|PLZ45 Self-Propelled Howitzer|
Chinese PLZ-45 Self-Propelled Howitzer
|Place of origin||People's Republic of China|
|Designed||1980s - early 1990s|
|Unit cost||US$ 5 million|
|Weight||33 tonnes 
43 tonnes (PLZ-52)
|Length||10.5 m (34 ft 5 in) |
|Width||3.3 m (10 ft 10 in)|
|Height||2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) with AAMG|
|Caliber||155 mm (6.1 in) (45 calibre)
155 mm (6.1 in) (52 calibre) (PLZ-52) 
|Rate of fire||Maximum: 5 rounds/min
Sustained: 2 rounds/min
Maximum: 8 rounds/min or 3 rounds/15 seconds (burst mode) (PLZ-52)
|Effective firing range||(HE) 24km; (ERFB) 30km; (ERFB-HB-BB) 39km
|Armor||Protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters|
|155 mm howitzer|
|12.7 mm heavy machine gun / 2 sets of 4-barrel grenade launchers|
|Engine||Deutz turbocharged air-cooled diesel engine.
525 hp (386 kW)
1000 hp (746 kW) (PLZ-52)
|Power/weight||15 hp / tonne
23 hp / tonne 
|550 km 
450 km (PLZ-52)
|Speed||55 km/h (on-road) 
65 km/h (PLZ-52)
The PLZ-45 or Type 88 is a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer designed by Su Zhezi of 674 Factory, and developed by Norinco, 123 Factory (Heilongjiang Hua’an Industry Group Company), 127 Factory (Tsitsihar Heping Machine Shop), 674 Factory (Harbin First Machine Manufacture Limited Company) and Beijing Institute of Technology in the early 1990s for the export market. It is based on Norinco's Type 89 (PLL01) 155mm/45-calibre towed gun-howitzer.
Operated by a crew of five (commander, gunner, two loaders and a driver), the PLZ-45 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.
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 on board. 24 howitzer rounds are carried in the loader and 6 rounds on the right side below the loader.
The PLZ-45 howitzer 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 successfully developed its own 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 – 20 km, and can hit a target by the first shot without registration.
A standard PLZ-45 battalion consists of 3 batteries, each with 6 PLZ-45 self-propelled howitzers (SPH) and 6 PCZ-45 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 armored recovery vehicles, 704-1 artillery locating and fire correction radar, 702-D meteorological radar, and fire support maintenance vehicles.
Armor & Protection
The PLZ-52 is a 155mm / 52 caliber tracked self-propelled howitzer similar in appearance to the PLZ-45, but based on a slightly different hull. Having a gross vehicle weight of 43 tonnes, the PLZ-52 features a new powerpack, which consists of a diesel engine developing 1,000 hp at 2,300 rpm coupled to a fully automatic transmission. This gives a maximum road speed of up to 65 km/h and an operational range up to 450 km. The PLZ-52 howitzer has a maximum firing range of 53 km (with ERFB-BB-RA projectiles), maximum firing rate of eight rounds per minute, a burst firing rate of three rounds per fifteen seconds, and a multiple-round simultaneous impact capability of four rounds.
The driver and powerpack are at the front of the hull with a fully enclosed turret at the rear. It has torsion bar suspension with six dual rubber tyred road wheels, a drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and track return rollers. The PLZ-52 is offered for export.
- China: Used by the People's Liberation Army.
- Kuwait: (75)  27 PLZ-45's (to form a training platoon and the first battalion) ordered in 1997 and delivered in 2000 - 2001. 24 more howitzers (to form the second battalion) were ordered in 2001 and delivered in 2002 - 2003. 24 more howitzer guns (to form the third battalion) were ordered later and delivered in 2003.
- Saudi Arabia: (54) In 2007, it was reported that the Saudi Arabian Army had decided to order two battalions (54 units) of the PLZ-45 artillery system. In August 2008, China signed a contract to provide Saudi Arabia with one battalion i.e. 27 PLZ-45 155mm self-propelled howitzers. Another contract to supply one more battalion (27 more PLZ-45 self-propelled guns) was signed later in the month. The howitzers were delivered between 2008-2009.
- Algeria: Unknown number delivered between December 2013 and January 2014.
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