Military Review

New Chinese self-propelled 155 mm howitzer PLC-181

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155 mm self-propelled guns PLC-181


At the end of April 2020, the military editorial office of the Chinese state television channel CCTV 7 showed a detailed report on the latest Chinese defense industry. In fact, this is the full debut of the new Chinese 155 mm self-propelled howitzer on a wheeled chassis. The self-propelled guns under the designation PLC-181 was previously shown to the public, in particular, took part in the parade dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the PRC, but the novelty from the largest engineering corporation Norinco has not yet been shown in such detail. It is known that the new self-propelled guns entered service with the artillery brigade from the 73rd Army Group of the Eastern zone of the PLA combat command.

What is known about the PLC-181 wheeled self-propelled gun


Most likely, work on the creation of a new self-propelled guns began in China in the early 2010s. In any case, the first photos of the PLC-181 wheeled howitzer in acceptable quality only appeared on the Internet in 2015. And it was possible to consider the new product in detail only in 2018, when the first frames of the installations that moved to participate in the 12th international aerospace show in Zhuhai got on the network. It was the full-fledged Chinese premiere of the new 155-mm self-propelled howitzer.


SPG PLC-181, CCTV channel 7 video

Developed by engineers at NORINCO Engineering Corporation, the 155-mm self-propelled howitzer on the PLC-181 wheeled chassis was officially adopted by the PLA in early 2019. The self-propelled guns are based on the Shaanxi chassis with a 6x6 wheel arrangement. The combat weight of the installation is 22 tons (according to other sources up to 27 tons). Engine power - 400 hp In front of the wheeled self-propelled guns there is a four-door cab of a cabless layout. The cabin is armored and protects the installation design from small arms fire weapons, shell fragments and mines. On the roof of the cabin above the hatch, a large 12,7 mm machine gun designed for self-defense can be installed. There were no defensive weapons on the 7 artillery installations shown on CCTV. The calculation of the installation consists of 6 people, including the driver.

The main armament of the self-propelled guns is a 155-mm gun with a barrel length of 52 caliber. The gun is located in the rear of the chassis on a special platform. It is reported that the range of vertical guidance of the gun is from 0 to +67,5 degrees, horizontally the gun is pointing 25 degrees to the left and right of the axis of the machine. In the middle of the self-propelled artillery mount is a transportable ammunition. The gun is equipped with a rammer, the maximum rate of installation is 4-6 rounds per minute.

The firing range directly depends on the use of propellant charges. At the same time, judging by the length of the gun’s barrel, the firing range of the PLC-181 self-propelled guns is unlikely to differ from most such artillery systems and, using conventional high-explosive fragmentation ordnance, is at the level of 30 thousand meters. At the same time, according to the assurances of the Chinese side, using active rockets with a bottom gas generator, the maximum firing range of the installation exceeds 50 thousand meters. Together with the gun can be used the entire range of 155 mm ammunition, which are also manufactured by Norinco Corporation. Including adjustable ammunition with a laser and satellite targeting system. It is also possible to use Russian guided projectiles "Krasnopol", export versions of which are available in caliber 155 mm.


It is worth noting that the new Chinese howitzer is armed with an artillery mount with a barrel length of 52 caliber. According to this indicator, it corresponds to all modern analogues that are presented on the market. For example, a South African-made G6-52 wheeled self-propelled howitzer or a German PzH 2000 self-propelled gun on a tracked chassis, which is still one of the best in its class. The newest Russian self-propelled guns 2S35 “Coalition-SV” also acts in the same weight category. The “Coalition” option on the wheeled chassis of a KamAZ vehicle with an 8x8 wheel arrangement is currently under development, this modification is known under the designation “Coalition-SV-KSh” and already exists in metal.

Export potential of self-propelled guns PLC-181


The new Chinese wheeled self-propelled gun PLC-181 has good export potential. The novelty has already received the SH-15 export index and is actively promoting itself in international markets. It is known that the first buyer of a 155-mm self-propelled howitzer was Pakistan, which acquired a very large batch of artillery mounts. It is worth noting that Pakistan is China’s traditional partner in the purchase and joint production of weapons. There is an obvious parallel. Since Russia is one of the main suppliers of weapons to India, Pakistan is forced to look for alternative procurement options, primarily by working with Beijing, which is increasingly competing in the international arms market with Russian equipment, especially in the markets of developing countries.


