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.