PLZ45 SP Gun-Howitzer
PLZ45 155mm/45-calibre self-propelled gun-howitzer system
PCZ45 Ammunition Support Vehicle
Each battery consists of 6 PLZ45 SP gun-howitzers and 6 PCZ45 ammunition support vehicles
The PLZ45 is armed with a 155mm/45 calibre gun-howitzer based on Austrian technology
PLZ45 System Radar
704-1 artillery locating and fire correction radar and 702-D meteorological radar
Kuwaiti Army PLZ45
54 units of the PLZ45 artillery system was exported to Kuwait in 1997, followed by an additional 74 units in 2001
PLZ45 155mm Self-Propelled Gun-Howitzer
Export Name: PLZ45
Contractor: 123 Factory, 127 Factory, 674 Factory, Beijing University of Science and Technology
Design Finalisation: Late 1990s
Service status: Export only (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia)
China North Industries Group Corporation (CNGC) developed the PLZ45 155mm self-propelled gun-howitzer system in the early 1990s for the export market. The artillery system is armed with a 155mm main gun derived from the Type 89 (PLL01) 155mm/45-calibre towed gun-howitzer, mounted on a newly-developed tracked chassis. China obtained the 155mm/45-calibre howitzer technology from Austria in the 1980s, and developed its own 155mm/45-calibre howitzer.
In the 1997 during an international bid to provide Kuwaiti Army with a battalion of self-propelled artillery systems, the PLZ-45 surprisingly beat the US and European competitors to win the contract. Apart from political reasons to repay China’s support in the UN resolution to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, the excellent performance of the artillery system was also an important factor for the decision. A battalion of howitzers were delivered to the Kuwait along with a full package of support, command and control, forward observer, and radar vehicles. A second batch of 74 units was ordered by the Kuwaiti Army in 2001.
In 2007, it was reported that Saudi Arabian Army has decided to order two battalions of 54 units of the PLZ45 artillery system, making it the second major user of the system. However, despite early speculations about the possibility of the weapon system being adopted by the PLA, no order has been received from the domestic market.
Operated by a crew of five, the PLZ45 is armed with a 155mm, 45-calibre main gun, with a semi-automatic loader and an electrically controlled and hydraulically operated rammer that enables projectile loading to take place at any angle of elevation with the charge being loaded manually. The turret has an elevation of +72 to -3 degrees with 360 degree traverse. The PLZ45 is powered by a 520hp turbocharged diesel, giving a max road speed of 40km/h.
Secondary weapons include a roof-mounted W-85 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun and two sets of four-barrel smoke grenade launchers on the turret's side.
Ammunitions are stored at the rear of the turret. A total of 30 rounds for the gun-howitzer and 480 rounds for the machine gun are carried onboard. 24 howitzer rounds are carried in the loader and 6 rounds on the right side below the loader.
The fire-control system of the PLZ45 includes an automatic laying system, optical sighting system, gun orientation and navigation system, and a GPG receiver.
The PLZ45 fires a range of Extended Range Full Bore (ERFB) ammunition, including High Explosive (ERFB/HE), Base Bleed High Explosive (ERFB-BB/HE), ERFB-BB/RA, ERFB/WP, ERFB/Illuminating, ERFB/Smoke, and ERFB-BB/Cargo.
China obtained the Russian Krasnopol laser-guided projectile technology in the 1990s, and has successfully developed its own 152/155mm laser-guided ammunitions. Designed to defeat armoured vehicles and weapon emplacements, the projectile has inertial mid-course guidance and semi-active laser homing. The projectile has a range of 3~20km, and can hit a target by the first shot without registration.
A standard PLZ45 battalion consists of 3 batteries, each with 6 PLZ45 self-propelled gun-howitzers (SPGH) and 6 PCZ45 ammunition support vehicles (ASV). Each battery has a battery command post and 3 battery reconnaissance vehicles (BRV), both of which are based on the Type 85 APC. These are supported by W653A armoured recovery vehicles, 704-1 artillery locating and fire correction radar, 702-D meteorological radar, and fire support maintenance vehicles.
Combat weight: 33t
Dimension: (Length) 10.52m; (width) 3.30m; (height with AAMG) 3.52m; (height without AAMG) 2.60m
Fire-Supression System: Yes
Barrel Length: 45 calibre
Barrel Life: 2,500 firings
Maximum Firing Range: (High Explosive or HE): 24km; (Extended Range Full Bore, or ERFB) 30km; (Extended Range Full Bore, Hollow Base, Base Bleed, or ERFB-HB-BB) 39km
Rate of Fire: intense 4~5 rounds/min; sustained 2 rounds/min
Loading system: semi-automatic
Fire Control: Direct or indirect firing with electro-optical sighting system for day/night operations; onboard computer; GPS