

     The driver of the Type 88 sits in the front center of the vehicle behind the glacis plate. Hatches for the commander and one of the loaders are in the turret roof on the right and left side respectively; the commander has a manually-rotating cupola with all-around vision blocks and a heavy weapon mount, while the loader has no vision blocks and no weapon mount.  Each side of the turret has a vision block with a firing port.

     The howitzer is compatible with any Western or other 155mm ammunition, and the barrel length is an intermediate-length 45 calibers.  The gun uses a slotted muzzle brake and a fume extractor. The Type 88 uses a semiautomatic loader; the rounds are fed from a magazine and automatically loaded at the push of a button, but any change from the order of the rounds in the magazine must be loaded by hand.  The charges are loaded manually, as are special rounds such as the Chinese version of the Krasnopol. The magazine holds a total of 24 rounds, with six rounds being carried to the rear of the turret (these are usually antiarmor or special rounds). The Type 88 is capable of firing Western as well as Chinese 155mm rounds, except for special rounds such as the Copperhead and Excalibur. The commander is typically armed with a Type 88 heavy machinegun, but there are no provisions for aiming and firing from within the vehicle. On each of the turret are a cluster of four smoke grenade launchers.  Before firing, two large spades are lowered into the soil behind the vehicle; turret traverse is limited to 30 degrees from front.  Elevation maximum is 72 degrees and depression is -3 degrees, making the engagements of ground targets possible. When doing so, some vehicle systems, such as a ballistic computer and laser rangefinder, are available. A weak point is the amount of onboard ammunition carried, including fuzes and charges for the rounds; each Type 88 is typically followed by (amongst others) a PCZ-45 ammo supply vehicle. It can, however, fire a Chinese version of the 152mm Krasnopol CLGP.  The Type 88 can fire the Krasnopol without registration of the target or the need for an FDC, needing only the target distance and direction as supplied by a FIST team or by map if the target is on the map.

      Other combat equipment include inertial navigation, GPS, a system to allow an FDC to remote lay gun barrels directly (if the FDC has the right equipment), and an LCD to display information coming from the FDC, as well as small computer to help the plotting process along as well as provide a mapping system.  The Type 88 can also take the information from FISTs in some circumstances and automatically lay the gun(s) on the right target solution. The crew is protected by a vehicular NBC common system.  The Type 88 has a five-compartment automatic fire detection and suppression system.

      The Type 88 is based on a new chassis unlike any other in PLA service, designed specifically for the Type 88, but also used on some later vehicles.  The tracks are wide and have good off-road performance, and the power from the Type 88ís 525-horsepower Deutz turbocharged diesel engine is decent for a vehicle of this weight. An 8kW APU powers the vehicle when the engine is not necessary.  The armor is nothing to write home about, but the Type 88 has ERA lugs on the hull side, turret side, glacis, turret front, and the forward third of the turret deck.

     The Type 88 has been superseded by the PLZ-05 155mm SP howitzer, which has a longer barrel and is physically larger vehicle.

 

The Type 05

      This 155mm howitzer was built to replace the Type 59-1 and Type 83 self-propelled howitzers. Design work began in 2003, and the Type 05 entered service with the PLA in 2005.  The Type 05 is a large vehicle, with a very large turret atop a substantial chassis.  The chassis appears to be a modification of that of the Type 88. The turret appears to be a modified form of that of the Russian 2S19.  So far, the Type 05 is only in Chinese service, though a version of it is offered for export.  There have no export orders, however, and the Type 05 remains in service only with the PLA.  It replaced the Type 88 in production, and uses a large amount of components of the Type 88.  The Type 05 is also in the process of replacing the Type 83 self-propelled howitzer (see above).   

