Air Defense: China Puts 35mm Under Armor


September 16, 2010:  China has displayed a 34 ton self-propelled armored antiaircraft system using a licensed copy of the Swiss Oerlikon 35mm autocannon. Two of these cannon and a radar are in an armored turret on a tank chassis. There is a crew of three, with one man in the turret. China already has a nearly 200 of the towed version (the Type 90) of the twin 35mm and radar, that weighs nearly seven tons.

The 35mm gun is a popular weapon for armored, self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery. Systems of this type were first developed in Europe. But the concept has now spread. India has a locally designed and manufactured 35mm anti-aircraft gun. India plans to replace hundreds of imported (in the 1970s) anti-aircraft guns 40mm guns. These fire 5.5 pound (2.5 kilogram) shells at the rate of 300 a minute. Max altitude is about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). The Indian 35mm weapons system would also use an Indian radar and other locally made components. A 35mm anti-aircraft weapon is already in use by Pakistan, where they manufacture, under, license, the Swiss Oerlikon weapon. The 35mm shells weigh up to 1.65 pounds (.75 kilograms) and have similar range to the older 40mm ones. This AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) is still useful against helicopters and transports, and jets that are moving slowly over the battlefield.

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