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WAC-021 / PLL-01 /
WA-021 / W-1988 / W-1989 - 155mm towed howitzer

The PLL01 (also known as W88/890) is a heavy gun-howitzer introduced in 1987. The towed NORINCO 155mm WAC-021 gun, which is also mounted on the PLZ-45 self-propelled gun system, represents a move by Chinese industry towards the world-standard 155mm caliber, in contrast to the 152mm Soviet-standard caliber that is used by the People's Liberation Army. China maintains roughly 150 Type-88 (WAC-21) artillery pieces. NORINCO 155mm W1988 & WA021 Gun-Howitzer is a very important model in R&D history. Development began in the early 1980s and was done in 1987 but this is for Export. The 155mm gun had a range of 39Km at most.

The PLL-01 (WA-021 / W-1988 / W-1989) 155mm towed howitzer is long-range canon howitzer that was developed in the 1980s by introducing a western technology (in Chinese "pressurized"). Development was by Norinco, which was in charge of the development of what was originally W-1988, was renamed in the 1990s with the WA-021. The formal name in the military is PLL-01. In addition, it may also be referred to by name, such as W-1989, or W-88/89. It should be noted that the name of the PLL-01 is not known at this time.

The Chinese military artillery had been operating a 152mm howitzer of Soviet-type, but newly adopted 155mm caliber of western type in place of the PLL-01 in 152mm. In the background of the development of this gun, the Chinese military had a sense of crisis to the obsolescence of the artillery forces. The Chinese military in the 1980s had recognized as the largest enemy the Soviet army, in contact along a very long border. This was a particular threat from armored forces and artillery troops. Against the Soviet Army, which traditionally had been focused on artillery forces, the Chinese military artillery units at the time, was at a disadvantage in terms of range, the number of artillery rockets, and shooting accuracy. The various artillery rocket that Chinese troops had been operational, equipment being introduced to the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s, was obsolescent at the time of the 1980s. In addition, in China state-of-the-art at the time, it was difficult to develop on its own a field gun with a performance that may be opposed to the Soviet artillery.

In order to resolve this situation, China selected since the late 1970s the introduction of technology from the West, with which China had an improved relationship. A result, study teams were dispatched to each country, from which was China was supposed to request cooperation in the new field gun development.

It was believed that with the Cold War at an end the Soviet threat had been reduced, and there was also no longer the need to rapidly modernize the artillery forces. Mass production of W-1988 was shelved. In the 1990s, the W-1988 was renamed the WA-021, and development for the purpose of improvement of various kinds of trouble was continued in NORINCO. Although this was research and development for the purpose of development of export howitzer and technology accumulation, the Chinese military itself decided to adopt the WA-021 for the the troops, to be formally known as "PLL-01 155mm". The PLL-01 was to be test operated by an independent artillery regiment of the Beijing Military Region, with three battalions of 54 guns being deployed. The artillery regiment was up to now the only force to operate the only PLL-01 in the Chinese military. In the 1999 military parade in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China the same unit also participated.

PLL-01 not only adopted a different caliber from the traditional Chinese military cannon system, various types of equipment and combat system were also adopted in line with western artillery. For the Chinese military, updating the traditional howitzer with the PLL-01 mad it necessary to change the obsolete artillery systems entirely. It was necessary to re-train the huge amount of new investment and personnel in order to adopt th system. The mass production of the 155mm shells led to concern that the 152mm shells in stock would be wasted. Since the 1990s, in a situation where the equipment procurement of the Air Force-Navy is a priority, is was a reality that equipment procurement was not done in need of such a huge cost of deployment. So the PLL-01 was limited to 54 guns being operated, though they were stored without bearing the operation costs.

In addition, it is also true there was a problem with the quality itself of PLL-01. From this case, W-1988 technical problems that occured during the development were not resolved completely. The mainstay of the current Chinese military towed howitzer in the Type 66 152mm howitzer (D-20). For modernization to a level that can support the artillery troops on the modern information warfare battlefield, the promotion of the military whole is essential for information as well as artillery systems, which is not be done in a short space of time.

In the equipment priority followed by the current situation for the Air Force and the Navy, the modernization of the entire artillery troops is difficult. Th alternative is to promote the modernization of the equipment for only part of the troops. This adopted a method of performing the accumulation of operational know-how of the new system. In the Chinese military, for the large amount of old cannon remaining, adoption and of laser-guided artillery shells, the modernization of the command and control system, that correspond to a networked, aims to maintain the strength as much as possible.

