The PCL-09 Wheeled 6×6 self-propelled howitzer attached to a brigade the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Xizang (Tibet Military District) Military Command organized fire a salvo of shells at the elevation of more than 4,700 meters above sea level, to comprehensively test the troops’ coordination and rapid response capacity. It had further boosted the high-altitude combat capability of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) stationed in Tibet by equipping it with new vehicle-mounted howitzers. The equipment was used in an artillery brigade in Tibet during the 2017 China-India stand-off.
The PCL-09 or CS/SH1 (Chinese export name) is a 122mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured by the Chinese Company Norinco. A typical battery of PCL-09 consists of one 6 self-propelled howitzers and a battery command post. The vehicle was unveiled in the official military magazine of the Chinese army (PLA). The PCL-09 is similar to the French Caesar 155 wheeled howitzer, and uses a wheeled 6×6 truck chassis with a Chinese-made 122mm howitzer PL-96 mounted at the rear part. This vehicle is already in service with the Chinese armed forces. It can be ready to fire in less than 90 seconds from traveling mode.
The PCL-09 can fire at a maximum range of 22 km with a rate of fire of 8 rds/min and 27 km with rocket assisted projectile. The 122mm howitzer of the CS/SH1 can fire High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), cargo, incendiary, smoke, illumination, and all standard 122 mm ammunition used by the Russian D-30 howitzer. The self-propelled howitzer had a 52-caliber cannon with a range of over 50 kilometres and could shoot 122 mm laser-guided and satellite-guided projectiles. In firing position, one spade is lowered on each side of the truck chassis to provide a more stable firing platform.
The PCL-09 is based on 6×6 Shaanxi truck chassis. A fully enclosed cab is mounted at the front of the vehicle and has individual seats for the crew of five. There is two doors on each side of the crew cabin and one hatch is available at the top right side. The PCL-09 uses a 6×6 chassis with one axle at the front and two axles at the rear. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 85 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km. The truck is equipped with a central tire inflation system to provide control over the air pressure in each tire as a way to improve performance on different terrain conditions.