It is worth noting that Pakistan is consistent in the purchase of Chinese self-propelled guns. Back in 2013-14, the country acquired 36 Chinese-made SH-1 wheeled howitzers. This 155-mm howitzer, also developed by Norinco, was also supplied to the Myanmar army. The show in Pakistan of the new Chinese self-propelled guns SH-15 took place at the end of 2018. The foreign debut took place in November and took place as part of the IDEAS International Military Exhibition, which was held in Karachi. The new Chinese-made artillery system immediately interested the Pakistani military. At the same time, Pakistan became the first foreign country in which a new Chinese howitzer was shown.

There is nothing unusual in this development of events. Over the past few years, the Pakistani military leadership has pursued a policy of strengthening the artillery component of its armed forces. First of all, due to the acquisition of modern mobile artillery systems for the ground forces. Currently, the Pakistani army’s self-propelled artillery is represented mainly by American 155-mm self-propelled artillery self-propelled artillery on a tracked chassis, we are talking about 200 self-propelled guns M109A2 and 115 self-propelled guns M109A5. At the same time, it is obvious that the modernization of artillery of the Pakistani army is currently being carried out through the purchase of new highly mobile wheeled artillery systems. Moreover, China is the main supplier of such equipment, which is gradually gaining popularity around the world.


155-mm self-propelled guns PLC-181 at the shooting in Tibet

As it became known at the end of December 2019, Pakistan purchased 236 new SH-15 self-propelled howitzers in China on an automobile chassis with a 6x6 wheel arrangement. On December 24, 2019, the Indian website News Nation announced the signing of a contract between Pakistan and the Norinco military-industrial corporation. It is alleged that the contract for the supply of an export version of the 155-mm howitzer PLC-181 was signed last summer. At the same time, the transaction value amounted to 512 million US dollars. The signed agreement provides, in addition to the transfer of howitzers themselves, a package of technical support and maintenance measures, the supply of artillery ammunition adapted for the Pakistani army, the supply of spare parts, as well as the transfer of necessary technologies. Given the additional options, it can be assumed that each self-propelled gun cost the Pakistani military about two million dollars.
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  1. Dmitry from Voronezh
    Dmitry from Voronezh 1 May 2020 05: 51 New
    +3
    I do not pretend to be a specialist in artillery weapons, but it is clear from everything that we are inferior to the PRC. Msta-S is clearly inferior in firing range to Chinese howitzers. There is still silence about the Coalition. She, of course, has outstanding characteristics, but, alas, it is unclear when she will get into service. And she needed it yesterday.
    1. svp67
      svp67 1 May 2020 07: 22 New
      -2
      Quote: Dmitry from Voronezh
      Msta-S clearly loses in terms of firing Chinese howitzers.

      And why was this conclusion suddenly made? Are you aware that MSTA is going through a modernization cycle and will soon be completed? Tell us what your conclusions are based on
      Quote: Dmitry from Voronezh
      There is still silence about the Coalition.

      Yes there is no silence. Waiting for the allocation of money for its production.
      The only thing the Chinese have succeeded in is the speed of copying and putting on the conveyor. But, what can I say, this version of the development of barrel artillery, of course, has the right to life, but it has a clear flaw that will not allow it to completely replace all artillery, including towed one. And this drawback is the large minimum elevation angle. which not only does not allow direct fire, but also dramatically increases the dead zone in front of the gun
      1. Uncle Izya
        Uncle Izya 1 May 2020 07: 34 New
        +3
        The barrel length is 52 caliber, which means that the projectile flies further and mobility, wheeled chassis
        1. svp67
          svp67 1 May 2020 07: 38 New
          0
          Quote: Uncle Izya
          The barrel length is 52 caliber, which means that the projectile flies further and mobility, wheeled chassis

          The "MSTA-SM" barrel length is the same increased to 52 calibers and that. But what is the dead zone for PLC-181 and MSTA-SM?
          1. Uncle Izya
            Uncle Izya 1 May 2020 10: 22 New
            -1
            It’s better to get a coalition as they write 80km range and maybe all 100
          2. Uncle Izya
            Uncle Izya 1 May 2020 10: 29 New
            0
            In fact, immediately after adoption, work began on the modernization of the 2S19 self-propelled guns. The modernization under development received the designation 2C30 Iset. In the early 1990s, NATO member countries adopted the “Joint Ballistics Memorandum,” which defined a new standard for 155 mm howitzers and set a maximum range of 30 km for HE shells and 40 km for active rockets. In order to eliminate the lag of the divisional artillery of Russia from the artillery of the NATO countries, the development of a new 2C19 modification under the name 2C33 “Msta-SM” [13] (in some sources the 2C19M index is given) was started. Compared to the basic version, the Msta-SM had a 1,4-fold increased rate of fire, the firing range of a high-explosive fragmentation projectile was more than 30 km [7], and the active-reactive one was more than 40 km [8]. In general, in its combat potential, the self-propelled guns 2S33 Msta-SM exceeded the Soviet systems of previous generations by 4-5 times [14]. The research works “Farewell-3”, “Farewell-2” and “Farewell-HELL” carried out at the 3rd Central Scientific Research Institute showed that the further development of the artillery weapon systems of the Soviet army (and then the Russian Armed Forces) should have been built on the basis of two artillery systems : self-propelled artillery gun 2C31 "Vienna" and self-propelled howitzer 2S33 "Msta-SM" [15]. In connection with the start of work on a new promising self-propelled howitzer 2S35 "Coalition-SV" work on the "Mste-SM" were stopped. When performing research work on the basis of self-propelled guns 2S19, an experimental model of the artillery system was made. Instead of the 2A64 howitzer, a double-barreled howitzer with ballistics of the promising 152-mm Coalition artillery was installed on the self-propelled guns [16].
            So like a vengeance, see work on it is suspended. Well, there’s a coalition
            1. svp67
              svp67 1 May 2020 10: 54 New
              0
              Quote: Uncle Izya
              Mste-SM work was stopped.

