Type 85 122-mm Self-Propelled Gun-Howitzer
The Type 85 Self-Propelled Howitzer mounts a Chinese derivative of the Soviet 122mm D-30 howitzer on the Type 85 APC chassis. This lengthened Type 531 chassis, developed for the Type 54-1 SPH, retains the entire APC body with the driver and five crew riding under armor protection. The howitzer and its shield is centrally mounted in the vehicle roof opening. The full-sized rear door has external armoured fuel cells on either side. The howitzer has a distinctive multi-baffle muzzle brake with a glacis-mounted travel lock.
The 85-type 122mm howitzer is a division howitzer developed by China North Industries Corporation in 1985 based on the Soviet D30 122mm howitzer based on the needs of modern warfare (so it is also called the D30 122mm self-propelled howitzer in the media). It is used to replace a large number of units equipped with the old-fashioned Type 54 and 54-1 or 122 mm howitzers.
The design of the Type 85 122mm self-propelled howitzer not only makes full use of the technical achievements and rich experience accumulated in the development of towed and self-propelled howitzers in China over the years, but also extensively absorbs the advanced technology used by countries around the world to develop self-propelled artillery. , So that the main performance of the self-propelled gun has reached the advanced level of similar products in the world in the early 1990s. At the same time, it also has the advantages of simple operation, convenient maintenance, and low price.
It uses a long tube with a diameter of about 32.75 times. There are two methods of high-low and horizontal rapid electric control and manual adjustment. The high and low shooting range is -3°~+70°, and the direction shooting range is 360°. Equipped with a digital display sight and a terminal shooting element display, and two types of charge structures, full charge and reduced charge, ensure superior fire maneuverability.
The use of a semi-automatic loading mechanism with any direction and any firing angle can ensure that the artillery is fed from outside the vehicle in any direction and firing angle position, so that the maximum design speed of the self-propelled artillery can reach 6-8 rounds per minute. It adopts hydraulic steering control device, hydraulic power-assisted shift device, dual-line hydraulic main clutch release device and dual-line dual energy (hydraulic, pneumatic) braking device. The turret and car body adopt high-strength armored steel plate fully enclosed welded structure.
The self-propelled artillery is mainly composed of a fire control system, ammunition and chassis, and auxiliary systems. It is operated by five crew members, including one gunner, one aimer, one pilot, and two loader. In addition, it can carry 1 person. The main weapon of the self-propelled artillery is a D30 122mm self-propelled howitzer. The artillery is composed of main parts such as the barrel, the retreat and retreat device, the cradle, the anti-danger board, the shell feeder, the shell conveyor, the height machine, the balancer, the digital display sight, the smoking device and the lighting fixture.
The gun body includes the barrel, muzzle brake, smoking device, breech tail and breech block. The gun body is a single barrel with an integral forged structure. It can withstand the high temperature, high pressure and gunpowder gas pressure acting on the barrel. The length of the body tube is 3995mm, the medicine chamber is large, there are 36 gradual rifling, and the winding degree is 25 times the caliber. The muzzle brake is a multi-baffle structure, which has the advantages of higher efficiency and lower shock wave overpressure.
The smoking device is located in the middle section of the body tube and has a cylindrical structure composed of an air reservoir, an air hole and a steel ball. It can eliminate the smell of gunpowder remaining in the barrel during launch, greatly reduce the gunpowder gas entering the turret when the bolt is opened, and improve the working environment of the crew.
The gun adopts a semi-automatic breech bolt and a torsion-bar energy-storing latch mechanism, which makes the gun structure compact, can automatically open the latch and throw the barrel when returning, it has reliable function and easy operation. The cradle adopts a cylindrical structure, and the trunnion is located at the rear of the cradle and supported in the bearing seat of the gun frame.
The recoil device is located above the cradle of the cradle, and the parking machine and the reentry machine are placed on the left and right separately. The double balancer is located on both sides of the barrel under the cradle.
The digital display sight and direct sight lens mount are installed on the left trunnion bracket of the cradle, and are equipped with a day and night peripheral sight and direct sight. The terminal shooting element display is installed in the appropriate position in the turret.
The height and direction of the artillery have two operation modes: electric drive and manual operation. The range of pitch angle is -3°~+70°, and the direction rotation angle is 360°.
The semi-automatic loading mechanism of the artillery is installed on the right rear side of the cradle, which is mainly composed of a shell feeder and a shell transporter, and has the function of loading projectiles at any firing angle. The base number of the self-propelled artillery is 40 rounds, of which 40 rounds are installed on the ammunition racks located on the left and right sides of the car body and the rear of the turret, and 40 cartridges are respectively mounted on the floating boxes located on the left and right sides of the center of the car body.
On the ammunition racks, the packs are sealed and packed in cartridges. The self-propelled artillery can use the following types of ammunition: anti-personnel blasting grenades, bottom row shells, anti-personnel armor-breaking sub-munitions, anti-personnel blasting incendiary shells, smoke shells and flares, and can use the original Warsaw Pact’s standard 122mm ammunition.
The self-propelled artillery is equipped with 12. 7mm high flat dual purpose machine gun and 40 rocket launcher.
The chassis is divided into three cabins, the driver's cab is at the front left, the power transmission room is at the front right, and the fighting room is at the rear. There is a hatch above the driver’s seat. The hatch cover can be rotated to the left and opened horizontally. There are 3 automatic defrosting periscopes directly in front of the cockpit and 45° to the left and right, of which 1 periscope in front can be replaced Infrared night vision device is used for covert driving at night. There is also a passage between the cab and the combat room for passengers to go back and forth.
The engine is installed in the power transmission room on the right side of the cab on the front of the chassis. The transmission is a four-in-one (integrated connection of the main clutch, gearbox, steering gear and transfer case) and is installed in front of the engine. The action part is mainly composed of driving wheels, inducers, road wheels, rubber track shoes and suspension systems. The driving wheel is front, and the suspension system is a torsion bar-oil-air hybrid.
There are 4 crew members in the battle room: gunner, aimer, loader and loader. The gun commander is located at the right front of the battle room, with a command turret above it. The door of the command turret opens backwards. A day and night observer is installed in the front. A periscope that can automatically defrost is installed on the left and right at 45°. Equipped with communication equipment and terminal shooting Zhuyuan display. An infrared searchlight is installed in the front of the control turret, and a 12.7mm high-level dual-purpose machine gun is installed on the right side. The control turret can rotate 360°.
The sighting hand is located in the front left of the fighting room, and in front of it is equipped with an indirect sight, a direct sight and a terminal shooting element display. The loader is located at the right rear of the fighting room, and the loader is located at the left rear of the fighting room. Four smoke launching tubes are installed on the left front and right front of the turret. At the end of the fighting room there is a left-opening door for personnel to enter and exit. In addition, the self-propelled artillery is also equipped with three defense systems, automatic fire extinguishing systems, ventilation and smoke exhaust systems and communication equipment.