Mortar NORINCO SM-4: “Cornflower” in Chinese

Chinese industry, including the defense industry, is well known for its burden of copying foreign samples, both under license and without it. Most often copies of foreign weapons and equipment was put into service in its original form, but there are interesting exceptions. Thus, in the framework of the SM-4 project, NORINCO Corporation combined several Chinese copies of existing products into a completely new sample - the original self-propelled mortar.

At the end of 2000, NORINCO, a leading Chinese manufacturer of weapons and equipment, began developing a promising combat vehicle carrying an automatic mortar with a 81,2 caliber. This type of equipment was intended for some structures from the People’s Liberation Army of China. First of all, it was considered as a new technique for the airborne troops, and therefore should have been distinguished by its small size and weight, while at the same time obtaining high combat qualities. The task was successfully solved, and in a very curious way. The project was based on Chinese products, which are modified versions of foreign weapons and equipment.

Mortar NORINCO SM-4: “Cornflower” in Chinese
Self-propelled mortars SM-4 on exercises in Tibet. Photo

The Dongfeng EQ2050 all-wheel-drive army vehicle was chosen as the base for the self-propelled airborne combat vehicle. This car is actually a redesigned version of the American civilian car Hummer H1, which, in turn, is a slightly modified version of the army HMMWV. According to known data, most of the design features and units were copied unchanged or ordered to foreign suppliers. At the same time, there were some minor improvements aimed at both improving the performance and reducing the similarity with the foreign prototype.

With the help of a set of new development equipment on the chassis EQ2050, the 81,2-mm automatic mortar “Type 99” or W99 is installed. This model, in principle, can be considered a creation of Chinese engineers, but it is based on foreign developments. The basis for the Chinese "Type 99" was the rather old Soviet mortar 2B9 "Cornflower". In the past, Chinese specialists managed to get their hands on a foreign sample, and soon an exact copy of it appeared. However, in the late nineties, China redesigned these weapons in order to improve the basic characteristics. The mortar has received a new barrel of greater length, and in addition, in the manufacture of weapons and gun carriage it was proposed to use new materials and technologies.

At the turn of the last decades, two copies of foreign products “met” in the new project and were supplemented with some new aggregates. As a result, a promising self-propelled mortar for the PLA Airborne Forces appeared. A new sample of technology received the designation SM-4. In addition, another name is used in its relation PCP-001.

Multipurpose car Dongfeng EQ2050 in a cargo-passenger configuration. Photo

As already mentioned, the base for the SM-4 was the army SUV EQ2050. This car has retained both the characteristic appearance and the non-standard layout of the basic foreign model. The machine is equipped with a Cummins EQB150-20 diesel engine with an 150 hp power produced in China under license. The engine and all the main transmission units are located in the central part of the chassis, in a separate casing right inside the passenger cabin. The radiator is placed under the hood and is located there with a significant slope. Mechanical transmission provides torque distribution to all four driving wheels. The chassis has retained an independent suspension based on vertical springs.

In the composition of the self-propelled mortar used chassis with an open body. The composition of the latter includes a radiator hood, sides of limited height and feed parts. In front of the driver and passenger seats is the windshield, which can be put on the hood. The rear part of the chassis is given for the installation of weapons and styling ammunition. Over their own side of the machine, Chinese designers installed a low box that bounds a similar fighting compartment. The machine does not have a roof, and therefore the main armament is placed openly.

On the stern of the landing gear, there is a top machine from the standard carriage for the mortar "Type 99". It is attached directly to the power elements of the machine and, apparently, cannot be removed for firing from the ground. The machine design provides guidance of weapons in any direction horizontally. The swinging part with the mortar's body can change its position from horizontal to + 85 °. Mortar installation retains the standard guidance tools with manual drives.

At the heart of the mortar "Type 99" is the design of the Soviet product 2B9. In this case, the Chinese designers have refined it in order to improve the main fire characteristics. The most noticeable change is the increase in the length of the trunk. According to the available data, a longer barrel allowed to increase the maximum firing range from the original 4,3 km to 6-8 km, depending on the type of mine and charge. In addition, increasing the initial velocity of a mine can be useful when shooting direct fire, provided by the Chinese project.

Mortar battery on drills, August 2017 g. Photo

"Type 99", like its Soviet prototype, is a smooth-bore breech-loading weapon with automatic reloading. Weapon automatics is based on the principle of rolling out moving parts under the action of reciprocating springs compressed by recoil energy. Mortar gets ammunition from cassettes for four mines. Apparently, W99 due to the large length of the trunk lost the ability to boot from the barrel.