              Outdated information. This howitzer is already in the army and continues to modernize.
      2. Dmitry from Voronezh
        Dmitry from Voronezh 1 May 2020 07: 41 New
        +2
        I have not heard of the modernization of Msta. It was about the development of new UAS for Msta and the Coalition. But if modernization is a fact, then one can only rejoice. I just think that Msta is unlikely to radically increase its characteristics. And so, my conclusions are based on the performance characteristics of Msta, which are freely available and today it is inferior to both the Germans and the British and the Chinese in terms of range. So all hope is for the Coalition.
        1. svp67
          svp67 1 May 2020 07: 42 New
          +1
          Quote: Dmitry from Voronezh
          But if modernization is a fact, then we can only rejoice.

          Fact: I live in Yekaterinburg and very often see how these self-propelled guns are taken to the factory, and then taken back, already modified
          1. Dmitry from Voronezh
            Dmitry from Voronezh 1 May 2020 07: 44 New
            +1
            Well, thanks for the good news!
            1. svp67
              svp67 1 May 2020 07: 52 New
              0
              Quote: Dmitry from Voronezh
              Well, thanks for the good news!

              Well, not everything is so bad in our kingdom-state
      3. donavi49
        donavi49 1 May 2020 08: 12 New
        +3
        And this drawback is the large minimum elevation angle. which not only does not allow direct fire, but also dramatically increases the dead zone in front of the gun


        But mobility. He will be in the right place faster - than Msta, he will shoot back and knock down, and Msta by this moment only gets to the position. Following is the service. Msta rides so little and that’s all, it’s necessary to drive on a repump. Kolesnik calmly rolls 5-6k km, then a simple MOT and ride again.

        In general, such a platform also has its advantages.
        1. svp67
          svp67 1 May 2020 09: 44 New
          +1
          Quote: donavi49
          But mobility.

          It’s even stupid to argue here, as with the higher operational and maneuverable qualities of such systems, and in the light of the use of more drones, including attack drills, over the battlefield, it matters. But I repeat once again that all artillery cannot be transferred to such systems, due to obvious design flaws.
      4. CTABEP
        CTABEP 1 May 2020 08: 36 New
        -2
        Are you seriously planning on direct fire from a wheeled self-propelled gun (or towed artillery)? Yes, even so - at any distance beyond the effective fire of small arms at a minimum charge and with this angle you can shoot, if not from the return ramp to the lowland, but this is a howitzer pancake, not a tank. She does not need these a couple of degrees to minus nafig, and in principle with the maximum elevation angle they are similar to Msta-S.
        1. svp67
          svp67 1 May 2020 09: 37 New
          +1
          Quote: CTABEP
          She doesn’t need these degrees to minus

          Sorry, but this Chinese howitzer doesn't even have zero ...
          1. CTABEP
            CTABEP 1 May 2020 09: 51 New
            0
            It is reported that the range of vertical guidance of the gun is from 0 to +67,5 degrees,


            And judging by the text of the article - there is. In a combat position, the trunk is still not on the cockpit.
            1. svp67
              svp67 1 May 2020 09: 59 New
              0
              Quote: CTABEP
              In a combat position, the trunk is still not on the cockpit.

              Yes, he was raised above it, otherwise even an armored car could not withstand such a blow for a long time, which means that the angles of this gun are only positive and non-zero.
              1. CTABEP
                CTABEP 1 May 2020 10: 00 New
                0
                No, the trunk can go sideways from the cockpit in a combat position, it does not come into contact with it in any way. Corners allow.
                1. svp67
                  svp67 1 May 2020 10: 07 New
                  0
                  Quote: CTABEP
                  Corners allow.

