Chinese Guns Conquer Arabia

August 18th, 2008  

Topic: Chinese Guns Conquer Arabia

Saudi Arabia has bought 54 Chinese PLZ-45 155/45 mm (the barrel is 45 calibers, or 6,975mm long) self-propelled howitzers. This is a 33 ton, lightly armored, tracked vehicle. It has a crew of five and carries 30 rounds of ammunition. On top of the turret, there is a 12.7mm machine-gun. The Saudis have bought enough PLZ-45s to equip two artillery battalions. In addition to the guns, each battalion has 18 tracked ammunition carriers, three battery command vehicles and three reconnaissance vehicles (all six of these are modified Type 85 armored personnel carriers). Each battalion has two or more armored recovery vehicles, an artillery spotting radar vehicle, a weather radar vehicle and several maintenance vehicles. The PLZ-45 has a top speed of 50 kilometers an hour and a range of 450 kilometers on internal fuel.

The Saudis went with the Chinese equipment because the Kuwaitis have been using the PLZ-45 since the late 1990s, and were sufficiently pleased to have bought three battalions worth. The PLZ-45 was developed in the early 1990s for the export market. But the system has been so successful that the Chinese Army is using it as well.

The PLZ-45 155mm howitzer can fire long range (39 kilometers) shells, as well as the Russian Krasnopol (laser guided) shell. China got the artillery technology from Austria in the 1980s.

August 18th, 2008  
A Can of Man
K9's got a better range and are you really going to trust your ass with Chinese equipment at this stage?
August 18th, 2008  
You mean functionality-wise? They ain't so bad. They say the Kuwaitis have been using them since the late 90s and are happy with them... But surely, this isn't such a good news for the American weapons manufacturers. Countries like Russia and China (as well as the EU and Israel) are getting increasingly wider slices of the defense market.
August 18th, 2008  

Topic: Kuwait

I'm not 100% sure on this but I always thought it was a political things on Kuwait's side trying to buy a little from everybody to keep things nice and friendly. There weapons purchases are mixed really and I think China imports oil from them as well. It's not because the China guns/systems cost less that's for sure Kuwait's loaded. This purchase followed the Hornet's purchase or close to the same time.
August 19th, 2008  
Ehhh... Both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia use American/NATO based weapon systems. Introducing Chinese weapons into the mix causes a number of problems.

Different calibers to stock, different parts to stock, different everything. Even down to the screws and bolts. The Chi-Coms copied Soviet Tech ad the Soviets went a route that was in no way compatible with Western tech.

Rock45 is 100% right. I believe that both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia did this to appease the Chi-Coms. It's not like they can't afford the best American/NATO Tech out there.

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