     Also known by its industrial designation of PLZ-05, the main gun of the Type 05 is a 155mm L/52 howitzer which is capable of firing most Western 155mm howitzer rounds as well as several 155mm rounds of Chinese make. The gun is a further development of the Type 88ís gun, with an L/52 barrel, and a fully automatic autoloader for both the rounds in the magazine and the charges. (This allowed the amount of loaders to be reduced to one.) Special rounds as well as rounds which have been changed in the firing order in the magazine still must be loaded by hand, though the autoloader will load the charges. The autoloader of the Type 88 proved to be deficient in several ways, prompting the greatly-improved autoloader of the Type 05. Elevation maximum is +68 degrees and depression is -3 degrees, making the engagements of ground targets possible. When doing so, some vehicle systems, such as a ballistic computer and laser rangefinder, are available. The gun uses a slotted muzzle brake and a fume extractor. The Type 05ís howitzer and gun equipment are capable of firing several types special rounds, including a cannon-launched UAV.  The UAV unfolds helicopter blades for flight and has a small battery-powered engine that keeps the UAV flying for 10 minutes.  The rest of the UAV looks like an extended-length 155mm shell, though the nose is blunt and has cameras that can see into the infrared or normal color vision, and registers its position by GPS.  The UAV round is normally used for spotting purposes or to find targets for rounds like the Krasnopol; the UAV also has a laser designator for this purpose. Rumors also say that the Chinese have developed a GPS-guided round for the Type 05, similar to the US Excalibur round. The Type 88 can fire the Krasnopol without registration of the target or the need for an FDC, needing only the target distance and direction as supplied by a FIST team or by map if the target is on the map.  The integrated gun-laying and GPS system allows the Type 05 to operate without an FDC, directly taking fire missions from a FIST team or vehicle, or even the onboard computerized maps.

     The driver is in the front left, with the engine to his right.  The commander is on the right of the turret, in a manually-operated cupola with a pintle mount on it.  The cupola has all-around vision blocks, one of which has a channel for night vision and one of which has a day channel for the image intensifier. The Type 05ís commander has a Type 88 heavy machinegun on a pintle mount of the commanderís cupola, though the mount can also use a 7.62mm or 14.5mm machinegun. The Type 88 machinegun is standard for most Type 05s, however. Two clusters of four smoke grenades are on each side of the turret.  At the rear of the turret are two large doors for ammunition replenishment.  The crew is protected by a vehicular NBC common system.  The Type 88 has a five-compartment automatic fire detection and suppression system.  The Type 05 has an integrated C4ISR system similar to the BMSs of Western vehicles.

     Other combat equipment include inertial navigation, GPS, a system to allow an FDC to remote lay gun barrels directly (if the FDC has the right equipment), and an LCD to display information coming from the FDC, as well as small computer able to automatically lay the gun using its own equipment and a mapping module integrated with the GPS and inertial navigation.

     The chassis is almost identical to that of the Type 88; however, the Type 05 has an 8V150 turbocharged diesel developing 800 horsepower, along with a fully-automatic transmission. Unlike the Type 88, the Type 05ís turret can rotate a full 360 degrees.  The upper part of most of the suspension is protected by armored track skirts, while for forward section protecting the drive sprocket is wider and thicker.

     The PLZ-04 is essentially the same vehicle with an L/54 howitzer instead of the L/52 of the Type 05.  As of December 2017, it still in limited production Ė just enough to send fully-functioning versions of the PLZ-04 to defense shows and demonstrate it to prospective buyers.

 

The PLZ-52

     The PLZ-52 was designed to be an export version of the Type 05 (though the Chinese are willing to sell the Type 05 as well), for countries who canít afford the high price of the Type 05, but want an SP howitzer as good in quality as good as they can get.  (Some analysts say the PLZ-52 and Type 05 are in fact the same vehicle Ė my research tells me thatís wrong.)  As of December 2017, no units have been sold, the PLA does not use the PLZ-52, and there are rumors that the Chinese are considering withdrawing the PLZ-52 from the market due to the dropping (real-world) prices of the Type 05ís components and major systems.  The first prototype was completed in 2007 and it has been offered for sale since 2012.

