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PLZ-45 Self-Propelled Artillery

The PLZ-45 is a 155mm / 45 calibre full-tracked self-propelled artillery system. The PLZ-45 references the 45 times-caliber barrel, with the gun tube length 45 times the interior diameter of the barrel. The higher the value, the longer the tube, the faster the projectile muzzle velocity, so the greater the shell's range and accuracy.The PLZ 05 is a 155 mm self propelled howitzer with a 52 caliber barrel and is apparently offered for export. The more powerful PLZ 04 , with a 54 caliber barrel, has a slightly (4 percent) longer barrel than the PLZ 05.

In a strict sense, a distinction should be made between towed artillery guns and self-propelled artillery. Conventional artillery usually refers towed artillery, which uses vehicles to tow artillery. Self-propelled artillery is able to rely on its own power, no other vehicle traction, maneuver on the battlefield. The current trend is emerging self-propelled artillery gun several types of pairwise integration. The PLZ-45, although it is called a self-propelled howitzer, the aspect ratio reached a cannon barrel level, so strictly speaking, should be called "cannon."

Patterned on the original American M109, it has a similar design and appearance while incorporating a more powerful engine to improve mobility on a heavier chassis. The PLZ-45 has fast response, high degree of automation, and good motor ability. The PLZ-45 favorably with the M-109 in all aspects, and also has a significant advantage in range. The M-109 has been in service with the US military since 1963, from the A1-type modification to the current A6, is a very sophisticated artillery. Not only American mass equipped M-109, United States all allied forces, NATO allies also are equipped with M-109 series self-propelled artillery.

China has become the world's fourth-largest exporter of self-propelled guns. China's development level of self-propelled artillery worldwide started late, but rapid developed. The PLZ-45 tracked self-propelled howitzers undwent successful development in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The PLZ-45 self-propelled guns first appeared in 1988. Kuwait in 1997 and in 2001 purchased a total of 54 export-oriented PLZ-45, as well as related support vehicles, equipped with three artillery battalions. In 1997, the Kuwait Land Forces placed an order with China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) for a total of 27 PLZ-45 systems. This was apparently the first production order for the PLZ-45. NORINCO offers the PLZ-45 as part of a complete artillery package which includes a full-tracked ammunition support vehicle almost identical in concept to the US United Defense M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV).

By 2010 China had become the world's fourth largest exporter of self-propelled artillery. Statistics show that in 2006 to 2013, the world market sales self-propelled artillery in total amounted to $4.11 billion. Data show that the top three were South Korean K-9 155 mm self-propelled artillery, France 155 mm "Caesar" self-propelled artillery, Germany PZH 155 mm self-propelled artillery. China ranked fourth, after four years, mainly exported to Saudi Arabia 27 155 mm PLZ-45-type self-propelled artillery, with a total value of $200 million.

It uses similar ordnance to the towed NORINCO 155mm WAC-021 system. The enclosed rotating turret may incorporate NBC protection and a fire suppression system. The all-welded steel bodywork PLZ-45 weighs 29 tons, with a 33 ton combat weight. The vehicle length is 6.1 m (without barrel), width 3.2 m, and a height 2.6 m (excluding anti-aircraft machine gun). The right front side of the engine compartment has a Deutz BFl2 L413FC-cooled turbo diesel engine, with a maximum output power of 525 horsepower, with a six-speed forward, backward l file manual gearbox dual power output, the maximum road speed of 56 km / h, maximum travel 450 km, the steering system and a hydraulic power assisted steering; PLZ-45's suspension with torsion bar, a total of six pairs of road wheels, the first of which 1-2,2-3,4-5. The different interval between the first and second six pairs together with l strengthen hydraulic shock absorbers, front driving wheel, driven wheel in the rear, and there are three on each side supporting wheels, making for high-speed and off-road track tension driving.

The PLZ-45 driver's seat is located in the left front body,has been turned on after the hatch, front three periscopes; rear of the vehicle is equipped with turret fighting compartment, turret ring diameter of 2.6 meters, the PLZ-45 has a good carrying capacity; vehicle length entrances located in the upper right side of the turret with a rear-facing open hatch, 5 weeks endoscopic and open l seat gun rack, to install a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun; turret on each side l large fan-out entry, the door is equipped with a lookout windows, rear turret ammunition and has a door for access purposes; all entrances were closed design, the central pressure blower forming inside "three defenses" (NBC) protection environment, and another explosion suppression systems and manual fire extinguishing system.