                  What are the doubts, since I did not find such data
                  1. Tutu
                    Tutu 2 May 2020 14: 43 New
                    +3
                    so


                    or as
                    [/ Center]
                    1. svp67
                      svp67 2 May 2020 14: 48 New
                      +1
                      Quote: tutu
                      so

                      So "SETTING"
              2. CTABEP
                CTABEP 1 May 2020 10: 07 New
                +1
                http://www.indiandefensenews.in/2019/01/chinese-military-equips-troops-in-tibet.html

                Look at the photo here, the howitzer is turned back, perhaps just for firing at small elevation angles.

                https://wholedude.com/2019/01/08/the-dangerous-military-occupation-of-tibet/

                And here she fires in that position.
                1. svp67
                  svp67 1 May 2020 10: 53 New
                  +3
                  Quote: CTABEP
                  http://www.indiandefensenews.in/2019/01/chinese-military-equips-troops-in-tibet.html

                  Sorry, but what you are trying to show ANOTHER self-propelled howitzer is the 122 mm SG PCL-09

    2. strannik1985
      strannik1985 1 May 2020 07: 36 New
      +1
      Msta-S clearly loses in range to Chinese howitzers.

      In the presence of MLRS from the regiment and above, the only problem is that for export orders, the characteristics do not look on paper.
      There is still silence about the Coalition.

      This year they will finish (finish?) The state tests, the party will go into experimental military operation.
      1. CTABEP
        CTABEP 1 May 2020 08: 37 New
        -1
        As if the tactical niche of the MLRS and the receiver is different.
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 1 May 2020 08: 49 New
          +5
          Quote: CTABEP
          As if the tactical niche of the MLRS and the receiver is different.

          Exactly.
          And "range shooting" is more of a MLRS niche

          The receiver has other tasks, but most of them at relatively short ranges
    3. Lopatov
      Lopatov 1 May 2020 08: 55 New
      +5
      Quote: Dmitry from Voronezh
      Msta-S clearly loses in firing range

      Firing range is not the main thing for the barrel artillery.
      1. svp67
        svp67 3 May 2020 18: 19 New
        +1
        Quote: Spade
        Firing range is not the main thing for the barrel artillery.

        It is a fact. What is the use of sending a shell over many tens of kilometers, but in the end, not hitting anywhere. To hit the target and destroy it, or at least severely damage it, that’s the main thing
    4. Hermit21
      Hermit21 1 May 2020 10: 35 New
      0
      it’s clear that we are inferior to China. Msta-S clearly loses in range to Chinese howitzers


      For what "everything"? What is the range of Chinese SPGs? Did you come to that conclusion from a couple of photos?
  2. strannik1985
    strannik1985 1 May 2020 07: 11 New
    0
    And here is the development of the Chinese copy of the French self-propelled guns "Caesar" arrived in time.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 1 May 2020 08: 58 New
      0
      Quote: strannik1985
      Chinese copy of the French self-propelled guns "Caesar"

      Why "French" and not, for example, "Syrian"? Or "Egyptian"?
      1. strannik1985
        strannik1985 1 May 2020 10: 54 New
        +2
        In my opinion, it appeared earlier, the first sample was rolled out back in 1994, and the SH-1 looks like a Caesar.
  3. donavi49
    donavi49 1 May 2020 08: 05 New
    +6
    By the way, guided shells are actively used in Libya. wink


  4. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 1 May 2020 08: 37 New
    +1
    And we are building on the Kamaz8x8 superstructure and armored tank .... why not make such a gun? An 8x8 chassis will fit a barrel longer than 52 calibres.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 1 May 2020 08: 54 New
      +3
      Quote: Zaurbek
      And we are building on the Kamaz8x8 superstructure and armored tank .... why not make such a gun?

