Self-propelled mortar NORINCO CS / SS6 (China)
Over the past few years, the Chinese military-industrial corporation NORINCO has been engaged in the subject of light artillery self-propelled guns. From time to time in the Chinese exhibitions are demonstrated new samples of such combat vehicles. Of particular interest in this context was the AirShow China 2016 exhibition, which took place in Zhuhai the year before last. In one of the pavilions of this exhibition, a whole family of new military equipment was presented, based on a single self-propelled off-road platform.
Developing one of the existing multi-purpose vehicles, Chinese designers created a promising light wheeled all-terrain vehicle, which was immediately made the carrier of jet and artillery systems, as well as a variety of auxiliary equipment. The specialists and the public were shown a conveyor in several versions, a multiple launch rocket jet system, as well as a self-propelled gun and a mortar. The latter was demonstrated under the official name of CS / SS6.
The original self-propelled mortar built on the basis of a unified eight-wheeled chassis, capable of providing a sufficiently high mobility with a minimum mass of construction. The same chassis was used in a number of other projects. At the heart of such a machine lay the construction of a multipurpose CS / VP4 transporter, redesigned in accordance with the new tasks. First of all, to accommodate artillery systems, it was necessary to change its layout, moving the power unit from the stern to the front of the hull.
Differing from other types of mounted weapons, the CS / SS6 combat vehicle has the same chassis. The gun mount is located on a four-wheeled wheeled chassis, which has several characteristic features. To reduce the size and weight of the machine as a whole, the chassis received a hull with an open crew accommodation. In addition, it does not have a reservation, which, however, does not adversely affect the overall level of protection of the crew and weapons: the lack of a full-fledged closed hull does not allow to realize all the advantages of armor. At the same time, we managed to obtain high mobility and cross-country ability in different landscapes.
The front part of the chassis housing accommodates the engine and part of the transmission elements, it forms a full engine compartment and receives the corresponding external contours. The hood of the all-terrain vehicle is formed by several large panels connected at an angle to each other. The front wall and port side have grilles for air supply to the power plant. The top frontal sheet is the engine compartment cover and leans back to access the units.
The lower part of the body forms a sufficiently large hermetic volume for the installation of transmission elements and other units. On its vertical sides mounted parts of the chassis. Above the wheels of the hull form a small side niches in which are placed the volumes for the transport of certain goods. Behind the engine compartment provides for the installation of two jobs crew. Behind them is a large platform on which is mounted a kind of combat compartment with weapons.
According to known data, the CS / SS6 self-propelled mortar is equipped with an engine with a maximum power of 90-100 hp. and a mechanical transmission that drives all eight wheels. Wheels of medium diameter with individual suspension allow the car to move on different surfaces and overcome small obstacles. Water obstacles chassis overcomes swimming.
In the stern part of the base chassis, the designers of NORINCO placed the fighting compartment of a curious look. On the rotary base there is a rectangular platform with low sides. In its center is a gun carriage, on the sides - the place of calculation. In the stern of the site provides boxes for ammunition. This combat compartment meets the basic requirements of the project, involving the use of all necessary devices while simplifying and facilitating the design.
In the center of the rotary platform of the fighting compartment is placed the gun carriage of the gun, providing only vertical guidance. Like many other systems in its class, the CS / SS6 self-propelled mortar is equipped with anti-recoil devices and does not have a plate for transmitting the recoil impulse to the ground. Nevertheless, the body of a mortar was installed on a similar carriage. The carriage and platform have both manual and mechanical drives controlled by the gunner.
The Chinese project involves the use of a mortar caliber 81 mm, characterized by a large barrel length. The exact parameters of this gun are unknown, but in the stowed position the muzzle of the barrel is at least at the level of the front chassis sheet. Thus, the mortar should show very high performance in terms of the muzzle energy and, as a result, the firing range.
Due to the large length of the barrel, Chinese-made mortar charges from the breech. Loading ammunition through the barrel in practice is impossible. For submission of mines and propelling charges used cassettes, providing the possibility of consistent production of several shots. 81 mm caliber indicates the possibility of using mines built according to NATO standards. Thanks to this, a promising combat vehicle could be of interest to those or other foreign armies. There are many types of standard 81-mm mortar mines, differing in class, purpose and basic characteristics. Using such shots, the Chinese CS / SS6 is capable of firing targets at ranges up to 8-10 km.
As a basis for a self-propelled mortar, a lightweight wheeled chassis with off-road capability is used with certain restrictions on the carrying capacity. As a result, portable ammunition does not exceed several tens of mines. For long-term shooting, the combat vehicle needs the help of ammunition carriers. However, in the conditions of modern war, such a technique would not have to stay in one position for a long time. Due to the high risk of a retaliatory strike on shooting, not too much time is allotted, and in this case limited ammunition will not be a big problem.
