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SH-3

122 mm self-propelled howitzer

SH3 SPH

The SH-3 122 mm self-propelled howitzer is already in service with the Chinese Army

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service 2007
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 SH-3 artillery system is an improved version of the Type 89. Its industrial designation is WMZ322. This artillery system was offered for export customers. The SH-3 can be seen as a China's newly-built equivalent to the Soviet 2S1 Gvosdika. It offers greater mobility, improved fire control system and delivers greater firepower than the 2S1 or the Type 89 self-propelled howitzers. The only known customer of the SH-3 is Rwanda. This country acquired 6 units in 2007. A modified version of the SH-3, the PLZ-07, was adopted by the China's army in the late 2000s and is being fielded in large numbers.

   The SH-3 can be seen as an improved version of the Type 89. It 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 indigenous SPHs. The SH-3 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 standard HE projectile, 22 km with extended-range 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.

   In terms of range and firepower this 122 mm howitzer fits the gap between 105 mm and 152 / 155 howitzers. Even though the 122 mm howitzers can not match performance of larger artillery systems, in some cases this caliber can be more preferable over Russian 152 mm or Western 155 mm. Many countries use the D-30 artillery systems and its variants and have plenty of 122 mm ammunition in stock.

   Secondary armament consists of a roof mounted 12.7 mm machine gun. The SH-3 is fitted with improved fire control system.

   Armor of the SH-3 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.

   The SH-3 uses a new chassis, which is based on the Type 89 chassis, but has numerous improvements. It is powered by a BF8M1015CP turbocharged diesel engine, developing 590 hp. It is based on a German-made Deutz engine. Due to the new chassis the SH-3 has greater mobility than the previous Type 89.

 

Variants

 

   PLZ-07 is a version of the SH-3, adopted by the Chinese army. It is a successor to the Type 89 self-propelled howitzer. It was adopted in the late 2000s and first publicly revealed in 2009. The PLZ-07 is being fielded by the Chinese army in large numbers. This artillery system is not amphibious, though it seems that it might be fitted with floatation kit in order to ford inland rivers and lakes.

   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 and two waterjets. Though it uses a similar turret as the SH-3 and PLZ-07. The PLZ-07B can be launched at sea from amphibious assault ships and swim over short distances to shore.

 

 

 
SH3 SPH

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SH3 SPH

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SH3 SPH

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SH3 SPH

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SH3 SPH

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SH3 SPH

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys
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