NORINCO PLZ-05 155mm self-propelled howitzer
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. 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. It is similar to the German PzH2000, which uses a third-generation self-propelled gun with a 52-caliber body.
The new domestic 155mm self-propelled howitzer was named PLZ-05, which means that the gun was finalized in 2005. The advanced weapons of a newly-formed equipment were presented to the public, and the self-confidence of the Chinese army's technical strength in suppressing the large-caliber artillery in the field.
In July 2007, at the 80th Anniversary of the Army's Army Building Achievement Exhibition, the PLZ-05-style 155mm self-propelled cannon was officially announced in the high-profile exhibition. This strength has been officially announced to the Chinese Army's actual combat effectiveness. In the parade of the 60th anniversary of the National Day on October 1, 2009, the equipment equipped with the ninth party team was the PLZ-05 155mm self-propelled howitzer.
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 (five in the PLZ 45). Max range of the howitzer is 50 kilometers (with rocket assisted shells). Normal shells are good 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 PLZ 05 is a further development of the 33 ton PLZ 45, which entered service in the 1990s as an export item. This system had a crew of five and a semi-automatic loader. The PLZ 04/04 use an automatic loader, thus a crew of only four is required.
PLZ-05 evolved from the PLZ-45, which began in the 1990s high-volume equipment, troops and successfully into the international market (now exported to Kuwait, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia). PLZ-05 self-propelled howitzer weighs 35 tons, from 5 person operation, using semi-automatic loading mode. There is another model, the PLZ 04, with a slightly (4 percent) longer barrel than the PLZ 05. For all of these vehicles, the 155mm barrel is good for about 2,500 rounds.
Although the weight increase than the PLZ-45 two tons, but the two guns are almost exactly the same size, body length of 10.5 m, 3.3 m wide, 2.6 meters high (counting the installed turret at the top of the 12.7 mm-caliber machine gun, then the height of 3.5 m). PLZ-05's barrel length relative to the PLZ-45 increased by 15.5%.
Compared with the other self-propelled artillery, PLZ-05's turret volume has increased, its shape was reminiscent of Russia's 2S19 self-propelled artillery. PLZ-05 is equipped with an automatic loading system was copied from similar Russian-made equipment, because the Chinese military on the PLZ-45 is equipped with a loader with performance that satisfied China.
The PLZ-05 155mm self-propelled cannon is a modern artillery system with which China has reached the world's advanced level. It is a military-grade suppression artillery of the Chinese Army Mechanized Force. The PLZ-05 155mm self-propelled howitzer has some armor protection. It uses a 52-caliber long barrel and an automatic loader. The maximum range is 53 km and the maximum firing rate is over 8 rounds per minute. 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 type 155mm self-propelled howitzer 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 a 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 and will become the heavy-duty suppression artillery of the People's Liberation Army in the future. However, due to the use of Russian automatic loading machine, the gun has restricted the overall performance of the gun to a certain extent, and should be improved in the later development.
From the outside, the PLZ-05 155mm self-propelled howitzer is very powerful because it uses a longer gun barrel. The PLZ-45 artillery was only equipped with an air-cooled diesel engine with a power of 385.9 kW. Compared with the full weight of the 32-ton combat, the power was obviously insufficient, and the maximum speed of the road was less than 50 km/h. The type of artillery chassis used in Type 05 has been comprehensively improved. The height of the front power compartment of the car body is significantly higher than that of the PLZ-45 artillery. The 05 type adopts the more advanced 540KW class ZZ8V-150HB series water-cooled diesel engine and CH700 series crawler-type integrated transmission. The modern overall "power-drive" system is composed. The dramatic increase in powertrain performance has been a reliable guarantee for the dramatic increase in maneuverability.
The drive wheel of the 05-type self-propelled cannon chassis and the first pair of load-bearing wheels and the 5th and 6th pairs of load-bearing wheels have a large spacing. In fact, this is caused by the addition of independent hydraulic shock absorbers on the first and last pairs of load-bearing wheels.
The mechanism mounted on the 1st and 6th pair of heavy-duty wheels of the 05-type artillery chassis can lock the weight-bearing torsion arm during the firing of the artillery, and absorb the energy of the artillery while maintaining the stability of the vehicle body. The 05-type self-propelled cannons deleted the large hydraulic station at the end of the PLZ-45 artillery chassis, reducing the weight of the chassis and also greatly reducing the battle preparation time of the artillery. This design greatly enhances the mobile combat capability of the 05-type artillery. Considering the fact that the domestic self-propelled cannon is light in weight, the field maneuverability of the 05-type self-propelled artillery has actually reached or exceeded the advanced Western PZH2000.
The shape of the turret of the 05-type self-propelled artillery is not the same as that of the PLZ-45 artillery. The front of the turret does not have a roll to form a large horizontal fold line. The available space inside the turret is larger than the PLZ-45 artillery. 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.
Large doors and bullet-proof observation windows for occupant access are provided on the left and right sides of the turret. For large-caliber self-propelled artillery that are often in second-line operations, these designs do not excessively impair the protective performance of the artillery, but will provide continuous operation for the occupants. There are two details in the shape to show the advanced nature of the 05-type artillery. One is the artillery marching fixture at the front of the chassis. As can be seen from its complex structure, this is a fully automatic device. The occupant only needs to push the button inside the car, and it can automatically complete the gun fixing/release action. Compared with the simple marching fixtures that PLZ-45 artillery can only be manually operated outside the car, its advanced nature is self-evident.
