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PCL-09

122 mm self-propelled howitzer

PCL-09 howitzer

The PCL-09 truck-mounted howitzer is widely used by the China's army

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service 2009 (?)
Crew 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 16.5 t
Length (in travelling order) ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armament
Main gun 122 mm
Barrel length 38 calibers (?)
Machine guns -
Projectile weight 14 - 22 kg
Maximum firing range 18 - 27 km
Maximum rate of fire 6 - 8 rpm
Elevation range - 3 to + 70 degrees
Traverse range 60 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 40 rounds
Machine guns -
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power ?
Maximum road speed 85 km/h
Range 600 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench ~ 1.2 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m

 

   During 2000s a number of truck-mounted howitzers emerged in China, including SH1, SH2 and other designs. These were modeled after a French CAESAR truck-mounted howitzer. The PCL-09 was adopted by the China's army and is widely used. It was first used during a military exercise in 2010. This artillery system is also being proposed for export customers.

   This self-propelled howitzer uses chassis of a Shaanxi 6x6 military trucks. It is armed with a version of a PL-96 122 mm field howitzer. The PL-96 is a Chinese version of a Soviet D-30 field howitzer. The PL-96 and its predecessors have been in service with Chinese army for more than 20 years. It is a proven design, used on a number of self-propelled artillery systems in China and other countries.

   The PCL-09 artillery system provides indirect fire support for motorized infantry units. It is much more efficient than towed howitzers and can briefly change its firing positions. The PCL-09 was adopted alongside a PLL-09 self-propelled howitzer, which is based on 8x8 armored personnel carrier. China's army also operates a PLZ-07 self-propelled howitzer, which utilizes a similar 122 mm ordnance, but is based on a tracked chassis.

   This artillery system uses separate-loaded ammunition with projectiles and their charges. NORINCO produces a whole family of 122 mm ammunition for its artillery system. This howitzer fires High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), cargo, incendiary, smoke, illumination, and possibly other types of rounds. The PCL-09 is compatible with all standard 122 mm ammunition of Russian D-30 howitzer. Maximum range of fire is 18 km with a standard HE-FRAG projectile, 22 km with extended-range projectile and 27 km with rocket assisted projectile. The PCL-09 is also capable of firing 122 mm laser-guided projectiles. These are based on Russian Kitolov projectile technology.

   This artillery system comes with a semi-automatic loading system, which simplifies loading of the howitzer. There are ammunition boxes for projectiles and their charges. A total of 40 rounds are carried onboard. Large spades and stabilizing jacks are lowered to the ground prior to firing. These provide a more stable firing platform.

   The PCL-09 can launch its first round in less than one minute. A typical shoot-and-scoot mission of stopping, firing six rounds and transforming back to traveling mode can be completed within 3 minutes. Such result is a huge improvement over PL96 towed howitzers, that are widely used by the China's army. Brief redeployment time allows to avoid counter-battery fire.

   The PCL-09 is fitted with a computerized fire control system, navigation, positioning and targeting systems. It receives target information from artillery command post vehicle. It is most likely that this Chinese artillery system uses digital battlefield management system.

   This howitzer uses chassis of a Shaanxi 6x6 military trucks. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system, which improves mobility over different types of terrain, such as sand, snow and mud. This artillery system can be airlifted by medium transport aircraft.

   The PCL-09 has a double cab, which accommodates a crew of 5.

   It seems that this artillery system carries no defensive armament, even though there could be a heavy machine gun mount on top of the roof.

   A complete PCL-09 battery comprises of around 6 truck-mounted howitzers, and a battery command post vehicle. The regiment of the PCL-09 consists of a couple of batteries, and also includes one battalion command post vehicle, one meteorological radar, one artillery locating radar and some reconnaissance vehicles.

 

Variants

 

   CS/SH1 is an export version of the PCL-09.

   PLL-09 is a self-propelled howitzer, based on ZBL-09 8x8 armored personnel carrier chassis. It was adopted alongside the PCL-09. The PLL-09 is more mobile due to its chassis. It is capable of keeping pace with main battle tanks. Also this artillery system is fully amphibious and can ford water obstacles afloat.

 

 
PCL-09 howitzer

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PCL-09 howitzer

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PCL-09 howitzer

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PCL-09 howitzer

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PCL-09 howitzer

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PCL-09 howitzer

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PCL-09 howitzer

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