Self Propelled Gun/Rocket Launcher


dankris

Junior Member
Registered Member
I found the old post, it was actually from last year

Funny, the same question came up after, just how many 152mm shells are left in inventory?

If you ask me, they probably are NOT doing anything as complicated as recasing ammo. My guess is sticking with conventional charge bags is a matter of training and conservative procurement strategy.

Back to PLZ-45 again, that was for export, never adopted by PLA itself, yet it was probably one of the more advanced pieces of military equipment produced in China at the time. Finally after quite some time, they adopted PLZ-05.
Then I have several questions. Why do PLA 155mm uses brass cased charge? 155 NATO is fine without using it and Norinco had proven with PLZ-45 it can make 155 NATO that works, so why reinvent the wheel just to accomodate the brass case?

Is there any advantage to the brass cased system that PLA deem super important to the extent of developing a whole new standard or they just did it because they can? That is what I'm really curious about.

Also, I believe training and conservative procurement policy is just a meh reason. After all, the arty units will have to retrain with all the new equipment anyway, so why not adopt the latest standard (modular charge)?

If by Conservative procurement policy you mean PLA want something that definitely works, then they can just use 155 NATO if they really want to make the move/ just keep the soviet 152. Pakistan opted for SH-15, which IRRC is 155 NATO. It's a good standard well tested by countless NATO operations, so if 155 PLA doesn't have any significant performance boost compared to 155 NATO and at least have compatible shell across the two standards, then I consider this to be a vanity project.

Another good thing from adopting 155 NATO/ keeping Soviet 152 is compability with allies. I know PLA might not consider this important right now, but compability with allies might start to become more important if China want to start backing them.

Costwise it'll also make sense to use either NATO/Soviet standard. With NATO you get to piggyback on Norinco production line, as well as commonality with Pakistan if and when they need some assistance. The same can be said with Soviet standard, though probably to a lesser degree as some countries start to switch from soviet to NATO standard. However, 155 PLA most likely will still be placed last costwise if there's no compability with the other two system as the only current user is PLA and I'm not sure if there's any other country that's lining up to adopt it.

P.s. sorry for the rant, but considering many think of the current PLAGF to be the stepchild in terms of funding, I fully believe they can better use the R&D fund elsewhere.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
There are a few things to consider - is there anything stopping an artillery piece that can take cased charges from also using charge bags? Especially if that was a design requirement from the start?

I think it is likely that the PLA designed their 155s to be able to take both kinds of charges, and that we are only seeing them using cased charges right now because they have vast existing inventories of old, cased charges, so they are issuing those for training first rather than brand new charge bags, because believe it or not, ammunition does have a use by date. It might last for decades, but if you leave it long enough, it will become unsafe to use, and have to be disposed of, so it’s only good practice to have a FIFO system to run down aged munitions stocks through training as much as possible in training.
 

ZeEa5KPul

Junior Member
Registered Member
There are a few things to consider - is there anything stopping an artillery piece that can take cased charges from also using charge bags? Especially if that was a design requirement from the start?

I think it is likely that the PLA designed their 155s to be able to take both kinds of charges, and that we are only seeing them using cased charges right now because they have vast existing inventories of old, cased charges, so they are issuing those for training first rather than brand new charge bags, because believe it or not, ammunition does have a use by date. It might last for decades, but if you leave it long enough, it will become unsafe to use, and have to be disposed of, so it’s only good practice to have a FIFO system to run down aged munitions stocks through training as much as possible in training.
I thought the PLAGF used 152mm before transitioning to 155mm. Wouldn't that mean the old stocks would be 152mm? Can you fire 152mm shells out of a 155mm barrel?
 

dankris

Junior Member
Registered Member
I thought the PLAGF used 152mm before transitioning to 155mm. Wouldn't that mean the old stocks would be 152mm? Can you fire 152mm shells out of a 155mm barrel?
I'm pretty sure it is not compatible. Otherwise countries that transferred from Soviet 152mm to 155mm NATO would've already done that with their leftover ammunition. Also, if what @plawolf mean is they only use the leftover 152mm cased charge, then what about the 152mm shell? I'm pretty sure they come in pairs. Did they use it to play IED somewhere?
 

supersnoop

Junior Member
Registered Member
I'm pretty sure it is not compatible. Otherwise countries that transferred from Soviet 152mm to 155mm NATO would've already done that with their leftover ammunition. Also, if what @plawolf mean is they only use the leftover 152mm cased charge, then what about the 152mm shell? I'm pretty sure they come in pairs. Did they use it to play IED somewhere?
If you read that old article, it did talk about upgrading the 152mm guns to be a little more modern.
Another article posted mentioned that the future guns will be standardized on 105mm, 122mm, and 155mm.
That means 130mm and 152mm are out.

