Artillery / Self-propelled howitzers / Type 83

Type 83

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled howitzer

  • ORIGIN
    China

  • NICKNAMES
    PLZ83 (current designation)

  • DESIGNED
    1979 - 1982

  • DESIGNER
    674 Factory

  • PRODUCTION
    1983 - 1990

  • PRODUCERS
    China

  • QUANTITY
    78

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Parts commonality with other PLA vehicles
    Limited range
    Limited rate of fire
    Average maneuverability

Introduction

The Type 83 is a self-propelled howitzer of Chinese origin. It was developed to provide the PLA's armored units with a self-propelled howitzer with a similar all terrain mobility and enough speed to keep up. The Type 83 has been retroactively called PLZ83. The Type 83 was the first self-propelled 152mm howitzer in Chinese service.

Layout

The Type 83 is based on the Type 321 chassis which is also used by several other Chinese vehicles. The driver is seated on the left with the engine and drivetrain to his right. The turret is located at the rear and houses the other four crewmembers. A semi-automatic loader assists in reloading.

Firepower

The Type 83 is armed with a 152mm howitzer derived from the Type 66 which in turn is a copy of the D-20. The howitzer uses standard 152mm ammunition and 30 rounds are carried. The maximum rate of fire is believed to be 5 rounds per minute. The maximum effective range is 17.2 km, but a longer range rocket assisted projectile has been developed and is possibly fielded. A 12.7mm Type 54 heavy machine gun is fitted on the turret roof for self-defense.

Protection

The Type 83 is operated under full armor protection, unless the roof mounted 12.7mm Type 54 heavy machine gun is used. The steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. There are no smoke grenade launchers and a NBC and and fire supression system are both not present.

Mobility

The tracked chassis provides the Type 83 with a good off road capability, albeit at low speeds. A Deutz 520 hp diesel engine provides propulsion. The maximum speed is 55 km/h on roads and around 30 km/h in the field.

Users

The Chinese Peoples Liberation Army is the sole user of the Type 83 self-propelled howitzer. It is used by several armored divisions. The Type 83 has been supplemented by the newer and more capable PLZ05 and will eventually be replaced.

Variants

Type 83

The Type 83 is a self-propelled howitzer based on the Type 321 chassis, which is also used by the PTZ89 tank destroyer and PHZ89 multiple rocket launcher. A variant with the 130mm howitzer derived from the Type 59-I towed gun was developed but not produced. The Type 83 looks rather similar as the PTZ89 due to the use of the same chassis and somewhat similar turret. The Type 83 can be identified by its thicker armament with double baffle muzzle brake and higher turret without smoke grenade launchers and stowage racks.

TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Crew5 (commander, driver, gunner, 2 loaders)
Length6.41 m (hull), 7.01 m (gun forward)
Width3.24 m
Height2.68 m (turret top), 3.50 m (overall)
Ground clearance0.45 m
Weight30.0 t combat load
Ground pressure0.68 kg/cm2
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear, 4.61 m length, 0.48 m width, 2.62 m track
Turn radius?
EngineDeutz Type 12150L diesel, 520 hp
Power ratio17.3 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed55 km/h on road
Fuel885 L
Range450 km
Wall0.7 m
Trench2.5 m
Gradient60% gradient, 40% slope
Fording1.3 m
ArmorSteel
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionYes
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament152mm howitzer
12.7mm Type 54 heavy machine gun
Weapon1152mm howitzer in turret
30 rounds
-5 to +63° elevation, powered
360° traverse, powered
non-stabilized
Weapon212.7mm Type 54 heavy machine gun on turret roof
300 rounds, 50 ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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