PLZ05 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer
The PLZ05 155mm self-propelled howitzer entered service with the PLA around 2007, intended as a replacement for the ageing Type 83 152mm self-propelled gun-howitzer deployed at the army- and division-level to provide long-range accurate firepower. At least one PLZ05-equipped battalion is now serving with the artillery brigade of the 39th Group Army in the Shenyang Military Region, with more units expected to be fielded in the future.
The development of the PLZ05 reportedly began in the mid-1990s, and the prototype was completed in 2003. The howitzer may have been certified in 2005~06. A model of the howitzer was first revealed by the China North Industries Group Corporation (CNGC) during the 2005 Beijing International Aviation Expo. In July 2007, during the exhibition held in the Chinese People’s Revolutionary Military Museum to mark the 80th anniversary of the PLA, an example of the PLZ05 was displayed to the public for the first time.
The PLZ05 features a 155mm gun. The barrel length is 52 or 54 calibre. No information on the howitzer’s technical specifications is available at this stage. The howitzer features an enlarged turret that resembles that of the Russian MSTA-S 2S19 152mm howitzer. There has been reports suggesting that the PLZ05 is fitted with a fully automatic gun loader that was developed (or copied) from the loading system of the 2S19, giving a maximum rate of fire of 8~10 rounds/min. This was possibly because the PLA was unsatisfied with the Chinese-designed semi-automatic gun loader on the PLZ45 155mm self-propelled howitzer.
There is also a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun (AAMG) mounted on the roof of the turret, controlled by the commander. Four smoke grenade launchers are mounted on the turret front on each side of the main gun.
The PLZ05 is capable of firing the full range of Chinese indigenous ammunitions. CNGC has also developed a variety of the extended range full bore (ERFB) ammunitions including explosive, illuminating, smoke and cargo. The range of the ammunitions can be further extended using technologies such as base bleed (ERFB-BB) and rocket-assisted (ERFB-BB/RA).
Additionally, the PRC has also obtained the Russian Krasnopol laser-guided projectile technology in the 1990s, and has successfully developed its own 155mm laser-guided ammunitions. The projectile uses inertial mid-course guidance and semi-active laser homing, and has a maximum range of 20km. It can hit a target by the first shot without registration.
The howitzer is mounted on a full-track chassis, which appears to be near identical to that of the PLZ45. The chassis has six rubber-tyred road wheels and two track support rollers on each side. The diesel powerpack is mounted at front, leaving the room in the rear of the vehicle for the gun loader and external ammunition loading system.
Barrel Length: 52 or 54 calibre
Maximum Firing Range: Over 50km
Rate of Fire: intense 8~10 rounds/min
Loading system: Automatic
Second Weapon: 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun
Smoke Grenade: 2 sets of 4-barrel launchers
Last update: 20 February 2009