Land Weapons

NORINCO

Type 70 (WZ302)

The Type 70 was China's first attempt at an indigenously-designed self-propelled howitzer which despite its relatively small production run (by PLA standards), would lead to more capable designs in the 1980s and 90s. The Type 70 was equipped with a Type 54 122-mm howitzer, itself based on the Soviet M-30 and which represented the first generation of locally-built artillery to replace the plethora of foreign-designs in the PLA inventory during the immediate post-war years. This weapon was subsequently mounted on the chassis of a Type 63 APC in a turret-less, open top design which was produced in very small numbers (just 20) but served to sort out numerous performance issues. The Type 70 thus incorporated a lengthened chassis with an extra pair of road wheels along with other improvements which finally resulted in a more stable gun platform. In order to add some degree of crew protection, a gun shield was included as well as additional armor panels on the sides; nevertheless, some of the crew must remain outside the vehicle which increases vulnerability. Another limitation was the relatively short range of the howitzer, which could only reach 11.8 km. As a result, development would shift to more advanced designs like the Type 85 and Type 89. Aside from the PLA, there were no other users of the Type 70.

The first attempt to mate the Type 54 122-mm howitzer in a self-propelled chassis, that of the Type 63 APC, resulted in the Type 54-1 which entered service in 1970. Revisions to the chassis to improve performance and stability resulted in the definitive Type 70 whose design was finalized in 1984. No other variants are known to have existed.

Preceded by:

None

Succeeded by:

Type 85 (YW323) (1990)

Datafile

DesignType 70
TypeSelf-Propelled Gun
Year1984
Crew7
Dimensions
Length (w/Gun)5.65 m
Width3.06 m
Height2.73 m
Weight
Loaded15,400 kg
SuspensionTorsion bar
Performance
Speed (Off-Road)56 km/h
Range (Off-Road)500 km
AmphibiousNo
Fording1.50 m
Vertical Obstacle0.60 m
Trench2 m
Gradient25%
Powerplant
Engine1 x 260-hp
Deutz
6150L
FuelDiesel: 450 L
Power/Weight16.88 hp/t
Armament
Main1 x 122-mm L/23
Type 54 (M-30)
Howitzer (40)
↑ 63° / ↓ -2.5° / ↔ 45°

Secondary1 x 7.62-mm
Type 67 (1,000)

Armor
TypeSteel
Thickness12 mm (max)
Max Effective12 mm (max) RHAe
Production
Built~200
Total200