The barrel with the mechanisms of automation is connected with recoil devices. Together they are mounted on the upper machine tool carriage and can be moved in a vertical plane using guidance systems. It is curious that recoil devices and automation absorb almost the entire recoil impulse. Due to this, the base chassis does not need jacks, coulters or base plate to redistribute the load on the ground. Shooting is carried out directly from the wheels.

Preparation for the first shot is carried out manually. At the moment of firing, the moving parts of the gun under the action of recoil begin to move backward, compressing the return spring. When they are reversed, the next mine is removed from the cassette and then fed into the barrel chamber. Such automation allows you to get a technical rate of fire at the level of 110-120 shots per minute. The practical rate of fire depends on the calculation skills and the rate of replacement of empty cartridges, as a result of which it does not exceed 40 rounds per minute.

Gunner prepares mortar for shooting, August 2017. Photo by

Like its Soviet predecessor, the Chinese Mortar Type 99 is intended for firing at a wide range of elevation angles. He is able to send ammunition to the target at high trajectories or shoot direct fire. For both modes of fire there are separate sights. In the case of direct fire shooting, an optical sight located at the gunner’s workplace is used.

An important innovation of the Chinese project is the availability of advanced firing controls. The gunner has a satellite navigation system coupled with devices for receiving and processing data. With the help of such equipment is the calculation of data for the shooting. Declared a sharp increase in the accuracy of fire and the probability of hitting the target by the first mine.

The ammunition self-propelled mortar NORINCO SM-4 / PCP-001 includes ammunition for different purposes. All existing Chinese mines of caliber 81,2 mm are compatible with it. You can use fragmentation, smoke, incendiary, lighting and other min. To combat armored vehicles it is proposed to use a special ammunition with a shaped charge. Mines are transported in packs in rectangular metal cassettes, four each. The presence of cassettes facilitates work with the tool, and in addition, simplifies the overload of ammunition from the transport vehicle or the supply of mines from the ground.

The calculation of the Chinese war machine consists of three people. They are assigned the duties of the driver, commander, gunner and loader. On the march, two crew members are located on the seats in front of the habitable compartment, one of them is the driver. The third mortar should be in its place, in the stern of the machine next to the gun. After arriving at the firing position, the calculation takes other places.

Charging with a cassette for mines, August 2017. Photo by

The SM-4 combat vehicle in its dimensions and weight roughly corresponds to the base car EQ2050 in the cargo-and-passenger configuration. The total length does not exceed 4,7 m, width - 2,1 m. The height, taking into account the mortar in the transport position - is about 1,8 m. The combat weight with the calculation and ammunition - not more than 3-3,5 t. The machine is capable of speeds up to 120 km / h and overcome various small obstacles. Power reserve - up to 500 km.

Together with the SM-4 self-propelled mortar, troops are encouraged to use the VPY-001A ammunition conveyor. He is a car Dongfeng EQ2050 with a full body. Dimensions of the cargo area allow you to place up to several hundred minutes in cassettes. Depending on the assigned tasks, the conveyor can transfer ammunition in the parking lot or ensure the delivery of mines directly to the firing position. In terms of dimensions and running characteristics, the VPY-001A conveyor is almost the same as a self-propelled mortar.

The NORINCO SM-4 project was created at the end of the last decade, and soon a new type of experimental equipment confirmed its capabilities at the test site. Several years ago, the mass production of such combat vehicles in the interests of the PLA was launched. To date, the army managed to get significant quantities of self-propelled mortars, but their exact number has not yet been specified. Serial vehicles are transferred to different parts of the landing forces and other structures.

A moment before the shot, August 2017. Photo by

The Chinese self-propelled mortar NORINCO SM-4 has a number of positive features that give it quite ample opportunities. A light wheeled vehicle can use roads and quickly reach a given firing position. The equipment is not afraid of off-road and, if necessary, can go to the position or leave it over rough terrain. There is also the possibility of dropping technology parachute or landing method.

Used automatic mortar W99 / "Type 99" provides an acceptable combination of mobility and firepower, allowing you to attack manpower, buildings and equipment of the enemy at a distance of several kilometers. A very wide range of ammunition allows to solve various combat missions. Having preserved the possibility of direct-fire shooting, the “Type 99” is capable of performing the functions of a light field gun.

However, the Chinese development is not without significant flaws. The most noticeable is the absence of any reservation and even weather protection. The firing range of the used mortar does not exceed several kilometers, and therefore he is forced to work at the forefront. Naturally, he runs the risk of being hit, and the lack of armor makes it an easy target. Small arms or enemy artillery can easily disable the combat vehicle or its crew.