      There is a very important point.
      Sectors.
      Systems such as "Coalition-SV-KSH" are much more adapted to local wars.
      Cheapness has a price
      1. Zaurbek
        Zaurbek 1 May 2020 11: 03 New
        +1
        But it’s also more difficult and more expensive ... and is approaching tracked systems at prices
    2. sanek45744
      sanek45744 1 May 2020 11: 14 New
      0
      On the basis of the BASE make a similar self-propelled guns. In an Internet look
      1. Zaurbek
        Zaurbek 1 May 2020 13: 16 New
        0
        They saw a picture ... but it’s not known what kind of weapon.
  5. Pashhenko Nikolay
    Pashhenko Nikolay 1 May 2020 09: 14 New
    0
    All modern artillery should be, if not on tracks, then at least on wheeled carriers. With the modern development of counter-battery fighting methods, stationary positions will not last long in battle, while towed systems still lose self-propelled speed when moving to a stowed position and changing positions. the towed systems are also towed by wheeled vehicles. So nothing changes in terms of cross-country ability.
    1. Zaurbek
      Zaurbek 1 May 2020 15: 07 New
      0
      Nobody argues .... and the range has grown.
  6. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 1 May 2020 13: 00 New
    0
    that each self-propelled gun cost the Pakistani military about two million dollars.
    Two million for truck-mounted self-propelled guns ?! I understand, of course, escort expenses, but this is a third of the tank at least!
    1. Zaurbek
      Zaurbek 1 May 2020 15: 07 New
      +1
      You need to look at the specifications ..... maybe the LMS there is fashionable.
      1. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 1 May 2020 16: 42 New
        0
        Fashionable, but not so much. ))) Neither you need a thermal imager, nor a target tracking machine.
  7. Lara Croft
    Lara Croft 1 May 2020 13: 02 New
    +2
    The newest Russian self-propelled guns 2S35 “Coalition-SV” also acts in the same weight category. The Coalition option on the wheeled chassis of a KamAZ vehicle with an 8x8 wheel arrangement is currently under development, this modification is known under the designation Coalition-SV-KSh and already exists in metal.

    Our SPG is prettier

    The creation of the 152-mm interspecific self-propelled artillery gun 2S35 in tracked and wheeled versions according to the ROC "Coalition-SV" is being carried out by JSC Central Research Institute Burevestnik (Nizhny Novgorod; part of JSC Scientific and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod) according to state contract No. 62-26 dated June 15, 2006
    1. Zaurbek
      Zaurbek 1 May 2020 15: 09 New
      +1
      KamAZ is weak for her. Need or BAZ, 10X10 or MZKT.
      1. Lara Croft
        Lara Croft 1 May 2020 15: 19 New
        0
        Quote: Zaurbek
        KamAZ is weak for her. Need or BAZ, 10X10 or MZKT.

        I would be weak and put on a BAZ, the Chinese have the same truck, but unlike ours, a three-bridge one and nothing ...
        1. Zaurbek
          Zaurbek 1 May 2020 15: 23 New
          +1
          The Chinese do not have a wheelhouse armor and automatic loader ..... by the weight of the structure, they have heaped up something like a 130mm Beach artillery system. And there was the MZKT.
          1. Lara Croft
            Lara Croft 1 May 2020 15: 43 New
            0
            Quote: Zaurbek
            The Chinese do not have armored cabin and automatic loader .....


            This is, of course, an ACS of another type, for light infantry units, but it seems unlikely that the Russian Federation will make for the "heavy" and artillery formations of its Armed Forces, ACS with an open architecture, since we are preparing for a war using weapons of mass destruction, but for export, probably They will come up with something, but only unlikely with the use of MZKT tractors, why depend on someone, perhaps here they could use a rocket carrier being developed at KAMAZ ...
            1. Zaurbek
              Zaurbek 1 May 2020 16: 14 New
              0
              You don’t need to depend .... you need to have your own chassis, you need a GP. KAMAZ 8x8 is not a chassis. BAZ can be.
              1. Lara Croft
                Lara Croft 1 May 2020 16: 14 New
                0
                Quote: Zaurbek
                You don’t need to depend .... you need to have your own chassis, you need a GP. KAMAZ 8x8 is not a chassis. BAZ can be.

                BAZ, healthy "hlabuda" ...
                1. Zaurbek
                  Zaurbek 1 May 2020 16: 16 New
                  0
                  But not fall apart. Tatra has a car. Dana The Germans taxed the Boxer chassis and tracked all-terrain vehicle.
                  KamAZ will pull only an ordinary gun ... and I don’t know how the impact of the 152mm gun on the frame will affect.
                  1. Lara Croft
                    Lara Croft 1 May 2020 16: 18 New
                    0
                    Quote: Zaurbek
                    Tatra has a car. Dana

                    She’s a hundred years old at lunch, she’s been running since the time of the police department, which, however, only confirms her quality ...
                    1. Lopatov
                      Lopatov 1 May 2020 16: 43 New
                      +2
                      Quote: Lara Croft
                      She’s a hundred years old at lunch, she’s been running since the time of the police department, which, however, only confirms her quality ...

                      There is a fully automatic "Zuzana II", the first prototype was rolled out in 2008.
            2. Zaurbek
              Zaurbek 3 May 2020 18: 33 New
              0
              If the USSR did open (though tracked self-propelled guns) then why not the Russian Federation?