Staff support weapons are missing. Due to the economy of weight and space, the self-propelled mortar is not equipped with a machine gun or smoke grenade launchers. However, the crew must have a personal weaponthat can be used for self defense.
The management of a CS / SS6 self-propelled mortar is assigned to a crew of three or four people. In front of the car, in the conditional department of management, are the driver and commander. The aft "fighting compartment" is intended for the work of the gunner and loader. The crew has no protection, however, the specific design of the machine facilitates embarkation and disembarkation.
According to various estimates, the total length of the NORINCO CS / SS6 self-propelled mortar exceeds 4 m with a width of less than 1,7-1,8 m and a height of no more than 1,7-2 m. Combat weight must not exceed 3-4 t. Used chassis allows the car to move along the highway with high speed or off-road without serious loss of mobility. Water obstacles are overcome ford immediately and without much preparation. The low side and heavy weapons probably do not allow the self-propelled gun to float.
The new Chinese 81-mm self-propelled mortar CS / SS6, built on the basis of a unified wheeled chassis, was first introduced in the autumn of 2016, at an exhibition in Zhuhai. The whole family of combat and auxiliary machines on a common chassis attracted the attention of specialists and technology enthusiasts, but this did not seem to go further. Samples of new equipment were demonstrated at the exhibition in order to attract customers in the face of those or other armies. As subsequent events showed, or rather their absence, interest in new developments was very limited and did not lead to the desired results.
The AirShow China 2016 exhibition closed more than a year ago, and as far as we know, not one of the NORINCO self-propelled self-propelled guns from the past has become the subject of a serial production contract. The combat vehicles of an interesting appearance, including the CS / SS6 self-propelled mortar, attracted attention, but nothing more. The People’s Liberation Army of China or the armed forces of third countries did not place orders for the purchase of such equipment. Whether the situation will change in the near future is unknown. However, to date, there is no longer any reason for optimistic forecasts.
The reasons for this outcome of the project are clear. Like any other models of military equipment, the NORINCO CS / SS6 self-propelled mortar has strengths and weaknesses. In his case, according to potential buyers, the disadvantages were stronger than the pluses. Like other machines with ambiguous appearance and specific capabilities, this model could not interest real customers and move beyond the demonstration stage at exhibitions.
The main advantages of the Chinese self-propelled mortar associated with the use of a light all-terrain chassis. With its help, the combat vehicle is capable of displaying high mobility characteristics and quickly moving to a given firing position with not very serious limitations in the context of route selection. The long-barreled 81-mm self-loading mortar gives certain advantages to the machine. From a number of other systems in its class, it differs more firing range. In some cases, we are also talking about the increased mass of the mine and the growth of its charge.
The chassis and weapons are not without cons. Thus, the lightweight all-terrain vehicle has no protection, and therefore the crew is exposed to increased risks even when working away from the front edge. With the counter-battery strike of the enemy, the risks increase many times. In conditions of direct confrontation with the enemy, the survivability of the combat vehicle must be extremely low. All this imposes the most serious restrictions on the methods and scope of application of technology.
The 81-mm quick-fire mortar used has certain advantages, but it is not without flaws. So, at distances of the order of 8-10 km, a smooth-bore gun is unlikely to show high accuracy and accuracy of fire. The limited rate of fire, in turn, will interfere with the rapid and reliable defeat of the target. In this regard, the CS / SS6 combat vehicle can be significantly inferior to the multiple launch rocket system on the same chassis. Limited ammunition, depending on the current situation, can be a disadvantage. At the same time, in other conditions it may not affect the real capabilities of the mortar.
In the proposed form, a lightweight self-propelled mortar from NORINCO has a very narrow scope. It turns out to be a machine that must quickly reach the specified position, in the minimum time to use up ammunition and leave the place in order to avoid a retaliatory strike. The specific appearance and characteristic problems lead to the fact that CS / SS6 can hardly be considered a substitute or competitor for other self-propelled artillery systems built on the basis of protected chassis. However, in its category of light-duty self-propelled machines with mortars of medium caliber, this sample can look good.
Nevertheless, potential buyers of new equipment from a Chinese manufacturer analyzed its potential and made their conclusions. The lack of orders for the mass production of mortars NORINCO CS / SS6 and other standardized samples shows that this technique did not interest the army of the world. Characteristic flaws outweighed all the advantages and closed the way for the troops of various countries to Chinese military vehicles. Several projects that seemed promising and promising did not meet expectations. However, the corporation NORINCO did not become sad about this and continued to develop new self-propelled artillery installations.
On the materials of the sites:
- Ryabov Kirill
- Slide.mil.news.sina.com.cn, Imp-navigator.livejournal.com
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