MANUFACTURER(S): China NORth INdustries COrporation (NORINCO) - China
NBC PROTECTION: Yes - Optional.
Detailing the development and operational history of the NORINCO PLZ-05 (Type 05) Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH).
Entry last updated on 7/31/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Like other armies of the globe, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has adopted a tracked Self-Propelled Gun (SPG) system in 155mm caliber. By all accounts it is a conventional weapon of traditional arrangement and was first displayed to the public in the July 2007 PLA anniversary celebrations. Nearly 300 units have been taken into active inventory since introduction occurred in 2008 and these examples are being used to succeed the aging line of Type 59-1 guns of 130mm caliber.
The PLZ-05 is also known under the designation of "Type 05".
The PLZ-05 adds tremendous ranged fire (either direct or in-direct Line-of-Sight capability). It is a complete 35 tonne weapon system intended to deliver hard-hitting munitions out to ranges of 100 kilometers using specialized projectiles. The main gun is set within a traversing turret, completely enclosing the gunnery crew from the elements and battlefield dangers. The turret provides complete 360-degree traversal as well as elevation. When in travel mode, the barrel is locked to a hinged A-frame support at the glacis plate.
The complete crew numbers four personnel with only the driver situated in the hull proper (front-left). Next to his position (front-right) is the engine installation encompassing an 8V150 liquid-cooled turbocharged diesel unit outputting 800 horsepower. The running gear consists of a typical track-and-wheel arrangement featuring six double-tired roadwheels to a hull side. A torsion bar suspension system is used for better off-road travel. Road speeds reach up to 56 kmh and ranges are out to 550 kilometers.
Armor protection is against small arms fire and artillery spray. Smoke grenade dischargers - two banks of four launchers each - are added to the front turret facings and allow the vehicle to self-screen. Over the turret roof can be installed a 7.62mm or 12.7mm/14.5mm machine gun for anti-infantry / anti-aircraft work.
The main gun can manage up to 10 rounds-per-minute in sustained fire. Various munition types are supported including unguided, guided (smart) and rocket assisted types. Also the gun can fire conventional, anti-infantry, nuclear and chemical rounds as required.
The PLZ-52 is a related offshoot of the PLZ-05 is the PLZ-52. This vehicle is given a revised hull structure and carried a new engine/transmission mating which outputs up to 1,000 horsepower. The variant is heavier than the original PLZ-05 but faster on roads (65kmh) though with reduced operating ranges (450km).
Another offered variant is the PLZ-04 which differs in having a 54 caliber main gun barrel.