PGZ88 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Artillery
PGZ88 (also known as Type 88) is the PLA’s first fully-automatic self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery (SPAAA) system designed to engage and destroy airborne targets such as fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters flying under 3,000m. The weapon system was intended to provide tactical field air defence for armoured troops at the division level. Only a small number has been built due to unsatisfactory performance.
Following the unsuccessful Type 63 twin-37mm and Type 80 twin-57mm SPAAA, the PLA required in the early 1980s a fully-automatic SPAAA to provide the urgently needed field air defence for its armoured troops. The resulted PGZ88 SPAAA system was introduced in 1989. Only a small number was delivered to the PLA for trial and evaluation, with no serial production reported.
The PGZ88 is basically a Type 74 twin-37mm AAA gun mounted on a tracked chassis of the Type 79 main battle tank. The vehicle features a large box-shape turret, with the fire-control radar mounted on the turret roof. In order to control the vehicle’s overall combat weight, the turret is only protected by thin armours to resist small calibre weapons, making it highly vulnerable to enemy anti-armour weapons.
The weapon system has a crew of four (commander/radar operator, tracker, gunner, and driver). The vehicle is powered by a liquid-cooled 427kW diesel engine, with a combat weight of 35 tonnes.
The 37mm AAA cannon of the PGZ88 was derived from the Type 74 twin-37mm AAA, with a cyclic rate of fire of 360~380 rounds/min and a maximum range of 9.4km. The automatically operated cannon fires the Type 76 high-explosive round with tracer in single or burst mode from one or both barrels, with a muzzle velocity of 1,000m/s. De to the introduction of an automatic loader, the PGZ88 has a much reduced reaction time compared to the manually-operated Type 74.
The vehicle carries 1,000 rounds inside its turret. If necessary, the cannon can also be used against ground targets such as troops, light armoured vehicles, and fortifications.
The fire control consists of the target search/rangefinder radar, optical sighting, electro-optical director, ballistic computing device, and identification of friend or foe (IFF) transmitter/receiver. The search radar has a detection range of 15km and altitude of 3,000m. The system reaction time is 6~11 seconds. Despite being described as all-weather system by its manufacturer, the weapon's effectiveness is reduced in bad weather or at night.
Combat Weight: 35 tonnes
Rate of Fire: 360~380 rounds/min
Muzzle Velocity: 1,000m/s
Effective Range: 7,200m
Effective Altitude: 4,000m
Horizonal Movement: 360 degree
Vertical Movement: -5~85 degree
Gun Moving Speed: 0.5~60 deg/s
Fire Control Search: (range) 15km; (altitude) 3,000m
Powerpack: 426kW diesel, liquid-cooled
Maximum Road Speed: 50km/h
Last update: 28 March 2008