Military Review

The Chinese army stores thousands of towed howitzers in warehouses for later use as targets.


The Chinese Army (PLA) has between 4 and 6 towed 122mm howitzers. Solid stocks of this type of weapons make it possible to use it as targets for practicing fire from other means of destruction.

Thus, in the region of the Tibetan Plateau, a battery of howitzers was destroyed during rocket artillery exercises. In footage released in December 2021, the PHL-03 MLRS, which is the Chinese version of the Russian BM-30 Smerch, unleashed heavy fire on the Type 83 guns in position, with predictable results.

122-mm howitzers Type 83 were produced in large batches in the PRC, but then disappeared from the artillery units of the PLA, being replaced by self-propelled guns on a car chassis. However, this is only one of the models that were mass-produced in China and subsequently put into storage.

As stated in the publication 21AAR, before the appearance of Type 83, the army copied Soviet howitzers of 100, 122, 130 and 152 mm caliber, for example, M-30 and D-74, stocks of which are still available both in the PLA and in the RF Armed Forces . Many of the Chinese replicas are still in service today. So, the troops are currently armed with the Type 54, a copy of the M-30, some of which were converted into tracked self-propelled guns and received the designation Type 70-I, which looks similar to the 2C1 Gvozdika.

It was assumed that the Type 83, which has Soviet "roots" due to its "kinship" with the M-30, will replace systems copied from guns from the USSR. But the service life of this howitzer was short-lived. The absence of a shrapnel shield [in the basic version] and a shortened barrel reduced its weight, but affected crew protection and fire performance. One of the reasons for the rejection of the Type 83 may be the emphasis on the 155 mm caliber that the PLA made in the mid-1980s after transferring related technologies.

Since 1990, the Type 83 has disappeared without a trace [from the troops]. But China keeps thousands of howitzers in warehouses. Their fate to become expendable, targets, has already been decided.

- noted in the publication.


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  1. Thrifty
    Thrifty 31 January 2022 17: 09
    If only these guns did not hit the dryers, therefore, disposal is probably the best option. And so guns can be sold, there are many poor countries in the world that will buy artillery for themselves at a good price.
    1. PN
      PN 31 January 2022 17: 19
      The VSUs give money to the Chinese for a motor-sich, so it is unlikely that they will get them ...
  2. Andrey Moskvin
    Andrey Moskvin 31 January 2022 17: 09
    Why are inflatable targets worse? Why ruin the guns? Would have sold.
    1. impostor
      impostor 31 January 2022 18: 21
      And that's right, it's better to push the Yemeni Houthis at a reasonable price
  3. Aleksandr97
    Aleksandr97 31 January 2022 17: 19
    A very strange use of howitzers, given the approximate cost in candy wrappers:
    122 mm. Howitzers D-30 - 52.000
    152 mm. Howitzers D-20 - 40.000
    152 mm. Howitzers D-1 - 50.000
    1. Andrey Moskvin
      Andrey Moskvin 31 January 2022 17: 29
      Is 130mm like a marine caliber?
      1. Aleksandr97
        Aleksandr97 31 January 2022 17: 32
        Instead of a 152,4 mm howitzer, the artillery part of the Type-59-1 gun, a Chinese copy of the Soviet M-46 gun, 130 mm, was installed
  4. Sasha from Uralmash
    Sasha from Uralmash 31 January 2022 17: 52
    Is it really that gun steel is not re-melted! Something is wrong in the news! Or it does, but after the targets! It's still wonderful!
  5. impostor
    impostor 31 January 2022 18: 19
    83 type is an underaccia, self-propelled guns, and on the screen saver towed d-30
  6. syndicalist
    syndicalist 31 January 2022 18: 50
    From M30 to tracked self-propelled guns? And this is called repurposing? Then the airship can probably be repurposed into an airplane?
    1. PSih2097
      PSih2097 1 February 2022 11: 08
      Quote: syndicalist
      Then the airship can probably be repurposed into an airplane?

      exactly, just "finish with a file" ... laughing
  7. Nikolay Dyaglev
    Nikolay Dyaglev 31 January 2022 20: 02
    And why destroy what is not destiny to sell?
  8. Ramon Mercader
    Ramon Mercader 31 January 2022 20: 27
    A very ambiguous decision.
  9. Sands Careers General
    Sands Careers General 31 January 2022 20: 28
    The vidos is funny, black ones stupidly run like electric brooms))
  10. eehnie
    eehnie 4 February 2022 13: 29
    The use of targets is something natural, but it is unlikely to absorb all the Chinese weaponry, which is becoming too obsolete to be preserved in the reserve. It is highly likely that China will begin to consider helping allies with material to reach the low technological limit.

    Apparently, Chinese heavy weaponry with the earliest end-of-production data still extant would be:

    1.-) J-2 (MiG-15)
    2.-) Type 54 PL-54 122 mm (M-30)
    3.-) Type 56 T-56 85 mm (D-44)

    Only the second would remain in Chinese arsenals, but China can help other allies on the Asian continental platform to replace them.

    (Automatically translated from English. Below is the original commentary in English)

    The use of targets is something natural, but is unlikely to consum all the Chinese armament that begins to be too veteran for conservation in the reserve. Very likely China begins to consider the help to allies with the material to exit by the low technological limit.

    Apparently the Chinese heavy armament with earliest data of end of production that still survive, would be:

    1.-) J-2 (MiG-15)
    2.-) Type 54 PL-54 122mm (M-30)
    3.-) Type 56 T-56 85mm (D-44)

    Only the second would remain in the Chinese arsenals, but China can help to other allies in the continental platform of Asia to replace them.