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130mm Self-Propelled Gun

The Type 59 130mm crawler self-propelled cannon is a self-propelled cannon developed by the People’s Republic of China in the 1980s. It uses the chassis of the Type 83 self-propelled howitzer and is modified from the Type 59-1 cannon barrel. Here comes the Type 59 130mm towed cannon. Except for the caliber, the gun has the same structure as the Type 83 self-propelled howitzer. Because its combat mission overlaps with the Type 83 self-propelled howitzer, it was not deployed with Chinese troops and was sold internationally instead.

The self-propelled cannon is an integrated self-propelled artillery that is integrated with the vehicle chassis and can move by itself. Crawler-type self-propelled cannons are important equipment for mechanized troops. They have good cross-country performance, quick entry and exit positions, and short combat/marching transition time. They are conducive to continuous fire support and make the artillery, armored, and motorized infantry more closely coordinated in combat. After the Third India-Pakistan War ended, the Indian Army realized that artillery would play a very important role in future conflicts with Pakistan. Equipped with self-propelled artillery with strong maneuverability and the ability to accompany the impact of tank forces is essential to improve the overall combat capability of mechanized forces.

In the revolutionary war years, artillery was the weapon that the people's army wanted most but lacked. Since there was no heavy industry in the base at that time, only small-caliber mortars could be manufactured. All barrel artillery and shells had to be captured. The People's Liberation Army naturally look down on self-propelled guns.

In the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, when the volunteers fought strong enemies, most of the time they could only use the Japanese 92-type infantry artillery captured during the War of Resistance. In terms of performance, this artillery should have been eliminated in World War II. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, both the country and the army attached great importance to the research and development of artillery.

During the rapid reconfiguration of the Chinese Army’s artillery units, a towed artillery that had been in service for decades with reliable mechanical performance and sharp damage power continued to exert its residual heat and was favored by the majority of officers and soldiers. This is the domestically produced 59-1 130 mm Cannon.

Type 59-1 was finalized in 1970 and is the main suppression artillery of the Chinese military divisions. In the self-defense counterattack on the southwest border, the gun was praised as a "featured artillery" by the majority of officers and soldiers due to its advantages of long range, fierce firepower, high accuracy of hitting, and reliable action. Regardless of the age of the Type 59-1, due to its excellent performance in internal and external ballistics, only the addition of different types of shells can continue to meet the needs of the battlefield.

The 130mm Self-Propelled Gun mounts the 130mm Type 59 gun on the Type 83 152mm self-propelled gun-howitzer chassis. The Type 59 130mm gun, with maximum rate of fire is at 8-10 rds/min, fires an HE projectile capable of penetrating 250mm of armour set at 0 degree at a range of 1,500m. The Type 59 gun also fires enhanced range projectiles: the MP-130 RAP that weighs 33.4kg with a maximum range of 34,360m; and an ERFB HE that weights 32.7kg with a maximum range of 30km.

During the confrontation between China and the Soviet Union, when there was no other way, China also thought of moving the 130mm cannon to the Type 59 tank chassis as a self-propelled anti-tank gun. But in the end it just stayed a plan, sometimes referenced as the WZ120G.

In the early 1980s, in an unrelated development, China installed an auxiliary propulsion device on the front of the 59-1 130mm (5.1-inch) cannon mount, which became a "self-propelled" cannon.

Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:07:11 ZULU