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PLZ-07

122 mm self-propelled howitzer

PLZ-07 howitzer

The PLZ-07 122 mm self-propelled howitzer is already in service with the Chinese Army

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service Mid 2000s
Crew 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 24.5 t
Length 6.6 m
Width 3.28 m
Height 2.5 m
Armament
Main gun 122 mm howitzer
Barrel length 32 calibers
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm
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 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 40 rounds
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine BF8M1015CP diesel
Engine power 590 hp
Maximum road speed 60 - 65 km/h
Range 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.8 m
Trench ~ 2.5 m
Fording ~ 1 m

 

   The PLZ-07 artillery system is a successor to the older Type 89, Type 85, Type 70-1 and Type 70 122 mm self-propelled howitzers. It evolved from the SH3, that was aimed mainly at export customers. The PLZ-07 was first publicly revealed in 2009. This artillery system is in service with the Chinese army. Chinese army operates a large number of these artillery systems. The PLZ-07 has greater mobility, improved fire control system and delivers greater firepower than its predecessors.

   The PLZ-07 is armed with a variant of the PL-96 122 mm/L32 howitzer, which in turn is a copy of the Soviet D-30 towed howitzer. It is a proven design, used on a number of Chinese self-propelled howitzers. The PLZ-07 is fitted with a semi-automatic loader. This artillery system is compatible with standard Chinese and Russian 122 mm ammunition. It fires separate-loaded ammunition. NORINCO developed a whole family of 122 mm ammunition. Maximum range of fire is 18 km with a standard High-Explosive (HE) projectile, 22 km with extended-range projectile and 27 km with rocket assisted projectile. This artillery system is also capable of firing 122 mm laser-guided projectiles. These are based on Russian Kitolov projectile technology.

   Secondary armament consists of a roof mounted 12.7 mm machine gun. The PLZ-07 is fitted with improved fire control system.

   Armor of the PLZ-07 provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. NBC protection and automatic suppression systems are fitted as standard.

   This artillery system is operated by a crew of 5.

   Due to new chassis the PLZ-07 has greater mobility than the previous Type 89. It uses a modified chassis of the Type 97 infantry fighting vehicle, which is powered by a BF8M1015CP turbocharged diesel engine, developing 590 hp. This artillery system is not amphibious, however it seems that it might be fitted with floatation kit in order to ford inland rivers and lakes. Chinese marine corps uses a similar PLZ-07B self-propelled howitzer which is fully amphibious.

   During the late 2000s China also adopted some other self-propelled howitzers, fitted with a 122 mm gun. These are PCL-09 truck-mounted howitzer, based on 6x6 truck chassis and PLL-09 self-propelled howitzer, based on 8x8 armored personnel carrier chassis. These artillery systems are used to support motorized infantry units and rapid deployment brigades.

 

Variants

 

   SH3 is a forerunner of the PLZ-07. It is a similar 122 mm self-propelled howitzer, which was developed mainly for export. It emerged a couple of years before the PLZ-07. Known operators of the SH3 include Rwanda.

   PLZ-07B is an amphibious self-propelled howitzer, used by China's marine corps. This artillery system is fully amphibious. It has a boat-like hull for improved floatation and is fitted with a trim vane. Though it uses the same turret as the PLZ-07. On water this artillery system is propelled by two waterjets. The PLZ-07B can be launched at sea from amphibious assault ships and swim over short distances to shore.

 

 
PLZ-07 howitzer

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PLZ-07 howitzer

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PLZ-07 howitzer

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PLZ-07 howitzer

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PLZ-07 howitzer

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