Artillery: January 24, 2002


China has unveiled the existence of a 120mm self-propelled (SP) mortar which it says has been in service for several years. Mounted on a 6x6 wheeled WZ551 armored personnel carrier chassis, the system mounts the mortar (with an unusually long barrel) in a fully-enclosed turret. No details on range or rate-of-fire were released, so it is impossible to confirm that this is based on a Russian breach-loading mortar design. (China had once said it was buying Russian 2S23 self-propelled 120mm mortars but there is no evidence that this ever happened.)--Stephen V Cole


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