The NORINCO (China NORth INdustries COrporation) Type 70 became the first Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA) vehicle to be produced by Chinese factories. This form was nothing more than a turreted gun carrier built atop the existing framework of the NORINCO Type 63-1 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) in Chinese military service. The Type 63-1 was notable in becoming the first Chinese-made APC to be designed, developed, and built without Soviet input.
The Type 70 SPA retained the same inherent capabilities of the Type 63 APC including its four roadwheels to a hull side and was driven by a turbo-charged diesel-fueled unit. The hull sat atop a torsion bar suspension system and used a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement. In time, this vehicle was updated to become the "Type 70-1" SPA which, due to its lengthened hull, now sported five roadwheels to a hull side. Unlike the original Type 70, the Type 70-1 was finished with no overhead or rear protection for its gunnery crew - retaining only the frontal and side shields. The total vehicle crew numbered seven.
The gun mounting for the 122mm barrel/gun tube allowed for a traversal of +22.5 degrees left and right from centerline and an elevation span of +63 to -2.5 degrees up and down. The main gun could reach out to target areas of 11,800 meters and fired the usual gamut of projectile types including High-Explosive (HE), smoke, and illumination rounds. A total of 40 x 122mm projectiles were typically carried along with 1,000 x 7.62mm ammunition.
Beyond its 122mm main gun armament, the vehicle was completed with a 7.62mm Type 67 machine gun based on the Soviet RP-46 system. This weapon could be brought to bear against enemy infantry as well as low-flying threats.
The Type 70-1 was eventually superseded by the 122mm Type 85 design which was followed by the 122mm Type 89 itself.
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