Monday, November 22, 2010

Bangladesh ordered Type 88 (PLZ-45) Self-Propelled Howitzer

Type 88 (PLZ-45) Self-Propelled Howitzer

China North Industries Group Corporation (CNGC) developed the PLZ45/Type 88 155mm self-propelled gun-howitzer system in the early 1990s for the export market. The artillery system is armed with a 155mm main gun derived from the Type 89 (PLL01) 155mm/45-calibre towed gun-howitzer, mounted on a newly-developed tracked chassis. China obtained the 155mm/45-calibre howitzer technology from Austria in the 1980s, and developed its own 155mm/45-calibre howitzer.


Operated by a crew of five, the PLZ45 is armed with a 155mm, 45-calibre main gun, with a semi-automatic loader and an electrically controlled and hydraulically operated rammer that enables projectile loading to take place at any angle of elevation with the charge being loaded manually. The turret has an elevation of +72 to -3 degrees with 360 degree traverse. The PLZ45 is powered by a 520hp turbocharged diesel, giving a max road speed of 40km/h.

Secondary weapons include a roof-mounted W-85 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun and two sets of four-barrel smoke grenade launchers on the turret's side.

Ammunitions are stored at the rear of the turret. A total of 30 rounds for the gun-howitzer and 480 rounds for the machine gun are carried onboard. 24 howitzer rounds are carried in the loader and 6 rounds on the right side below the loader.

The fire-control system of the PLZ45 includes an automatic laying system, optical sighting system, gun orientation and navigation system, and a GPG receiver.


The PLZ45 fires a range of Extended Range Full Bore (ERFB) ammunition, including High Explosive (ERFB/HE), Base Bleed High Explosive (ERFB-BB/HE), ERFB-BB/RA, ERFB/WP, ERFB/Illuminating, ERFB/Smoke, and ERFB-BB/Cargo.

China obtained the Russian Krasnopol laser-guided projectile technology in the 1990s, and has successfully developed its own 152/155mm laser-guided ammunitions. Designed to defeat armoured vehicles and weapon emplacements, the projectile has inertial mid-course guidance and semi-active laser homing. The projectile has a range of 3~20km, and can hit a target by the first shot without registration.


A standard PLZ45 battalion consists of 3 batteries, each with 6 PLZ45 self-propelled gun-howitzers (SPGH) and 6 PCZ45 ammunition support vehicles (ASV). Each battery has a battery command post and 3 battery reconnaissance vehicles (BRV), both of which are based on the Type 85 APC. These are supported by W653A armoured recovery vehicles, 704-1 artillery locating and fire correction radar, 702-D meteorological radar, and fire support maintenance vehicles.


The Bangladesh Army has ordered a number of complete PLZ-45 battalions. Deliveries are expected to be complete by 2011.tTotal 54 units have been ordered.

Artillery units based at Chittagong, Ghatail and Savar cantonments will be equipped with the new self-propelled gun howitzers.

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