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PLZ-52

155 mm self-propelled howitzer

PLZ-52 howitzer

The new Chinese PLZ-52 howitzer is among the most capable artillery systems in the world

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service ?
Crew 4 ~ 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 35 t
Length (gun forward) ~ 12 m
Hull length ~ 6 m
Width ~ 3.6 m
Height ~ 3 m
Armament
Main gun 155 mm howitzer
Barrel length 52 calibers
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm
Projectile weight 43 - 48 kg
Maximum firing range up to 53 km
Maximum rate of fire 8 ~ 10 rpm
Elevation range - 3 + 65 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 30 ~ 40 rounds
Machine guns ~ 500 rounds
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power 1 000 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Range 500 ~ 600 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.8 m
Trench ~ 2.8 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m

 

   The PLZ-52 is a new Chinese self-propelled howitzer. It is similar in appearance to the PLZ-45, however it packs a heavier punch. It was first unveiled in 2014. Currently it is among the most  capable artillery systems in the world. However the PLZ-52 is aimed mainly at export customers, rather than Chinese army.

   The new PLZ-52 has a modified hull and turret. This artillery system is fitted with a 155 mm/L52 howitzer and uses a modular charge system. This howitzer is capable of firing a full range of Chinese 155 mm munitions. Range of a standard High-Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) projectile is around 30 km and around 40 km of extended-range projectile. Maximum range of fire is 53 km with rocket-assisted projectile. It has been reported that China developed a GPS-guided 155 mm projectile. It was claimed that this projectile has a whooping maximum range of 100 km and accuracy of 40 m.

   The PLZ-52 is capable of firing Chinese precision guided projectiles. In the 1990s China obtained the Russian Krasnopol laser-guided projectile technology. Later it successfully developed its own precision guided munitions. This projectile has a maximum range of 20 (GP155) and 25 km (GP155A). Furthermore China publicly revealed new precision guided anti-armor projectiles, similar to the Bonus. The original Bonus projectile carries two smart anti-tank submunitions to a range of 34 km. So Chinese equivalent of this projectile should have similar performance.

   This artillery system has an automatic ammunition and charge loading system. Maximum rate of fire is around 8 to 10 rounds per minute. The PLZ-52 is capable of Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) firing. It can launch up to 4 rounds that would hit the same target simultaneously.

   Secondary armament consists of a 12.7 mm machine gun, mounted on top of the roof.

   Armor of the PLZ-52 protects the crew against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems are fitted as standard.

   The PLZ-52 is operated by a crew of around 4 to 5 soldiers.

   This artillery system uses an armored tracked chassis, which is very similar to that of the PLZ-05. It is powered by a new diesel engine, developing 1 000 hp. Engine is located at the front of the hull. Vehicle is fitted with an automatic transmission system.

   This self-propelled howitzer is supported by an associated ammunition resupply vehicle, which carries ammunition under armor on the battlefield. The resupply vehicle is based on the same tracked armored chassis and carries around 90 rounds of ammunition with associated charges.  though it has a slightly different design and ammunition delivery method, than resupply vehicles of PLZ-05 and PLZ-45 self-propelled howitzers. It resembles a South Korean K10 resupply vehicle of the K9 self-propelled howitzer. Automated ammunition delivery is around 8 rounds per minute.

   A battery of PLZ-52 howitzers includes command post vehicle, forward observation vehicle, ammunition resupply vehicles, and maintenance vehicles. Also there are proposed some optional battery support vehicles, such as  artillery locating and fire correction radar, meteorological radar and armored recovery vehicle.

 

 
PLZ-52 howitzer

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PLZ-52 howitzer

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PLZ-52 howitzer

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PLZ-52 howitzer

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PLZ-52 howitzer

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PLZ-52 howitzer

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