The muzzle initial velocity measurement radar on the upper part of the 05-type gun barrel is significantly smaller than that of the PLZ-45. Although it has not yet reached the compactness of the PZH-2000 artillery initial velocity measuring radar, it is enough to illustrate the technological advancement of miniaturization of microelectronic devices in China for more than a decade.
The artillery marching fixture at the front of the artillery chassis is fully automatic, which shortens the transition time of the artillery from marching to combat. At the same time, this type of artillery is equipped with the muzzle velocity radar for the first time. In continuous shooting, the initial velocity of the first shot can be corrected according to the speed of the previous shot. The intensity is at the international leading level, with high depth and precision strike capability.
A large number of networked and digital technologies are used. The guns and supporting vehicles are equipped with computers. The artillery battalions can be combined into a network. From the front positions, the vehicles can be found and the information can be transmitted to the artillery until the launch. The whole process is automatically completed. Fully automatic bombing system, automatic aiming system and automatic marching fixture can realize automatic loading and semi-automatic charging at any angle.
The two major indicators that determine the fire performance of a self-propelled gun are the range and firing rate of the artillery. Among the domestic 155mm guns that have disclosed performance data, the best performance is the 52x caliber SH-1 vehicle and howitzer. The SH-1 artillery fired a new full-bottomed bottom-range extended-range high-explosive grenade with a range of 53 kilometers, which has far exceeded the maximum range of 40-caliber 155-mm and howitzer 40-42 km typical in Western countries.
China was the first country in the world to carry out research on large-caliber suppression of artillery projectiles. Although the original technology came from abroad, after more than 20 years of digestion and absorption, China had gained a lot of experience in this technology field. As early as the mid-1990s, all the ammunition varieties of the PLZ-45 artillery had already adopted the long-range full-elastic type.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the PLZ-45 artillery launched a domestically produced full-bore rocket compound extended-range projectile that has reached a range of 50 kilometers. However, the rocket composite range-increasing technology has a high occupancy of the projectile payload space, but the hit accuracy is not satisfactory. The second-generation full-bottomed extended-range grenade launched by the SH-1 artillery has not exceeded the range without the use of the compound extended range technology. The accuracy of the hit (ground density) has reached the international advanced level. As the most advanced domestic large-caliber suppressing artillery, the PLZ-05 uses the same 52-caliber extended gun barrel as the SH-1 vehicle gun, with a maximum range of 53 kilometers.
In terms of gun performance alone, the PLZ-05 has reached world-class levels. However, the automatic loading system of ammunition modeled in Russia limits the overall performance of PLZ-05 to a certain extent.
The rate of fire of large caliber self-propelled artillery is mainly guaranteed by the automatic loading system of ammunition. A complete ammunition automatic filling system should be able to complete a series of steps from automatic selection of ammunition, automatic setting of fuzes, automatic delivery of ammunition, push-in to the bottom of the load.
The PLZ-45 artillery developed in the late 1980s was equipped with a swing-arm semi-automatic loader that can be used for any angle. The selection and bombing work still needs to be done manually by the loader, so the maximum rate of fire is only 4-5 rounds / minute. In the mid-1990s, it was still impossible to independently develop a reliable large-caliber artillery automatic loading system in the country. Therefore, only Russian technology could be introduced to complete the automatic filling device design of PLZ-05.
Because of the special shell window design of the cartridge charge (the position is just below the root of the gun barrel), the PLZ-05 gun fire line is very high, about 20 cm higher than the PLZ-45, which leads to a significant increase in the height of the turret. It affects the structure weight and transport capacity of the artillery; on the other hand, it reduces the shooting stability of the small angle of the artillery.
In addition, the overall structure of the rotating magazine and the chamber arranged in the upper and lower layers of the turret is not compact, and the height of the turret is also increased. The elastic chain of this horizontal rolling magazine needs to directly bear the weight of the projectile. The working environment is rather harsh, and a large drag energy is required to complete the rotary feeding action.
In contrast, at present, the three generations of 155mm self-propelled artillery represented by PZH-2000 generally adopt vertical magazines. The projectiles generally do not occupy the turret space, and because the upright storage stress conditions are better, the chain rotation speed And the reliability of the mechanical structure is significantly improved. Because the space utilization rate is not high, the PLZ-05 turret tail compartment can only store no more than 25 rounds, and the total amount of shells is likely to be less than PLZ-45.
Although the PLZ-05 ammunition loading system is highly automated, the structural design is only equivalent to the level of the second generation self-propelled artillery loader in the West in the 1970s and 1980s. The ammunition loading system will be the focus of future improvements to the PLZ-05 self-propelled artillery.
The PLZ-45 155mm self-propelled howitzer system consists of five sub-systems: self-propelled gun system, ammunition system, target reconnaissance detection system, firing command system and support guarantee system. Among them, the ammunition fuel supply vehicle, the battalion, the company's command reconnaissance vehicle, the battlefield reconnaissance radar, the weather radar, and the battle support cabin are all developed along with the artillery project. Through the development of the PLZ-45 self-propelled howitzer system, we have comprehensively grasped the technical characteristics of the large-caliber self-reducing gun C4I system under informatization conditions . Good system support and integration capabilities are also important reasons for the successful export of the PLZ-45 self-propelled gun system over a strong competitor.
The Chinese military's first five PLZ-05-type 155-mm self-propelled howitzers battalion is in service. 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.
In early December 2017, more than 4,000 people of the 74th Group Army of the People's Liberation Army went to the Gobi Desert and launched live-fire shooting exercises. All kinds of artillery firepower were fully opened and the scene was spectacular.
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