Artillery: September 25, 2001


China has developed a prototype of its new 8x8 wheeled 122mm artillery system. This apparently uses the same chassis as the recently seen 120mm 8x8 mobile anti-tank gun. This vehicle uses a 122mm barrel with a slotted muzzle brake and a fume extractor; it is apparently based on the Russian 122mm howitzer which China is known to have reverse engineered. It is the same weapon used on the Chinese full-tracked artillery pieces designated Type-85 and Type-89. The barrel is mounted in a new welded turret with a pintel-mounted 12.7mm machinegun. This is just one of many new 8x8 and 6x6 wheeled armored combat vehicles seen entering Chinese service in the last few years. The intent seems to be improved mobility at lower cost, both of which would improve the chances of export sales.--Stephen V Cole


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