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Type 05 / PLL-05 Self-Propelled 120mm Howitzer / Mortar
WZ551 howitzer 6x6 chassis

The PLL05 120mm wheeled self-propelled mortar was originally an export-oriented weapon system launched by the North Industries Corporation in 2001. In recent years, it has become the official equipment of the Chinese Army’s light mechanized units. The gun will be the main equipment of the PLA rapid reaction force, airborne troops, light armor and mountain warfare and amphibious warfare units such as the battalion level.

Before the war against Vietnam, the Chinese infantry unit once cancelled the 60mm mortars equipped by the infantry company and replaced it with 40mm rocket launchers. When preparing for the battle against Vietnam, the participating troops strongly demanded to restore the company-level mortar system. China developed several self-propelled mortars in the 1980s, but all of them were used for export. The Chinese armored forces are still equipped with ordinary mortars that are maneuvered by armored vehicles and fired when they are removed. The mobile combat capability is greatly restricted.

After entering the 1990s, China vigorously strengthened the construction of light mechanized forces, and the 92-type wheeled armored vehicle known as the "land cheetah" became the backbone of the Chinese Army's emergency mobile combat force. However, due to the early development of China’s wheeled armored combat vehicles (developed in the early 1960s), the full advancement was relatively late. After the formation of the light mechanized force, the wheeled self-propelled howitzers and wheeled self-propelled mortars co-operated with 92 wheeled armored vehicles Support equipment such as artillery is basically blank.

For this reason, the PLA Headquarters officially approved the development of a self-propelled mortar in 2001. After several years of hard work, it successfully completed all the development of the new type of self-propelled mortar from the principle prototype, the first prototype to the actual prototype. After the design of China's first self-developed wheeled mortar was finalized, it was named the PLL-05 120mm self-propelled mortar.

In recent years, the Chinese military found the Type 05 / PLL-05 self-propelled 120mm howitzer to be a high-priority wheeled motorized light artillery. With the further development of artillery systems technology, this new artillery began to receive more and more attention. This gun has the versatility and flexibility, especially self-force mobility and howitzer battlefield survivability, very suitable for the needs of a modern battlefield, rapid maneuver warfare in the future, will play an important role in forcing howitzer. Thus, the United States, Russia, Britain, France, South Africa, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore and other countries have embarked on developing vehicle-mounted 120 mm howitzer force, but at the moment is to study more, less successful.

In 2001 China disclosed a new 120mm self-propelled mortar system using a modified WZ-551 6 x 6 armoured personnel carrier (APC) chassis. The fully enclosed turret on the center of the roof is similar to that used with the Russian 120mm 2S23 NONA-SVK self-propelled mortar system mounted on a modified BTR-80 8 x 8 APC chassis.

In 2008, the 127th Light Motorcycle Division of the People's Liberation Army was equipped with the first batch of 18 PLL05 improved self-propelled artillery. Now this weapon has begun to be installed in large numbers. According to the "Liberation Army Daily" report in May 2013, a certain Red Army regiment of the 38th Army Group Army of the Beijing Military Region of the People's Liberation Army has thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles. In this long-distance transfer, the most striking thing is the emergence of a new type of equipment , which is the PLL-05 self-propelled mortar that has been discussed by foreign media before. This is the first time that the Beijing Military Region has made this equipment public.

The modern battlefield, a howitzer with a small muzzle velocity, high trajectory, with a larger and more powerful artillery range, can conduct the supression of the enemy's main fire in large-scale war. The mortar, having a parabolic trajectory, light weight, the advantages of fast speed, can attack artillery combat common targets, which are in mountain warfare, airborne assault combat, urban warfare and landing operations. The mortar can play an important role in such situations, providing the most timely infantry fire support. Ordnance experts put the two combined to form a new kind of gun-howitzer.

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Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:07:34 ZULU