The projectile is sent to the goal, August 2017. Photo by

Insufficient survivability in an understandable way limits the combat effectiveness of the mortar. Tasks for such equipment will have to be set taking into account the current situation and risks. Otherwise, there is a possibility of death of people or vehicles, including before the start of the shooting. This feature of combat use is unlikely to fully realize all the advantages of the weapons used.

Despite the obvious shortcomings of the new technology, the Chinese command considered it suitable for adoption and operation. A few years ago, NORINCO Corporation launched mass production of SM-4 / PCP-001 self-propelled mortars and now supplies them to the troops. A sufficiently large grouping of such machines has already been created, and it is likely that in the future it will be replenished regularly. Current events suggest that - for all its minuses - the original Chinese self-propelled mortar meets the requirements of the customer. As for the characteristic flaws, they were not considered critical.

The SM-4 Chinese self-propelled mortar primarily demonstrates a curious approach to the development of military equipment for solving certain combat missions. The new combat vehicle for the airborne troops was made the easiest way: by installing an existing gun on the serial chassis. At the same time, the NORINCO project showed an interesting variant of this approach. Both main components of the combat vehicle, produced in China, are of foreign origin. Such results of copying foreign developments cannot but attract attention.

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  1. +2
    26 July 2018 06: 54
    Well done chinese good I never thought that to focus on making a good weapon winked However, their Norinka produces good rifles for the military and civilian market. good M 4 Norinko feel Even a sniper under 50 caliber with 200 rounds of ammunition for 800 pieces good Kalashnikov has a lot to learn good
    1. +1
      26 July 2018 14: 20
      Well done chinese good Kalashnikov has a lot to learn

      What !? Copy everything that is "bad." request
    2. 0
      28 July 2018 03: 00
      What are you happy about? When they begin to clean our cities from civilians it will not be so joyful.
  2. +2
    26 July 2018 06: 55
    The practical rate of fire depends on the skills of calculation and the speed of replacing empty cartridges, as a result of which it does not exceed 40 rounds per minute ................ Such results of copying other people's developments cannot but attract attention.
    What a good thresher ................. I think you should not put such emphasis on the manner of copying them. We will evaluate the usefulness of the product on the battlefield, its effectiveness. And copying ... with this aim and hunt for trophies and technology of the enemy. The Chinese do it very well, and the rest is lyrics.
  3. +1
    26 July 2018 07: 59
    Apparently, W99, due to the long barrel length, lost the ability to load from the barrel.

    Around the "Cornflower" will also have to run with a stepladder. By the way, when loading through the barrel, "Cornflower" only shoots from a rope. I do not think that the whales missed such an opportunity.
  4. +3
    26 July 2018 09: 15
    We at the training camp in the institute shot from Cornflower. I wonder why they haven’t put it on our chassis yet. He comes with a GAZ-66. For the money, then that’s what it is.
    1. avt
      26 July 2018 10: 05
      Quote: Zaurbek
      I wonder why they haven’t put it on our chassis yet. He comes with a GAZ-66.

      Yes . Pulling it out of the body, then throwing it ... as a result, they beat the Donbass from the wheels. ,, Cornflower "needs to be made in the form of self-propelled. Won ,, kopecks" and like the Slovaks piled up and even made on its base, but without round-fire, well, to the extreme - motolyga request Well, on the “Tiger”, but rather on KAMAZ-yonka to tame him there, the lawn is not what. Also, wow.
      1. +2
        26 July 2018 20: 16
        Quote: avt
        Well and on ,, Tiger ", but rather on KAMAZ-yonka to tame him there, which lawn is not what.

        So it seems that in the Donbass they used just the ones installed on the GAZelle, no?
    2. +2
      26 July 2018 12: 52
      Shishariki has long been discontinued. They began to put them on a moto league in Afghanistan. It is only a pity that this development remained a personal initiative of the commanders of combat units and was not implemented at the state level. The same story with the “Grad” on the MTLB chassis.
      1. 0
        26 July 2018 14: 35
        Here you don’t need to invent anything .. China has already come up with everything and we have the Tiger armored car ...
        1. 0
          26 July 2018 14: 47
          BMP-1 is enough for the eyes. At any time in Kazakhstan you can order.

          1. +1
            26 July 2018 14: 54
            BMP-1/2 shaft with us and they will be removed gradually from the service. It is quite possible to work with them. And put cornets D and cornflowers.
            1. 0
              26 July 2018 14: 57
              And we have a complete analysis and assembly with repair, upgrade at the request of the customer.
              1. 0
                26 July 2018 15: 19
                In the Russian Federation too .... Train on cats. Uzbeks are near .... and to the Middle East. Big backlogs of BPM are still in Poland and the Czech Republic. But so far the most progressive version of the BMP-2M is the Russian Federation.
                1. 0
                  26 July 2018 15: 22
                  Quote: Zaurbek
                  But so far the most progressive version of the BMP-2M is the Russian Federation.

