Chinese People's Liberation Army Deploys Howitzers in China's Gobi Desert
Chinese People's Liberation Army Deploys Howitzers in China's Gobi Desert

People’s Liberation Army Ground Force Deploys Self-propelled Howitzer in China’s Gobi Desert

The Chinese PLA-sponsored website China Military reported the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) deploys PLC-181 self-propelled howitzer in China’s Gobi Desert for desert drill. The Gobi Desert is a large desert or brushland region in East Asia. It covers parts of Northern and Northeastern China and of Southern Mongolia. Five theatre commands of People’s Liberation Army have been equipped with PCL-181 155mm vehicle-mounted howitzers.

The PCL-181 is a truck-mounted 155 mm self-propelled howitzer used by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. It was designed to replace the 152 mm PL-66 towed gun-howitzer and the 130 mm Type 59-1 towed field guns used by the PLA and will complement the PLZ-05, and improve upon its functionality in many ways. The PCL-181 made its first public appearance during the Chinese National Day Parade on 1 October 2019.

A group of launcher trucks carrying new vehicle-mounted gun-howitzer systems are en route to a designated training field in northwest China’s Gobi Desert on June 3, 2021. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Wu Shengwei)

The gun has a 52-caliber barrel and is exactly the same as that of the PLZ-05 self-propelled howitzer. The howitzer has a maximum firing range of 40 km with conventional ammunition and up to 72 km with extended range ammunition and can carry 27 rounds of ammunition. The vehicle features semi-automatic ammo reload, where the operator places the shell on the loading arm and the loading arm loads the round into the breech. The PCL-181 is equipped with automatic fire control system.

The PCL-181 is based on Taian GM’s 6X6 truck chassis.[ The howitzer is designed to adapt tp rugged terrain. China has deployed a new howitzer designed for rugged terrain to its border regions, as tensions mount with India in the aftermath of a deadly clash in the Himalayas earlier this year. Due to its comparatively lighter weight of 25 tons, the PCL-181 can also be transported in a Shaanxi Y-9.

A group of launcher trucks carrying new vehicle-mounted gun-howitzer systems are en route to a designated training field in northwest China’s Gobi Desert on June 3, 2021. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Wu Shengwei)