     The PLZ-52 is basically similar to the Type 05 Ė just dumbed-down a bit.  The PLZ-52 does not have GPS or the fancy mapping system of the Type 05, and has only a limited capability for self-directed fire; though it can generate fire solutions for itself if it has enough information, fire without an FDCís input will be one lever more difficult.  The commanderís machinegun may be a Type 88 or an M-2HB, depending on the intended customer Ė the multipurpose mount which can mount a 12.7mm, 14.5mm, or 7.62mm machinegun is not used.  The hull and turret are more similar to the Type 88, though it is capable of full rotation.  This takes away room for the fancy autoloader of the Type 05, and it uses the semiautomatic autoloader of the Type 88, though without the second loader crewmember, so the loader is a very busy loader, especially when being supplied by an ammunition source off-gun.  It does have the APU, NBC system, and explosion/fire detection system of the Type 05.  It also has an even more powerful 1000-horsepower engine with a fully-automatic transmission, as well as conventional driverís controls. This gives it tremendous zip and maneuverability (at the cost of fuel use); more than enough to keep up with friendly attacking forces and even acting as a credible ad hoc tank destroyer if armed with the appropriate rounds.  It can use most of the rounds that a Type 05 can use, though rounds such as the Chinese GPS-guided round and the cannon-launched UAV, as well as a very few other rounds, are not useable by the PLZ-52.  The PLZ-52 retains the four smoke grenade launchers on each side of the turret.  The thermal vision camera is removed from the gunnerís equipment, replaced by a 2nd generation image intensifier.  The PLZ-52 has a BMS Ė but it lacks the vehicle state computer system of the Type 05.

     Though the PLZ-52 is not up to the same level as the Type 05, it is still a potent and credible adversary.

 

     Twilight 2000 Notes: The Type 88 does not exist in the Twilight 2000 v1, 2, and 2.2 timelines, though it is in use of all the countries mentioned above except Algeria in the Twilight 2013 timeline.  The Type 05, Type 07, PLZ-04, and PLZ-52 do not exist in the Twilight 2000 V1, 2, and 2.2 timelines, though they are in service in the Twilight 2013 timeline.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Type 88

$1,098,527

D, A

500 kg

32 tons

5

23

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G, C)

Shielded

Type 05

$1,574,369

D, A

400 kg

35 tons

4

26

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G, C), Thermal Imaging (G)

Shielded

PLZ-04

$1,578,593

D, A

368 kg

35.13 tons

4

26

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G, C), Thermal Imaging (G)

Shielded

PLZ-52

$1,192,874

D, A

443 kg

34.83 tons

4

24

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (C), 2nd Gen Image Intensification (G)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

Type 88

122/85

34/24

885

194

Trtd

T5

TF6  TS5  TR4  HF8  HS4  HR3*

Type 05

159/111

44/31

885

297

Trtd

T5

TF12Sp  TS3Sp  TR3  HF10Sp  HS4  HR3**

PLZ-04

158/111

44/31

885

298

Trtd

T5

TF12Sp  TS3Sp  TR3  HF10Sp  HS4  HR3**

PLZ-52

192/134

53/37

885

372

Trtd

T5

TF12Sp  TS3Sp  TR3  HF10Sp  HS4  HR3**

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Type 88

+1 (+2 in Direct Fire)

Basic

155mm Modified L/45 WAC-21 Gun/Howitzer, Type 88 (C), Type 69-1 RPG

30x155mm, 800x12.7mm, 4xType 69 RPG rounds

Type 05

+1 (+2 in Direct Fire)

Basic (Fair in Direct Fire)

155mm Modified WAC-21 L/52 Gun/Howitzer, Type 88 or KPV or Type 80 (C), Type 69-1 RPG

30x155mm, 800x12.7mm or 700x14.5mm or 1350x7.62mm, 4xType 69 rounds

PLZ-04

+1 (+2 in Direct Fire)

