The Chinese PLZ-45 Self Propelled Gun is an exported artillery system based on technology acquired from Poland in the 1980’s. The main cannon is a 155mm muzzle calibre and Length 45 calibre (larger than the US M109 series). It uses an electrically controlled semi automatic loading system with a hydraulic ram allowing the 5 man crew to load the charge whilst at any angle. The cannon has an elevation of +72 to -3 degrees. The turret can traverse a full 360 degrees.
The Chinese PLZ-45 Self Propelled Gun Ammunition
30 rounds of munitions are carried in the turret which can be from a number of Extended Range Full Bore (ERFB) ammunition the vehicle is capable of firing:
High Explosive (ERFB/HE)
Base Bleed High Explosive (ERFB-BB/HE)
ERFB/Smoke and ERFB-BB/Cargo.
The vehicle has a laser-guided projectile based on the Russian Krasnopol, designed to destroy Main Battle Tanks and heavy emplacements with an operational range of 3 to 20km. The FCS includes an automatic laying system, optical sighting system, gun orientation and navigation system, giving the vehicle a top range of 39km. For close encounters the vehicle has a roof-mounted W-85 12.7mm (0.50cal) anti-aircraft MG and two sets of four-barrel smoke grenade launchers on the turret’s side.
The driver sits front left with the 520hp turbocharged diesel engine which provides for a top road speed of 50 km/h and a 450km operational range, to his right.
Other equipment includes, auxiliary powerpack for powering electrical systems, NBC protection, fire detection & suppression, muzzle velocity measurement system and gun display unit. The vehicle is rated to give protection against 7.62mm rounds and shrapnel from airburst artillery.
The Chinese PLZ-45 Support Vehicles
The vehicle is sold at Battalion strength which includes a number of support vehicles
PLZ45 – 18 (divided among 3 batteries).
PCZ45 – 6 ammunition support vehicles.
BRV – 3 battery reconnaissance vehicles (Type 85 APC like vehicles).
W653A – Armoured Recovery Vehicle.
704-1 – artillery locating and fire correction radar.
702-D – meteorological radar.
Fire support maintenance vehicles.
Battery command post.
The Chinese PLZ-45 Self Propelled Gun Operators
128 (54 was exported in 1997, further 74 in 2001).
Saudi Arabia –
54 (ordered in 2007).
Deliveries due to be completed in 2011, PLZ-45 “battalions” ordered meaning at least 40+ PLZ45’s.
Around 50 delivered between December 2013 and January 2014