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155-mm self-propelled howitzer


The PLZ45 self-propelled howitzer was developed for the export market and is in service with Kuwait

Entered service 1997
Crew 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 33 t
Length (gun forward) 10.52 m
Hull length ~ 6 m
Width 3.3 m
Height 2.6 m
Main gun 155-mm howitzer
Barrel length 45 calibers
Machine guns 1 x 12.7-mm
Projectile weight ?
Maximum firing range 24 - 39 km
Maximum rate of fire 4 - 5 rpm
Elevation range - 3 to + 72 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 30 rounds
Machine guns 480 rounds
Engine Deutz diesel
Engine power 517 hp
Maximum road speed ~ 55 km/h
Range ~ 550 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.8 m
Trench ~ 2 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m


   The PLZ45 self-propelled howitzer was developed by NORINCO in the early 90s specially for the export market. This artillery system was exported to Algeria, Kuwait (51) and Saudi Arabia (54). The PLZ45 was selected by the Kuwait Army in 1997. Deliveries to Saudi Arabia were began in 2008 and were completed 2009. Deliveries to Algeria commenced in 2014. A small number of these self-propelled howitzers are also in service with China. These are used by Beijing military district.

   The PLZ45 is armed with a 155-mm / L45 howitzer, which was developed from the Type 89 (PLL01) 155-mm towed howitzer. It is worth mentioning that China obtained the 155-mm/ L45 howitzer technology from Austria in 1980s. The PLZ45 has a semi-automatic loader. It enables projectile loading at any angle of elevation. The charge is being loaded manually. The PLZ45 fires HE, HE-FRAG, smoke, illumination and cargo rounds. It is also capable of firing precision guided munitions. China obtained the Russian Krasnopol laser-guided projectile technology in the 1990s and successfully developed its own precision guided projectiles. These projectiles have a maximum range of 20 km.

   This artillery system has a high degree of operation autonomy and quick reaction time. The fire control system consists of automatic laying system, and GPS-based gun orientation and navigation systems.

   Secondary armament consists of a roof-mounted 12.7-mm machine gun, which is operated by the vehicle commander.

   Vehicle has a welded hull and turret. Armor of the PLZ45 protects against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

   The PLZ45 has a crew of 5, including commander, gunner, two loaders and driver.

   The PLZ45 uses a newly developed tracked chassis, which offers better performance, than the Type 321 used by most older Chinese artillery systems. Vehicle is powered by a Deutz turbocharged diesel engine, developing 517 hp. This engine is license-produced in China and is used on a number of military machines. There is also an auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems, when vehicle is stationary.

   The PCZ45 ammunition resupply vehicle delivers ammunition under armor on the battlefield. It is based on the PLZ45 chassis. It carries a total of 90 rounds. Automated delivery is 8 rounds per minute. This support vehicle is fitted with a crane, which is used for ammunition handling operations and can be also used to replace the powerpack.

   A battery of 6 PLZ45 artillery systems is supported by 6 PCZ45 ammunition resupply vehicles, command post vehicle and 3 forward observation vehicles, artillery locating and fire correction radar, meteorological radar and maintenance vehicle.




   PLZ05, 155-mm self-propelled howitzer, fitted with larger turret and longer barrel. The PLZ05 has new automatic loading system.







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