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155 mm self-propelled howitzer


The PLZ-05 self-propelled howitzer may enter service with the Chinese Army in the near future

Country of origin China
Entered service 2008
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
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 39 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
Engine Deutz diesel (?)
Engine power 800 hp
Maximum road speed 55 km/h
Range 550 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.8 m
Trench ~ 2.8 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m


   The PLZ-05, also referred as the Type 05, is a recent Chinese development. It evolved from the PLZ-45 self-propelled howitzer, that was exported to some countries. The first prototype was completed in 2003 and it was revealed in 2005. The PLZ-05 was adopted by Chinese army in 2008 to replace the older Type 83 152 mm self-propelled howitzer. It represented a shift from Soviet to NATO standards in terms of artillery and ammunition. As of 2015 nearly 300 PLZ-05 artillery systems are in service with the Chinese military. These are used by Chinese army, as well as coastal defense artillery units. The PLZ-05 self-propelled howitzer was never offered for export, even though China offers some similar artillery systems for possible customers.

   The PLZ-05 is armed with a 155 mm/L52 howitzer. It is a modified version of the AH2 towed howitzer. Its predecessor, the PLZ-45, was fitted with a shorter 155 mm/L45 howitzer. The PLZ-05 has a longer barrel, as well as longer range of fire and improved accuracy. Turret of the PLZ-05 was enlarged and resembles that of the Russian 2S19 Msta-S. It has a semi-automatic ammunition loading system. The Chinese Army was unsatisfied with indigenous semi-automatic loader of the PLZ-45. Some sources report, that the PLZ-05 uses an autoloader that has been copied from the Russian 2S19 Msta-S.

   The PLZ-05 is capable of firing a full range of Chinese 155 mm munitions. Range of a standard projectile is estimated to be around 30 km. Rocket assisted projectile has a range of 39 km. The PLZ-05 is also capable of firing Chinese precision guided projectiles. In the 1990s China obtained a Russian Krasnopol laser-guided projectile technology as well as production license. Later it successfully developed its own GP-155 family of precision guided munitions. These projectiles have a maximum range of 20 km (GP-155, also referred as GP-1) and 25 km (GP-155A). Also recently China publicly revealed new GP-155G 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. Furthermore China has developed a satellite-guided WS-34 155 mm projectile with a claimed maximum range of 100 km and accuracy of 40 m. In terms of range it outperforms a US M982 Excalibur, which has a range of up to 60 km when fired from a 52-caliber ordnance. Though the Excalibur is accurate out to 5 m.

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

   Armor of the PLZ-05 protects against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems are fitted as standard.

   This artillery system uses a tracked chassis, which is very similar to that of the PLZ-45. It is most likely that it is powered by a Deutz turbocharged diesel engine. Engine of this self-propelled howitzer is developing 800 hp.

   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. It resembles a US M992 ammunition resupply vehicle of the M109 howitzer. It carries around 90 rounds of ammunition with associated charges and transfers them to the PLZ-05 via conveyor. 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 of the howitzer or for other repair, recovery and load handling operations.




   PLZ-52 is an export version. It has similar appearance to the PLZ-45, but is fitted with a 155 mm/L52 howitzer. Though there were some modifications to the hull and turret. This artillery system has a maximum range of 53 km with rocket-assisted projectile. Maximum rate of fire is 8 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. It has been reported that the PLZ-52 is powered by a 1 000 hp engine.

   PLZ-04 is another export version. It has a slightly longer 54 caliber barrel, which gives improved range and accuracy. This self-propelled howitzer was reportedly exported to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.




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PLZ05 ammunition resupply vehicle

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