It's clearance sale on 152mm. Once they are all used up, those units will get something new. 152mm is old, so all of them were towed guns. Will they get PCL-181 or something like AH-4?


There are a few things to consider - is there anything stopping an artillery piece that can take cased charges from also using charge bags? Especially if that was a design requirement from the start?

I think it is likely that the PLA designed their 155s to be able to take both kinds of charges, and that we are only seeing them using cased charges right now because they have vast existing inventories of old, cased charges, so they are issuing those for training first rather than brand new charge bags, because believe it or not, ammunition does have a use by date. It might last for decades, but if you leave it long enough, it will become unsafe to use, and have to be disposed of, so it’s only good practice to have a FIFO system to run down aged munitions stocks through training as much as possible in training.
Yes, ammo has an expiry date. Only ever seen live rounds in training. Training rounds existed in theory, but I never once saw them. It made more sense to use the live rounds logistically speaking, since they otherwise would be rotting away.

I would imagine that your theory is correct, but there is a question of whether the brass cased ammunition (semi-fixed) vs. the separate loading has any change on the chamber pressure when firing. The brass casing of artillery rounds is pretty thin, so my guess is its negligible. Most of the pressure is generated by the obturating ring/driving band.
 

dankris

Junior Member
Registered Member
If you read that old article, it did talk about upgrading the 152mm guns to be a little more modern.
Another article posted mentioned that the future guns will be standardized on 105mm, 122mm, and 155mm.
That means 130mm and 152mm are out.

It's clearance sale on 152mm. Once they are all used up, those units will get something new. 152mm is old, so all of them were towed guns. Will they get PCL-181 or something like AH-4?




Yes, ammo has an expiry date. Only ever seen live rounds in training. Training rounds existed in theory, but I never once saw them. It made more sense to use the live rounds logistically speaking, since they otherwise would be rotting away.

I would imagine that your theory is correct, but there is a question of whether the brass cased ammunition (semi-fixed) vs. the separate loading has any change on the chamber pressure when firing. The brass casing of artillery rounds is pretty thin, so my guess is its negligible. Most of the pressure is generated by the obturating ring/driving band.
What I want to know is why PLA decided to adopt a new standard for their 155mm (155 with brass casing). What's wrong with adopting 155 NATO if they want to standardize on 155mm? is this another case of national pride like with their 5.8mm rifle cartridge? (I think their performance advantage claim is negligible at best); because I can't see what is the advantage of making another new and comparatively unproven standard when there're 2 perfectly functional ones (again, just like with 5.8 when compared to 5.56 NATO and 5.45 Soviet). If you know the reason then please enlighten me.
 

PiSigma

"the engineer"
What I want to know is why PLA decided to adopt a new standard for their 155mm (155 with brass casing). What's wrong with adopting 155 NATO if they want to standardize on 155mm? is this another case of national pride like with their 5.8mm rifle cartridge? (I think their performance advantage claim is negligible at best); because I can't see what is the advantage of making another new and comparatively unproven standard when there're 2 perfectly functional ones (again, just like with 5.8 when compared to 5.56 NATO and 5.45 Soviet). If you know the reason then please enlighten me.
Both 155 China standard and 5.8 mm is for one simple reason. Captured ammo can't be used by the enemy.
 

ZeEa5KPul

Junior Member
Registered Member
What I want to know is why PLA decided to adopt a new standard for their 155mm (155 with brass casing). What's wrong with adopting 155 NATO if they want to standardize on 155mm? is this another case of national pride like with their 5.8mm rifle cartridge? (I think their performance advantage claim is negligible at best); because I can't see what is the advantage of making another new and comparatively unproven standard when there're 2 perfectly functional ones (again, just like with 5.8 when compared to 5.56 NATO and 5.45 Soviet). If you know the reason then please enlighten me.
Even if the performance gain by adopting a new standard is negligible, why not take it? Why bind yourself to another's standards and all the compromises and choices inherent in those standards when you have the ability to formulate your own? NATO's or anybody else's standards and military philosophies embedded in those standards aren't perfectly consonant with China's requirements. Developing standards is part and parcel with developing a complete military-industrial complex; it's one of the many hurdles a society must overcome if it wants to be a first-tier power.
 

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