Anti-aircraft missile-gun systems PGL-12 and SWS-2. For the PLA and for export
The first version of the SWS-2 layout
In recent years, China has been paying great attention to the creation of promising anti-aircraft systems for military air defense. One of the results of this was the emergence of a new anti-aircraft missile-gun complex PGL-12. It has already been brought into service in the army, and its export version, called SWS-2, is regularly shown at exhibitions.
In the mid-tenths, the NORINCO corporation presented at one of the Chinese exhibitions a model of a promising short-range air defense missile system for military air defense called SWS-2. This product showed a combat vehicle on an armored four-axle VN-1 chassis with an original combat module carrying all the necessary equipment and weapons.
As a result of further development of the project, the appearance of the air defense missile system has changed. The complex was transferred to the chassis of another modification, and the combat module was redesigned. Such changes were again demonstrated to the public using a mock-up. But already in 2018, at the next exhibition, they showed a full-size mock-up or prototype of a combat vehicle.
Later it became known that NORINCO developed two versions of the new air defense missile system at once with some differences. A complex under the designation PGL-12 is intended for its own army. The previously demonstrated SWS-2 is offered only to foreign customers. In some materials, both complexes appear under the name "Iron Fist".
Until recently, a promising air defense missile system was shown only at exhibitions. However, in this year's poppy, Chinese TV showed it in action for the first time. The CCTV7 channel showed movement and search for targets, as well as firing at aerial targets using a cannon and missiles. In addition, they revealed some of the technical features of the project.
Chinese and foreign media report that the PGL-12 product has already been brought to mass production and is being supplied to the PLA. When production began, and how many cars they managed to transfer to the customer, it is not known. Interestingly, the combat systems featured in the latest reports from the Chinese press have only artillery weapons - in contrast to the exhibition model SWS-2.
Second version of the project
Features of the appearance
Anti-aircraft complexes PGL-12 and SWS-2 are built on one of the variants of the chassis of the Type 08 armored personnel carrier. A modification is used with a control compartment placed in the front of the hull, thereby freeing up volumes for installing a combat module. The chassis is equipped with a 440 hp engine. and has an all-wheel drive four-axle undercarriage. Swimming is provided. Combat weight - 23 tons.
A number of modern samples of Chinese armored vehicles are built on similar chassis. Thus, the air defense missile system has a high degree of unification with other vehicles for various purposes, due to which it can fully work in the general combat formations of the ground forces.
In the central part of the roof there is an original combat module with missile and cannon armament. This product is made in an armored case and is uninhabited. The architecture and layout of the module are unclear: it probably has a turret basket and takes up some volume inside the carrier's body. Also, all the necessary controls are located inside the case, incl. operator consoles.
Prototype export SWS-2
The module is equipped with a cannon and a missile launcher. A radar with a folding antenna is used to monitor the situation and search for targets. To the left of the gun is a swinging optoelectronic unit for target tracking and direct fire control.
The control system of the PGL-12 / SWS-2 combat vehicle is integrated with communications. A full-fledged work is envisaged in the existing contours of the PLA's military air defense. Each air defense missile system can exchange target data with other combat vehicles or command posts.
The full-revolving tower module is equipped with two swinging devices for placing a gun and missiles. Provides horizontal circular fire and gun lift at an angle from -2 ° to + 85 °. The missile launcher rises from -5 ° to + 70 °.
In the center of the combat module is a swinging part with a 35-mm Type 09 cannon. It is an automatic weapon with a revolving scheme with a rate of fire of 1000 rounds per minute. Depending on the type of projectile, an initial velocity of 1050 to 1175 m / s is achieved and the target is hit at a distance of up to 4 km. Ammunition - 400 rounds.
Active module and its equipment
NORINCO Corporation offers a whole family of 35 mm ammunition for the "Type 09". High-explosive fragmentation incendiary with and without a tracer, as well as armor-piercing ammunition, have already been developed. It was reported about the design of a projectile with a programmable fuse. It was argued that the new Chinese shells, in terms of their combat qualities, are at least not inferior to modern foreign counterparts.
On the starboard side of the module is an anti-aircraft missile launcher. It holds up to four containers with TY-90 missiles or modern Chinese MANPADS. All such missiles are equipped with infrared seeker, which is why a mobile launcher was needed to provide initial search and target acquisition. Depending on the type of missiles used, it is possible to engage low-flying targets at ranges of up to 4-6 km.
It should be noted that the export SWS-2 air defense missile system was demonstrated at exhibitions with a full set of weapons. At the same time, the PGL-12 product for the Chinese army does not always have such a complete set. The latest photo and video materials from tests and exercises show complexes without missiles. Instead of a launcher, a simple casing is placed on the module.
Complex PGL-12 of one of the combat units. A cover is installed instead of a missile launcher
With broad perspectives
The PGL-12 anti-aircraft missile and gun system and its export version SWS-2 are intended to escort and protect troops at base points, on the march and in deployment areas. It must detect and engage a wide range of air attack weapons - from front-line aircraft and attack helicopters to high-precision weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The complex has already been adopted by the PLA, supplied in units and used in exercises. From this fact it follows that he successfully coped with all the tests, confirming his tactical and technical characteristics and compliance with the customer's requirements. Accordingly, NORINCO Corporation will continue production of PGL-12, and military air defense will be gradually updated.
In the troops, the ZRPK PGL-12 complements a number of other self-propelled short-range systems with cannon or missile armament, incl. with 35mm cannons and TY-90 missiles. At the same time, it has certain advantages over such equipment, which can affect the processes of further development of military air defense. In particular, it cannot be ruled out that PGL-12 will receive a leading role in its niche in the future.
The main advantage of the new air defense missile system lies in the combined complex of weapons. While the PLA was armed with only SAM and ZSU, and the PGL-12 turns out to be the first combat complex that combines their main qualities. In addition, it should be noted that the complex is built on a modern wheeled chassis with high performance. It provides the necessary mobility and allows you to constantly accompany any mechanized unit.
It can be expected that the latter news on the acceptance of the PGL-12 into service will contribute to the appearance of the first foreign orders for the export version of the complex. If earlier third countries could doubt the need to purchase SWS-2, now they have a good example in the form of the PLA. However, it is too early to talk about the number and volume of such orders.
Thus, China has once again demonstrated its ability to create military equipment, incl. new classes for him. The new PGL-12 project has already solved the main task and now provides for the rearmament of the anti-aircraft units of the ground forces. Whether its export version will succeed in gaining a place on the international market will become known in the foreseeable future. But even without this, the PGL-12 project as a whole can be considered successful.
- Ryabov Kirill
- Globalsecurity.org, Min.news
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