PLZ-45 uses the 45 caliber 155 mm howitzer, also a NORINCO product, its actual barrel length is 7046 mm, shooting ERFB full caliber extended-range missile at a range of 30 kilometers, shooting ERFB-BB/HE increase the bottom row range missile at a range of up to 39 km, only slightly less than 52 times the diameter of 155 mm cannon; PLZ-45 can also use the M-107 NATO standard 155 mm shells. It is equipped with smoke evacuator bore and 3 of grid-type gun 171 muzzle brake, artillery maneuver when traveling to march lock fixed barrel, just open and close the lock is manually operated, when not in use is fixed ramp in front of the vehicle armored top.

The PLZ45 has a direct fire and indirect fire sight, the former is located in the left side of the gun barrel for a 5.5 magnification, field of view of 11 degrees straight tube lens; latter elbow mirror, magnification 4, 9.5 degrees field of view, located in the turret at the top of the left front, with armored shield protection. Sliding wedge breech ring tail connecting bolt gun shells semiautomatic machine, with hydraulic power assist gin pole into the shells, artillery pitch angle can fit in any operation, without having to change the loading gun point; loading procedure since the ammunition tanks fired shells will be automatically transported to the missile position, a grab machine artillery shells into the ammunition machine to the next, a call placed to play the machines into the guide groove, filling the hand lever press, then rises into the ammunition machine to meet artillery axis, the shells into the top bore, loader to load propellant Human clip, you can unlock the bolt gun ready to fire. Bomb semiautomatic machine so PLZ-45 has the highest per-minute rate of fire made 4-5 (continued firing rate of 2 rounds / min), but only with two loading hand, the whole vehicle with vehicle length, shooters and driving hands, Also only 5 people.

Turret rear ammunition bay can store a total of 24 155-mm artillery shells, and the other six rounds stored in filling seats on the right hand of the floor for a total of 30 rounds; projectile drugs can be divided into two storage folder, 8 rounds loaded into the left hand wall, placed artillery saddle after 22 rounds left and right floor ammunition rack. As PLZ-45 specifically for hydraulic balancing machine gun attached to the turret roof down, it increased the number of interior space, although the turret can rotate 360 ??degrees, but usually remains when shooting toward the front left and right 30 degrees of fire, and Lower the rear one pair hoe to facilitate stable body.

In order to improve performance, North Industries Corporation in 1995 after made several improvements, including a new fire control system (automatic column drop functionality, optical sight, barrel automatically point function, navigation and positioning capabilities, and GPS receiver), fighting prepare only 1 minute, shooting shorten reaction time; barbette muzzle velocity measuring device installed base to increase shooting accuracy; using the new fire-control computer software; cancel out the entry of large turret on the right (still retains the shore looking window) ; installation of smoke launchers, side skirts and front track increases, increase the engine air filter, as well as increasing the turret air-conditioning systems.


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 stolen 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. Kuwait, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia bought PLZ 45s in the last decade.

PLZ-05 evolved from the PLZ-45, which began in the last century 90's 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 (if you count installed in the turret at the top of the 12.7 mm-caliber machine gun, then the height of 3.5 m). PLZ-05's barrel length than the PLZ-45 increased by 15.5%.

Compared with the other two self-propelled artillery, PLZ-05's turret volume has increased, its shape was reminiscent of Russia's 2S19 self-propelled artillery. A source revealed, 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 loading machine performance and satisfied.

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 addition, PLZ-45 has also spawned another model - PLZ-04. The gun's barrel length is about 4% less than the PLZ-05. However, these three self-propelled artillery of barrel life are made in about 2500. As with the automated command system and satellite positioning systems, PLZ-05/04 are able to do shooting in a few minutes to prepare. It is reported that 30 per cannons Beidan hair (of which 24 fat stored in the loading machine), maximum rate of fire 10 rounds per minute (PLZ-45 for 5 rounds), extended-range missiles fired at the bottom of the exhaust when the maximum range can be 50 km, when launching the largest common range of ammunition, 39 km, firing laser-guided artillery shells to a maximum range of 20 km. However, this should be pointed out that the three guns on the use of a large number of stolen military technology from Russia.

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