In the 1960s, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began to think about switching to self-propelled artillery system (ACS), which had to change towed artillery. As a result of this in the late 60-ies of the last century in China was created by Type 70 self-propelled guns, as well as popular WZ302. This 122-mm self-propelled gun used as a weapon of 122mm howitzer Type 54 is a copy of Russian M-30 howitzer. As the chassis was used armored Type 63-I (B531). While driving howitzer crew was inside the troop compartment, while loading howitzer produced in manual mode without any protection. ACS Type 70 was released quite small series, the number of cars made not more than 200 units.
When in the 1960s the PLA decided to get his real self-propelled artillery, military professionals gaze fell to the 122-mm howitzer Type 54. Should be noted that earlier moment armed Chinese army had only towed artillery systems mostly Russian production. Howitzer Type 54 is a Chinese copy of the Russian 122-mm howitzer M-30 standard in 1938. After the end of the second World War with the help of professionals from the USSR, China had deployed a common data generation howitzers and the entire nomenclature of ammunition. For this reason, the choice of instruments for the first Chinese-propelled installation is not something weird.
Chinese engineers have kept a unique shield howitzer. Gun was mounted in an open cockpit, tower SAU missing. With all this, if necessary, the rear of the ACS could hide behind the tarpaulin. Most firing range 122-mm howitzers with the introduction of high-explosive shells was 11.8 km. Howitzer had angles traverse of 45 ° in each direction, vertical aiming angles ranged from -2,5 ° to +80 °. The highest rate of ACS Type 70 (WZ302) was 5-6 rounds per minute.
General Ammunition ammunition was 50 shells. As an additional armament ACS was used 7.62-mm machine gun, its ammunition consisted of 1000 rounds. ACS did not have an automatic system of fire, all combat processes and operations carried out by the crew install a hundred percent in the manual mode. As ammunition could be used 122mm shrapnel, high explosive fragmentation, lighting, smoke and propaganda shells. Also 122 mm self-propelled guns Type 70 could use the cumulative projectile with armor penetration of 200 mm and a range of direct shot at 660 meters.
Description of the construction
For the base for the modern self-propelled artillery installation of the Chinese decided to take Amtrack armored chassis of own manufacture «Type 63». Artillery unit was mounted in the rear of the hull in place of the troop compartment. Chassis Type 70 self-propelled guns had 4 rubberized core and 3 support rollers on each side. The rear wheel was directing, front — leading. We upgraded ACS Type 70-1 chassis was constructed in a similar way, but the number of rollers grown to 5 on each side, which led to an increase in its length. When all this first, second and fifth wheels on each side equipped with shock absorbers.
Engine compartment and control module placed in front of ACS of the machine, and the howitzer was mounted on top of the body in the back part. In front of the machine body were the driver’s seat and the ACS commander. The driver was placed on the left and right of the commander. In the roof were made for them their hatches are also installed monitoring devices. The driver was Resettled infrared night vision device. Rest of the crew self-propelled gun was placed in the rear of the car in the troop compartment.
Self-propelled body was made of 12-mm armor plates. At the rear of the building houses the door, which provides access to troop compartment. Through it being accessed charging to the gun and loading ammunition. Due to the rather imperial location cradle howitzers, vertical angle pointing guns was brought to 80 °. In the stowed position the barrel howitzer was mounted with a special locking support.
The engine is housed in an insulated compartment for broneperegorodkami place ACS commander. First ACS equipped with 6-titsilinrovym diesel engine liquid cooling 6150L, which has an output of 260 hp (235 kW) and is upgrading Russian tank diesel V-2-34, which is mounted on a T-34 tanks. Somewhat later, the engine was replaced by an 8-cylinder diesel air cooling German production BF8L413F. This engine clocked ACS Type 70 to a speed of 56 km / h on the motorway and up to 5 km / h afloat in store stroke was 450 km. We should not forget that the Type 63 was amphibious armored. Overcoming obstacles aqua ACS Type 70 produced by special linked pontoons.
Self-propelled gun in front was covered by a curved shield smaller sizes. During the march ACS crew was protected from light fragments and bullets 12 mm armor. For access to the interior door used cars located in the aft broneliste body. With all of this in a combat situation, the management of fire on top of the open fighting compartment protected payment only in part. Because members of the calculation had to work, standing at full height. In addition, the body is not locked tightly ACS did not provide protection for the crew and the calculation of the enemy use of weapons of mass destruction. Chinese engineers recreated virtually artillery system times more second world war. Later in the ACS were installed 2 units smoke grenade (pobortno placed in the stern of the machine).
The crew consisted of 7 people (some sources indicate 6 people): driver, commander, gunner and 4 charging. In fact, right after the creation of the ACS has been modernized. The upgraded version of the machine was designated Type 70-1 (WZ 302A). This version is different from the initial version elongated chassis, everything else, including the 122-mm gun, remained without changes.
After a series of rather small time trials improved version of the ACS was adopted by the Chinese army, but because of the above shortcomings, this machine performs only a small series that does not exceed 200 units. Also in China version was developed WZ-302B, which is characterized by the presence of the tubular frame of the fighting compartment self-propelled guns, which could pull the tent in order to protect from nepogoditsy payment. Currently, all 122-mm howitzer Type 70-1 decommissioned Chinese army. Exports data on self-propelled artillery never delivered.
The performance properties of ACS Type 70-1 (WZ-302A):
Machine Weight: 15.3 tons
Dimensions: length — 5,6 m, width — 3,07 m, height — 2,69 m
Main armament: 122 mm howitzer Type 54-1 (50 rounds of ammunition), additional weapons — 1×7 ,62-mm machine gun (1000 rounds of ammunition).
Range: 11,800 m
Propulsion: diesel engine or 6150L BF8L413F 260 hp
The highest speed on a freeway: 56 km / h
Range: 460 km.
Surmounted by a vertical wall: 0.6 m
Fording: 1 m
Crew Position: 7 people.