NORINCO has been actively engaged in the promotion of the WA-021 (product name of the PLL-01) in the international market, but has also worked on the modernization of the system. Exports have been small, Thai Marine Corps 10 guns, the WA-021 coastal gun type in Iran remained the 15 sets to export.

It is to be noted that the gun carriage of the PLL-01 is also possible to mount the gun barrel of Gerald Bull's technology' providedit received a 45 caliber 155mm cannon of other countries (such as the Austrian GHN-45). Muzzle brake in triplicate formula, have the ability to reduce gun recoil 43%. The top and bottom of the barrel is disposed is parked retreat double seat equipment, to adjust the rear chairman depending on the elevation angle of the cannon. Therefore, it is possible to continue shooting without problem with the high elevation.

One fire control vehicle can command and control 6 PLL-01 guns. The fire control vehicles, fire control equipment, control panel, command transmission equipment, the automatic observation equipment and the like are mounted. Normal range in the howitzer of PLL-01 is 24km, maximum range when using 30km, the FRFB-BB bullets FRFB bullet reaches 39,000m. Usable cannonball, HE that NORINCO has been developed (grenades), FRFB-HE, FRFB- BB-HE, FRFB-BB-WP, FRFB-illuminating (flares), FRFB-smoke (smoke bullet), such as child bomb-mounted (there is FRFB and FRFB-BB type) are prepared. Shells with 72 rounds of molded explosive bullets for top attacks against armored vehicles are effective in suppressive fire against the soft skin vehicles and troops. From the mid-1990s, the operation of the Russian Krasnodar 152mm laser-guided artillery shells by introducing the 155mm laser-guided artillery shells also became possible.

NORINCO announced an improved 155mm artillery shells in 2004, FRFB-BB-RAP with the largest range in the: maximum 50km range of when the fire (Rocket Assisted Projectiles rocket auxiliary propulsion bullet) with maximum instrumentation drugs It ensuring the came to be. However, this ammunition is in exchange for a long-range, has the disadvantage of reduced hit accuracy and reduction of the explosive charge amount. Firing speed of shells for 4 to 5 shots per minute is possible for a short time, in the case of sustained fire per minute 2 shots. The PLL-01, pressure-driven weapon and auxiliary equipment contributed to reducing the burden of the gunner.

The WA-021 auxiliary transport vehicle-mounted with the PLL-01 is towed by the 6 6 field track, because of the labor-saving in the short-distance movement of position, etc., the engine gun carriage auxiliary transport vehicle (APU: auxiliary Power Unit) was added to enable self-movement in position. Auxiliary transport vehicle is equipped with 493Q-type 4-cylinder air-cooled diesel (77hp), it had the ability to run the W-1988 at a maximum speed 20km / h. Cruising distance is 80km. Auxiliary transport vehicle was started to develop in 1987, a prototype 59-I-type 130mm cannon after conducting a test to connect to, mounted various tests in the W-1988 was carried out in 1988. With the attachment of the auxiliary moving vehicles, it is possible to self-propell in position, so the burden of the operator has been reduced significantly. In addition, because slightly less time is required for deployment and withdrawal is compared to the conventional towing artillery, it is also advantageous to position conversion for artillery fire. NORINCO announced this export artillery system for the 155mm artillery regiment / battalion in 2004.

The system, WA-021 auxiliary transport vehicle-mounted uses various types of ammunition and explosive charge, BCPV ream / BCP battalion commander vehicles, BRV reconnaissance vehicles (WZ-551 wheeled 8 8 wheeled armored vehicle in which the armored vehicles and the base), 702-D versus artillery radar vehicles, 704-1 weather radar-equipped vehicles, maintenance vehicles 2 cars (one locomotives crane equipment), electronic equipment repair vehicle, simulator training system, It consists of weapons operation for the software. About WA-021 of the same system, 39 caliber barrel length according to the needs of customers, 45 caliber, can be selected from three types of 52 caliber. In order to obtain international competitiveness, the various systems use the latest equipment, and consideration has also been made ??in training and maintenance characteristics.

NORINCO has developed the WA-021 coastal artillery-type coastal gun type for export. In addition to being operated in the Chinese military, 15 sets of the the WA-021 coastal artillery system have been exported to Iran.



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