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Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Type 87 (PP-87)

Infantry-Level Mortar System [ 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: 02/10/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

China national flag graphic


Infantry-Level Mortar System

China NORth INdustries COrporaton (NORINCO) - China
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Bangladesh National flag of China National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Vietnam Bangladesh; China; Sri Lanka; Vietnam
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.

Despite its size / weight, the product can be transported by foot infantry.
Inherent ability to provide suppression capabilities against target / target area.
An automatic, or pseudo-automatic, function is built into the system, allowing for repeat firing to be achieved.
Versatility is such that it can be mounted to vehicles as an anti-infantry / area suppression solution.
Supports mounting of optics (scopes) to aid in accuracy for ranged fire.
Supports 'iron sights' allowing for inherent accuracy in ranged fire.
Allows for the ability to arc its fire onto enemy positions / targets.
Aiming can be aided by use of a bipod support assembly, either as an integral part of design or option.
Design allows for user adjustability of certain components for customization.
Detonation of this entry is reliant on impact at target / target area; typical quality seen in direct-fire weapons (rocket / missile launchers).

Overall Length
1,400 mm
55.12 in
Barrel Length
1,400 mm
55.12 in
Empty Wgt
59.52 lb
27.00 kg

Integrated Optics Set.


Impact Ignition.

Impact Detonation
Design relies on impact on target for detonation.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)



Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of an infantry mortar projectile / shell
Rounds / Feed

Single-Shot, Reusable Launch Tube.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
18,375 ft
(5,601 m | 6,125 yd)

Type 87 - Base Series Designation.
PP-87 - Alternative Designation.

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