The Chinese Type 83 Self Propelled Gun

The Type 83 SPG
The Chinese Type 83 Self Propelled Gun

The Chinese Type 83 Self Propelled Gunmet the requirements of the PLA issued in the late 70’s for a modern Self-Propelled Artillery Gun. Its design wasn’t one started from scratch, but the amalgamation of existing systems used by the PLA.

The main gun was a further development by 127 Factory in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province of the Type 66 152mm Towed Gun-Howitzer. The factory also developed the semi-automatic loading system. The tracked chassis was a further development by 674 Factory in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, of the Type 321. The factory also served as the principal contractor.

The first prototype was completed in 1980 and a modified second prototype was built in July 1981, with field trials ending in 1982 and entered production in 1983.

Elevation of the main gun is +62 to 0 degrees and can fire a number of munitions including high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG), cluster projectiles with fragmentation sub-munitions and base gas bleed, and indigenous laser-guided 152mm projectile (Russian Krasnopol laser-guided projectile technology was purchased by China in the 90’s). 30 rounds can be stored in the turret with a 5 rounds per min rate of fire.

For close encounters, the vehicle is equipped with a roof mounted 12.7mm (50cal.) MG for AA and a Type 69 RPG is carried in the turret.

The vehicle uses a WR4B-12V150LB four-stroke liquid-cooled diesel engine, generating 520hp giving a maximum road speed of 55km/h and an operational range of 450km.

Its currently in service with the PLA and each artillery regiment has a Type 83 battalion, which operates 18 vehicles.