The SH1 is a high mobility, air-transportable truck-mounted self-propelled howitzer developed by NORINCO for the export market and potentially for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Development of this artillery system commenced in 2002. This truck mounted 155mm howitzer somehow a competitor to Nexter’s Caesar was first revealed in 2007, based on the towed Type 89 (PLL01) 155mm/L52 system. It can fire all standard 155mm NATO ammunition in addition to Norinco’s 155mm laser-guided shells. It is mounted on a standard Chinese 6×6 truck chassis but can be easily “remounted” on another truck. Details of this artillery system were released at the same time as were details of the smaller SH2 122 mm truck-mounted howitzer.
The SH1 155mm/52-calibre howitzer system has been designed to fire 155mm NATO standard ammunition including Extended-Range, Full-Bore, Rocket-Assisted, High-Explosive (ERFB-RA/HE) and Extended-Range Full-Bore, Base-Bleed, High-Explosive (ERFB-BB/HE)and Krasnopol laser-guided projectiles. When using the ERFB-BB/HE round, the howitzer can reach a maximum range of 53km. Claimed maximum range of fire is 53 km which was achieved with a rocket assisted V-LAP projectile using charge zone 10. Ammunition box of the SH1 artillery system houses 25 rounds of seven different types and their modular charges. The SH1 is fitted with a computerized fire control system, navigation, positioning and targeting systems. Vehicle receives target information from artillery command vehicle. Secondary armament consists of a 12.7 mm machine gun, mounted on top of the roof. This weapon is used for self-defense.
Basically, the SH1 is the Chinese counterpart to French Army’s Caesar artillery system. Pakistan acquired approximately 90 SH1 truck-mounted howitzers. It is also in service with Myanmar. Recent photos of the Chinese 72nd Artillery Brigade, 72nd Army Group, Eastern Theater Command, confirms that the PLA’s equivalent to the SH-1 is now in service in China. The 72nd Artillery Brigade also operates PHL03 300mm long-range MLRS and PLZ05 155mm tracked SP howitzer. While the SH-1 has no armor protection, it is light enough to be airlifted by a C-130 or a Y-9 class transport aircraft, making it a more flexible option for China’s growing Rapid Reaction Units.