Basic (Fair in Direct Fire)

155mm Modified WAC-21 L/54 Gun/Howitzer, Type 88 or KPV or Type 80 (C), Type 69-1 RPG

30x155mm, 800x12.7mm or 700x14.5mm or 1350x7.62mm, 4xType 69 rounds

PLZ-52

+1 (+2 in Direct Fire)

Basic (Fair in Direct Fire)

155mm Modified WAC-21 L/52 Gun/Howitzer, Type 88 or M-2HB (C), Type 69-1 RPG

30x155mm, 800x12.7mm or .50, 4xType 69 RPG rounds

* Hull and Turret deck armor is AV3.

**Hull and Turret deck armor is AV5; Floor armor is 6.

 

Norinco Type 07

     Notes: The Type 07 (not to be confused with the Type 07 wheeled SP howitzer or the Type 07 towed howitzer) solves several problems within the PLA today.  The Chinese, though they would like to move on to the 155mm guns, have millions of rounds of various types of 122mm howitzer rounds, and more, modernized types of 122mm rounds are being developed, with new ones seeming to be available every few months.  The Chinese also have a large number of 122mm towed howitzers that they want to be more mobile, and be able to keep up with attacking forces and still be able to ďshoot and scoot.Ē  And finally, they wanted an SP howitzer that was cheaper for 2nd line units to use, and one that was lighter and quicker than their heavier counterparts, for use by 1st-line units who need quick, responsive fire support.  The result, the Type 07, is sort of a Type 88 crossed with a Type 97 IFV and a Type 96 122mm howitzer.  It has been recently offered for export, but so far itís only users are the PLA.  The Type 07 is also known by its industrial designations, WMZ-322 or PLZ-07.

     The Type 07 was designed to replace the Type 89, Type 85, and Type 70 platforms.  The hull is essentially that the Type 97 IFV, with a new turret mounting the 122mm howitzer and a larger fuel tank.  The howitzer is essentially a modernized form of the Russian D-30 gun/howitzer, with a longer barrel and a semiautomatic autoloader.  The barrel is equipped with a multi-baffle muzzle brake and a fume extractor.  It also has a hydraulic recoil buffer. The gun has an elevation of +70 degrees and a depression of -3 degrees, making it capable of direct fire missions.  It does not, however, carry many antiarmor rounds in a normal deployment.  Turret rotation and firing capability is 360 degrees.  The fire control system is advanced, on par with the Type 05, and the electronics suite is likewise the same as that of the Type 05, able to act as its own FDC, having a BMS, a GPS with inertial backup, and the other features of the Type 05s electronics suite.  The Type 07 also carries a conveyor system externally strapped to the side, in case the resupplying vehicles do not have one. Many analysts have noted that the Type 07 is very similar in appearance to the Russian 2S1 Gvozdika SP howitzer.

     The engine used is a BF8M1015CP 600-horsepower turbocharged diesel. The engine is in the front left of the hull, with the transmission below the engine and driver; the entire powerpack is unitary and removed and replaced as a single unit, taking less than a half an hour with the appropriate equipment and personnel.

     The Type 07 has a crew of five, including a commander, gunner, driver, and two loaders.  The commander has a manually-operated cupola on the top of turret on the right side, with all around vision blocks and the front block having a night channel and an aiming stadia slaved to the direct fire computer.  He has a Type 88 machinegun on a mount to his front. The loaderís hatch to his left has no vision blocks or a weapon mount.  There is a hatch on the lower rear primarily for ammunition resupply, and a smaller hatch on the back of the turret below the bustle rack.  (Itís a tight fit.)  On each side of the turret, near the front, are two clusters of three smoke grenade launchers.  NBC protection is by CARC-type paint and a vehicular NBC pack to which the crew can plug in their protective masks.

