Artillery / Self-propelled howitzers / PLZ45

PLZ45

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled howitzer

  • ORIGIN
    China

  • NICKNAMES
    Type 88

  • DESIGNED
    1980's

  • DESIGNER
    NORINCO

  • PRODUCTION
    1997 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    China - NORINCO

  • QUANTITY
    Over 100

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good range
    Limited rate of fire
    Limited amount of ammunition

Introduction

The PLZ45 is a tracked 155mm self-propelled howitzer of Chinese origin. The PLZ45 was developed as a replacement for the aging Type 83 howitzer. Eventually the Chinese armed forces settled on the PLZ05, which is a further development of the PLZ45.

Layout

The PLZ45 is based on a new tracked chassis. The engine and drive train are mounted at the front and the fully enclosed turret is fitted at the rear. The crew of five consists of a commander, driver, gunner and two loaders.

Firepower

The PLZ45 is fitted with a 45-caliber 155mm howitzer capable of firing NATO standard ammunition, although Chinese ammunition is supplied with it. A semi-automatic loader is fitted and holds 24 out of the 30 rounds that are carried in the vehicle. The maximum rate of fire is 4 to 5 rounds per minute, with sustained fire being 2 rounds a minute. Standard ERFB rounds can be fired up to 30km and base bleed variants up to 39km. For self defense a 12.7mm heavy machine gun is mounted on the turret roof.

Protection

The PLZ45 is operated under full armor protection. The steel armor gives protection against small arms fire and shell splinters. NBC and fire suppression systems are fitted. No smoke dischargers are fitted.

Mobility

With its tracked chassis the PLZ 45 has good cross country performance, although its average speed is somewhat limited. The PLZ45 is powered by a 525hp Deutz diesel engine and an auxiliary power unit provides power when the engine is not running.

Users

The PLZ45 is meant for export with the more capable PLZ05 being adopted by Chinese forces. Kuwait bought the entire PLZ45 artillery system with all associated vehicles and ammunition.

Variants

PLZ45

The PLZ45 is a tracked self-propelled howitzer. Only a single version of the howitzer exists. The PLZ45 has a conventional layout with the driver and engine in the front of the hull and the turret with the other four crew members in the rear of the hull. The armament consists of a 155mm L/45 howitzer connected to a semi-automatic loader and a 12.7mm heavy machinegun for self defense.

TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Crew5 (commander, driver, gunner, 2 loaders)
Length6.1 m (hull), 10.52 m (gun forward)
Width3.3 m
Height2.6 m (turret roof), 3.52 m (with MG)
Ground clearance0.45 m
Weight29 t unloaded, 33 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear
Turn radius?
EngineDeutz BF12 L413FC supercharged diesel, 525 hp
Power ratio15.9 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 6 forward, 1 reverse
Speed55 km/h
Fuel?
Range450 km
Wall0.7 m
Trench2.7 m
Gradient58% gradient, 47% slope
Fording1.2 m
ArmorSteel
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
Smoke2x4 smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
Armament155mm L/45 howitzer
12.7mm W85 heavy machine gun
Weapon1155mm L/45 howitzer
30 rounds
-3 to +72° elevation, powered
360° traverse, powered
non-stabilized
Weapon212.7mm W85 heavy machine gun on turret roof
480 rounds
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

PCZ45

The PCZ45 is a ammunition resupply vehicle that accompanies the PLZ45. The PCZ45 is based on the same chassis, but instead of a turret a fixed superstructure is fitted.

TypeAmmunition carrier
Crew?
Length6 m
Width3.3 m
Height?
Ground clearance0.45 m
Weight?
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear
Turn radius?
Engine?
Power ratio?
Transmission?
Speed55 km/h
Fuel?
Range450 km
Wall0.7 m
Trench2.7 m
Gradient?
Fording1.2 m
ArmorSteel
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
Smoke1x8 smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
Armament12.7mm W85 heavy machine gun
Weapon112.7mm W85 heavy machine gun on roof
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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