China presents SH-15 self-propelled howitzer WDS 2024

China presents SH-15 self-propelled howitzer WDS 2024

At the World Defense Show 2024, the Chinese industrial group North Industries Group Corporation Limited (Norinco) showcased its SH-15 self-propelled wheeled howitzer, a 155 mm/52 caliber artillery piece based on a Shaanxi 6×6 truck. This artillery system, aimed at both the Chinese domestic market and for export, has been designed to meet modern battlefield requirements for mobility and precision.

First introduced in China in 2017 and publicly unveiled in 2018, the SH-15, also referred to as PCL-181 within the Chinese army, replaces the older PL-66 howitzers. The SH-15 utilizes technological advancements to ensure compatibility with a wide range of ammunition, including precision-guided munitions developed by Norinco, such as the GP155 or GP1, as well as all standard 155 mm NATO ammunition. Capable of both direct and indirect firing, the SH-15 can achieve a maximum range of 53 km with rocket-assisted projectiles.

Equipped with a semi-automatic loading system, the SH-15 is capable of firing at a rate of 4 to 6 rounds per minute, and its integrated ammunition storage allows for rapid response and exceptional mobility on the battlefield. Before firing, two large spades are lowered to the ground at the rear to provide a more stable firing platform. The vehicle also features a computerized fire control system, navigation, positioning, and targeting systems, enabling it to receive target information from an artillery command vehicle.

Mounted on a Shaanxi military truck with an armored cabin, the SH-15 can carry a full crew of six soldiers, offering protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. A 12.7 mm heavy machine gun can also be mounted on the roof for self-defense. This artillery system can be quickly deployed, even in high-altitude regions, and is light enough to be airlifted by medium-sized military transport aircraft, such as the Y-9.

The SH-15 was adopted by the Chinese army between 2018 and 2020 and has since been exported to several countries, includingPakistan, which signed a contract in 2019 for the delivery of 236 SH-15 artillery systems, and Ethiopia, which received at least 32 units in 2023. The unit price of the SH-15, based on the Pakistani export order, is approximately $2.1 million.

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