                  We’ll still be cooler if desired, the module from Aselan with a 30 mm gun that he’s now gone to Barysy, and there are no shells behind the armored space.
                  1. +1
                    26 July 2018 15: 25
                    This is in the Russian Federation - the era ... 30mm + 4 ATGM. Barys would first localize with the module, and then tell. But Well done, what you do yourself. Arabs and China really appreciate the BM from the BMP-3.
                    1. +1
                      26 July 2018 15: 46
                      Quote: Zaurbek
                      . Barys would first localize with the module, and then tell.

                      So, Aselsan Kazakhstan Engineering has been with us for a long time, moreover, you buy optics from us, the matrices for it are from South Korea. We have been producing modules for a long time, now we’ve mastered 30.
                      1. +1
                        27 July 2018 07: 24
                        You are the union state, so that the Russian Federation could buy technologies inaccessible to us from normal manufacturers ... Goods-Money-Goods and friendship. Everyone benefits.
  5. 0
    26 July 2018 09: 45
    Given the experience gained by the Chinese, we are waiting, with the advent of the clone "Nona"!
    1. +4
      26 July 2018 10: 01
      Quote: andrewkor
      Given the experience gained by the Chinese, we are waiting, with the advent of the clone "Nona"!

      Late late, my friend !!!! They have it already a long time ago in service ("Type 05" or "PLL05") !!!!

      Even during the Afghan war, one Nona was hit by "spirits", they gave it to the "packs", well, those "for a moderate bribe" to their Chinese friends .......
      True, according to another version, after the collapse of the USSR, they acquired somewhere several “NONs” (either in the Russian Federation itself, or in the “fraternal republics” ...... request
      1. +1
        26 July 2018 10: 28
        It’s more like Vienna than Nona
        1. 0
          26 July 2018 17: 55
          Quote: Spade
          It’s more like Vienna than Nona

          Just not "Veins", but EXACTLY "NONES" !!! Which, incidentally, the Chinese themselves especially do not hide !!!!
          1. 0
            26 July 2018 19: 46
            Quote: venik
            Just not "Veins", but EXACTLY "NONES" !!!

            Trunk. First of all, its length.
            1. +1
              27 July 2018 11: 43
              So "Vienna" is just a long trunk, or a complex that includes ASUNO? Tell me, Lopatov, where is the truth?
      2. +1
        26 July 2018 11: 37
        In Ukraine, bought 3 pcs. in 2000 or 2001.
      3. +1
        26 July 2018 12: 08
        Thanks for the information, I did not know about the Chinese "Nona", I could have guessed it myself, meaning the passion of the Chinese people for plagiarism!
      4. 0
        26 July 2018 14: 23
        Thanks, I will know for the information. Previously, he loved to play in "Whom What the Kytays copied." smile
    2. +1
      26 July 2018 10: 26
      There is not a "clone of Nona", there is a much more advanced line of cars
      As far as I remember, on a caterpillar base, two on the basis of three-axle and four-axle wheeled armored personnel carriers, two on the basis of three-axle and two-axle trucks (we can assume that our “Phlox” was copied from them), on the basis of a light SUV and on the basis of light amphibian
      1. 0
        26 July 2018 17: 58
        Quote: Spade
        There is not a "clone of Nona", there is a much more advanced line of cars

        Machines may be a "whole line", but ARTSYSTEM - ONE!!! And this "NONA". hi
        1. +1
          26 July 2018 19: 51
          Quote: venik
          It may be a "whole line" of cars, but the ARTSYSTEM is ONE !!! And this is NONA.

          Are you sure?
          1. 0
            27 July 2018 22: 13
            Phlox Detective laughing
  6. +1
    26 July 2018 10: 19
    ... the base for the SM-4 was the army SUV EQ2050

    hi ..Dongfeng EQ-2050 has been produced since 2004. A full-size SUV is designed for use almost exclusively by the Chinese armed forces ..
    1. +1
      26 July 2018 14: 37
      China bought the rights to the Hammer N1. So everything is fair.
  7. 0
    26 July 2018 22: 59
    People are able to. It takes care of people. It’s even a shame. In Russia, the mass of the chassis on which you can also install. What is in the way? There is no prophet in his native country.
  8. 0
    1 September 2018 16: 05
    I wonder what accuracy with such an unstable platform?
  9. 0
    3 August 2021 08: 46
    The shooting table is a mortar. Whoever I really need

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