     The standard Type 07A is not amphibious, but the Type 07B is equipped with a floatation kit consisting of a screen that raises above the top of the turret from above the tracks.  Kevlar balloons are also attached to the roadwheels, and a bilge pump is switched on.  This preparation takes 10 minutes, and the Type 07B is propelled in the water by its tracks.  The Type 07B is not capable of swimming fast streams or rivers, and is definitely not able to handle surf conditions.  The Type 07B may not fire its main gun while swimming Ė traverse and elevation are impossible while the screens are raised, as is using the gunnerís sights, and firing in such a way would swamp the vehicle.

 

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Type 07A

$1,425,472

D, A

577 kg

24.5 tons

5

21

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G, C), Thermal Imaging (G)

Shielded

Type 07B

$1,439,727

D, A

577 kg

24.55 tons

5

22

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G, C), Thermal Imaging (G)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

Type 07A

127/89

35/25

674

222

Trtd

T4

TF6Sp  TS5Sp  TR4  HF8Sp  HS4Sp  HR3*

Type 07B

127/89

35/25/4

674

222

Trtd

T4

TF6Sp  TS5Sp  TR4  HF8Sp  HS4Sp  HR3*

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Type 07

+1 (+2 in Direct Fire)

Basic (Fair in Direct Fire)

122mm Type 96 L/32 Type Howitzer, Type 88 (C), Type 69-1 RPG

40x122mm, 1000x12.7mm, 4xType 69 rounds

* Hull and Turret deck armor is AV3.

 

Norinco SH1

     This truck-mounted howitzer was developed primarily for the export market, though there are rumors that the PLA itself is interested in it for its light formations.  Currently, however, the only users are Pakistan, who have 90, and Myanmar, who have an unknown number in service and on order.

     The chassis used is a Wanshan WS5252 6x6 truck.  The cab of this truck has been lightly armored, though the crew must operate the howitzer from the outside on the back of the vehicle.  The 155mm howitzer is 52 calibers long, and is similar to many other such howitzers used on other SP howitzers.  The howitzer on the SH1, however, has more beefy hydraulic dampeners to allow the chassis to take the firing of the gun.  The gun has an elevation and depression of +70 and 0, and fires from the rear of the vehicle.  The vehicle carries only 25 rounds with modular charges and has no sort of autoloader.  (Normally, the SH1 is followed by at least two ammo carriers.) Before firing, a large spade is lowered at the rear of the vehicle.  The AH1 gun system is fitted with a computerized fire control system, GPS with inertial navigation backup; it is theoretically capable of providing its own firing coordinates with information from a FIST, but normally it uses an FDC, as the FDC can control the entire battery and gun laying of the entire battery.  The AH1 is capable of using any Chinese-made 155mm artillery shells.

     The crew normally travels inside the cab, with two up front (the commander and driver) and three in the rear (the gunner and two loaders).  There is a space behind the rear seat for personal items, rations, etc.  The SH1 has an Overpressure system, but only inside the cab; while working on the gun, a vehicular NBC system is plugged into. Note that the rear area only has one long-range and two short-range radios; the other long-range, short-range, and medium-range radios are in the cab, connected to the cab by an exchanger and a communications box and hand mikes. The commander is equipped with a Type 88 heavy machinegun, though ammunition is limited.           

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

SH1

$814,450

D, A

640 kg

22.5 tons

5

21

Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded (Cab Only)

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

SH1

155/78

43/22

277

164

Stnd

W(3)

HF3  HS2  HR2*

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

SH1

+1 (Indirect Only)

Basic (Indirect Only)

AH-1 155mm L/52 Howitzer, Type 88 Machinegun (C)

25x155mm, 400x12.7mm

*Cab Roof and Cab Floor AV is 3; hull floor is also AV3.  The rear area sides and rear is AV0.

