The Chinese PLL05 self-propelled mortar-howitzer system

The Chinese PLL05 self-propelled mortar-howitzer system

The Chinese PLL05 self-propelled mortar-howitzer system was first introduced to the West at the NORINCO export market in 2001, but only the 127th Light Mechanised Infantry Division of the 54th Group Army of the PLA have operated the vehicle since 2008.

The PLL05 (or Type 05) is a self-propelled mortar-howitzer system based on a WZ551 6X6 wheeled chassis.

The main armament is a 120mm rifled gun, with no muzzle break or fume extractor. The gun has an elevation range of -4°~+80°, and an azimuth range of 360° (in contrast to the +/-35° azimuth range of the 2S23). The maximum range is 9.5km when firing the howitzer projectile, 8.5km when firing the mortar projectile, and 1.2km when firing the HEAT projectile. The artillery could also fire the rocket-assisted mortar projectile, which has a maximum range of 12.8km. The artillery is capable of both in-direct and direct firing. Fire accuracy is attained by a fire-control system

The PLL05 is equipped with a semi-automatic loader, which gives a rate of fire of 6~8 rounds/minute (howitzer projectile), 10 rounds/minute (mortar projectile), and 4~6 rounds/minute (HE-AT projectile). 36 rounds are carried inside the turret and hull.

Secondary weapon includes a Type 85 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the commander copula. There are two sets of smoke grenade launchers in group of three, with one fitted on each side of the turret.

The vehicle is powered by a 320hp BF8L413F 4-stroke, 8-cylinder, turbo-charged, air-cooled diesel engine. The vehicle is capable of a top road speed of 85km/h. Two propellers are fitted at the rear of the vehicle for swimming with a top speed of 8km/h.

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