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Type 87 (PP-87)

Infantry-Level Mortar System

China | 1987

"Chinese military industry realized the Type 87 to help succeed an aging line of Type 67 mortar systems then in circulation."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/10/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The modern mortar weapon system has been a mainstay of infantry-level actions for over a century with the basic concept behind the weapon surviving much longer than that. Mortars were crucial in the fighting of World War 2 (1939-1945) and were used thereafter in the countless conflicts around the globe, leading to new designs appearing and older forms somehow managing to stand the test of time (including some World War 1-era types). In China, the Soviet partnership allowed access to such battlefield solutions and this eventually spurred local industry to produce various models throughout the Cold War period well into modern times.

The "Type 87" is a Chinese-originated 82mm caliber infantry-level mortar system intended for in-direct Line-of-Sight (LoS) engagement of enemy forces - typically in actions centered on dislodging or outright neutralizing foes through a targeted area-of-effect attack. Design work on the Type 87 was had in 1987 and serial manufacture was taken on by state defense powerhouse China NORth Industries COrporation (NORINCO).

The Type 87 was taken into service with the forces of China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam for its time. In the case of China, it was used to succeed an aging stock of 82mm Type 67 infantry mortars - this form based in the earlier Type 53 which was nothing more than a copy of the Soviet PM-41 design (detailed elsewhere on the Military Factory).

Its configuration is conventional as infantry-level mortars go: the smooth, cylindrical launch tube makes up the primary component in the arrangement. An adjustable bipod assembly is affixed to the mounting hardware for accurized aiming while a heavy baseplate is fitted to the end of the launch tube. Optics are integrated along the length of the tube towards the muzzle.

The elevation controls give the weapon system an arc span of +40 to +84 degrees to satisfy the in-direct fire requirement. Traversal is 4-degrees left or right of center.

A trained, experienced mortar crew can fire off 20 rounds-per-minute in succession. Effective range is out to 3.5 miles utilizing the standard High-Explosive (HE) projectile available in the Chinese inventory. This can be increased to 3.7 miles using a special projectile.

Weight of the complete system is a manageable 60lb with the launch tube having an overall length of 55 inches.

Despite its Cold War roots, the Type 87 continues to be utilized by its few global operators - showcasing a sound, useful design for even the modern battlefield.

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The physical qualities of the Type 87 (PP-87). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
1,400 mm
55.12 in
O/A Length
1,400 mm
55.12 in
Barrel Length
59.52 lb
27.00 kg
Impact Ignition.
Single-Shot, Reusable Launch Tube.
Integrated Optics Set.
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Type 87 (PP-87). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
18,375 ft
5,600.7 m | 6,125.0 yds
Notable series variants as part of the Type 87 (PP-87) Infantry-Level Mortar System family line.
Type 87 - Base Series Designation.
PP-87 - Alternative Designation.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Type 87 (PP-87). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): China NORth INdustries COrporaton (NORINCO) - China
National flag of Bangladesh National flag of China National flag of Indonesia National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Vietnam

[ Bangladesh; China; Indonesia; Sri Lanka; Vietnam ]
Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Type 87 (PP-87) Infantry-Level Mortar System appears in the following collections:
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