 

Norinco SH2

     Notes: The SH1 is sort of little brother to the SH1, mounting a 122mm howitzer on a smaller (though similar in design) truck than the SH1.  It is currently being tested by the PLAM and PLA Airborne forces. The SH2 is also being tested by the Pakistanis, Ghanans, Lebanese and Indonesians.  However, production has not yet started and only prototypes and vehicles for field testing have been produced.

     The howitzer used is a modified form of the W-86, the same as used on the Type 89 tracked howitzer; the barrel length is 38 calibers. The muzzle is tipped by a large multibaffle muzzle brake, further reducing recoil forces on the truck, Modifications are primarily in the area of improved hydraulic recoil dampeners and the mechanisms necessary to move and set it into position.  The howitzer fires over the front of the vehicle. For this reason, elevation maximum is +70 degrees, but the depression maximum is +1 degrees. The gun may also be rotated up to 30 degrees off-center. The howitzerís mechanism includes two automatically setting spades for stabilization.  Electronics are largely the same as the SH1, with a computerized fire control system, GPS with inertial navigation backup; it is theoretically capable of providing its own firing coordinates with information from a FIST, but normally it uses an FDC, as the FDC can control the entire battery and gun laying of the entire battery automatically.  The AH1 is capable of using any Chinese-made 122mm artillery shells, including the Chinese version of the Russian Kitlov laser-guided projectile.  The SH2 is able to get into action much faster than the SH1; if acting as its own FDC, the SH2 can drop the gun into position one minute after a halt and be on its way after firing six rounds in 3 minutes.

     The truck is a smaller version of that of the SH1, based on an extended Chinese copy of the US HMMWV.  The cab is armored, largely with bolt-on steel sheets and internal Kevlar sheets.  It is powered by a turbocharged diesel developing 215 horsepower. The ammunition which can be carries on the howitzer is small, only 24 rounds; the SH2 is therefore followed by one or more ammo supply vehicles of the same type as the howitzer vehicle.  The truck steers with its front and rear wheels.

     The SH1 is equipped with a BMS, GPS, mapping module, and vehicle state displays.  During movement, the crew travels in the cab, which also has a small space at the rear for personal equipment.  Unlike the SH1, the SH-2 carries no other weapons other than the howitzer (except for the crewís small arms and other weapons), though the commander does have a hatch above him and forward vision blocks with a night channel.  Note that the rear area only has one long-range and two short-range radios; the other long-range, short-range, and medium-range radios are in the cab, connected to the cab by an exchanger and a communications box and hand mikes. The power pack and transmission are a single unit, and are removed and replaced in one piece; the modular nature of the vehicle means that even changeout of major components can be done in about 30 minutes, if the right equipment is available.

     A modified form of the SH2 is designated the SH5. It mounts a Chinese copy/modification of the US M-119 105mm howitzer. One difference is the large multibaffle muzzle brake and heavier hydraulic recoil dampeners; the muzzle brake is in fact a modified form of that on the SH2. It is otherwise the same as the regular SH2, except for weight differences, mechanism and computer differences; it can also carry a bit more ammunition. It fires US 105mm shells and their Chinese equivalents.  The SH5 was developed for export sales to countries already using 105mm howitzers (whether mobile or towed).

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

SH2

$676,296

D, A

584 kg

11.5 tons

5

9

Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded (Cab Only)

SH5

$649,335

D, A

589 kg

11.3 tons

5

9

Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded (Cab Only)

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

SH2

149/75

41/21

202

79

Stnd

W(3)

HF3  HS2  HR2*

SH5

152/77

42/21

202

77

Stnd

W(3)

HF3  HS2  HR2*

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

SH2

+1 (Indirect Only)

Basic (Indirect Only)

Modified W-86 122mm L/38 Howitzer

24x122mm

SH5

+1 (Indirect Only)

Basic (Indirect Only)

Chinese Version of M-119 105mm L/37 Howitzer

28x105mm

*Cab Roof and Cab Floor AV is 3; hull floor is also AV3.  The rear area sides and rear is AV0.