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A Grab Bag of New Chinese Weapons

by Ward Carroll on July 25, 2008

type-89.jpg

[Editor’s Note: Our good friend Martin Andrew, who publishes an investigative blaster chronicling Chinese military development called the Gi Zhou Newsletter, has some interesting tidbits for us this week. And please note, the picture at left is an earlier Type 89 self-propelled gun.]

New 122mm Self-Propelled Gun

In 1966, Luo Ruiqing, the PLA’s then chief-of-staff criticised the defence industry because it was concentrating on R&D rather than on production. He was accused in the official Report of Luo’s Mistakes that, ‘he still frantically attacked our national defence scientific research work as going from data to data, from design to design, without completing anything’. Luo believed China was in imminent war with the United States, and advocated Soviet assistance. His criticism of the Chinese defence industry could well have applied into the 1990s as well as today with too many designs that achieve little.

A new 122mm self-propelled gun has been shown in the online version of PLA Daily. Titled ‘Artillery troops enhance combat effectiveness with new equipment’, it shows a battery of these guns. The vehicle uses the chassis from the new ZBD97 infantry fighting vehicle with a turret, most probably a modified version of the one used on the Model 89 122mm self-propelled gun.

WZ731 Tracked Scout Vehicle

Identified as a xinxihua zhanchang (Informationalised battlefield) system, the WZ731 tracked scout developed from the ZSD89 hull with a low profile turret mounting two armoured sights, one with a laser rangefinder and CCD daylight sight and the other a thermal imager. The WZ731 had a crew of up to six including a three man scout team. It was 6.62m long, 2.626m wide and 1.88m high at the hull and 2.556m at the top of the armoured sights. The combat weight was only 8.1t which gave it a maximum road speed of 80.5 km/hr.

The armament comprised eight 76mm smoke grenade dischargers, four mounted in a row on each side of the turret and a pintle mounted Model 59 12.7 x 108mm heavy machine gun on the left side if the commander’s cupola which is directly behind the driver on the left hand side. This single machine gun on its open pintle mount was deemed insufficient in the event of the vehicle coming under attack. The lack of an automatic cannon was one reason the vehicle was not introduced into service. The British Scimitar tracked reconnaissance vehicle is similar in weight, is better armoured, smaller in size, more mobile and m mounts a 30mm cannon.

The basic design was sound and a new scout version of the ZSD89, using the enlarged rear hull of the ambulance version, with a modified low profile turret from the WZ731. This incorporates flat transmitter panels on the turret roof, and on top of this is a compressed gas catapult for a small UAV.

New Unmanned Air Vehicle

The Wenchuan Earthquake has seen the use of at least one Chinese developed and manufactured unmanned air vehicle (UAV). It was to survey the extent of the damage.

It is only 2.1 m long and has a wingspan of 2.6m. It weighs 20kg and is of pusher configuration with twin booms connecting a ‘V’ shaped rear fin. It can travel at 110km/hr, reach an altitude of 3,500m and has GPS assisted guidance. Its photographic images are excellent.

– Martin Andrew

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

b July 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Hmmm -
Lu

Reply

Roy Smith July 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm

If you really want to see the most dangerous weapons in the Chinese arsenal,go to your local Walmart & K-Mart.Many an American has been taken out by those lethal weapons.All that these weapons featured in this article are,are just for mop up.Like I said before,the most dangerous stuff is on our stores’ shelves,because we are China’s best customers(& stupid suckers).All of you talking about how China will never go to war against us because we’re buying all of their [faulty,lethal,hazardous] products,I’m laughing my ass off at you.The war has already started my friends.Someone needs to publish statistics on deaths & casualties from the goods & services provided by China.Now THAT’S a damn effective weapon!!!!!

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GIZhou July 25, 2008 at 5:03 pm

My dear b. Let me count the ways you are incorrect. For a start Christian has not included any of the references, which my dear chap, unless you read Chinese make no sense whatsoever. The GIZhou Newsletter uses the Chinese comments themselves, as its readership understands. The article refers to a scout vehicle, not an observation vehicle designed to sit back and observe. The article itself said it wasn’t put into service because it lacked an automatic cannon. I used the Scimitar as a comparison as it is also a scout vehicle.
Why should I criticise the comments of the person who wrote it. As for the UAV the journal provided scale photographs from the earthquake scene it said weer taken from the UAV. It is possible they were lying but from the photos they are lower level shots, and this journal over the years, has not lied to its readers. Also I don’t publish it if it doesn’t make sense. If you have other journals to refute my translations by all means quote them, but attacking me is poor form.

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Roy Smith July 25, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Oh come on,those weapons are nothing.They more than likely have no computer networking system like our Future Combat System will have.They are most likely primitive & slow with bad motor engines running them………That’s why I shop at Walmart.

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Roy Smith July 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm

For those who don’t get it about my jab at Walmart. THAT is where you will find the most deadliest Chinese weapons.

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jonny the fart July 26, 2008 at 4:13 pm

i think b is right.
Roy Smith should go away with his Walmart sh.it.(realy dude, you sond like an paranoide idiot from Dr.Strange)
GIZHou is an arrogant ars.ehole and troll. you should left this blog as fast as you can.
<<<anything’. Luo believed China was in imminent war with the United States, and advocated Soviet assistance<<<
It was a war with UN-Forces.
<<< The British Scimitar tracked reconnaissance vehicle is similar in weight, is better armoured, smaller in size, more mobile and m mounts a 30mm cannon<<<
There is nothing similar with Scimitar.
———————————————-
Chinese are trying to mix russian and european ideas into own infantry fight. This “Big Gun Carrier” is great support for chinese mechanized infantry. 6 guys for one Gun: China is not lacking in millitary personel. to “modern com and command network”: Chinese are working on it very fast. There were some tests last sommer wich got very big points between chinese generals. aside that Chinese army has a new network already.
——————————————–
http://www.sinodefence.com/army/armour/zsd89.asp

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Byron Cavit July 27, 2008 at 12:39 am

can’t the US scramble GPS signals in a certain region, making the GPS functionality of the UAV useless?

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jonny the fart July 27, 2008 at 3:00 am

—can’t the US scramble GPS signals in a certain region, making the GPS functionality of the UAV useless?–
yes.. but China has own GPS system. (wich btw is working better then russian GLONASS).
you can see it here in PLA-”comercial”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtTHjdH3ApM

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Roy Smith July 27, 2008 at 7:29 am

GI Zhou,
Hey,Yao Ming is a Chinese spy studying NBA methods to insure that China will win the Gold medal in Basketball this year.
Seriously,it is interesting how so many Chinese products were found to be so faulty,but we haven’t changed our buying habits.We take it on faith that China will improve their products because we are their best customers & they wouldn’t want to lose our business.
jonny the fart,
No matter if the Chinese civilian corporations work for the Chinese spy agencies,they all work for or are part of the “People’s Liberation Army” of the “People’s Republic of China.” Hell,Yao Ming is probably a member of the PLA.
I seriously doubt that the Chinese have plans to invade us militarily.They could just buy up our country.
Also,their military could come over [be invited] here as “UN Peacekeepers” if our republic was to fall apart & dissolve into anarchy.

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jonny the fart July 27, 2008 at 9:10 am

Hell,Yao Ming is probably a member of the PLA.
WHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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jonny the fart July 27, 2008 at 9:24 am

–Also,their military could come over [be invited] here as “UN Peacekeepers” if our republic was to fall apart & dissolve into anarchy.–
pss..PLA Armed Police has arrived Haiti to carry the UN peace ..
now dance a troll dance Roy, DANCE!

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GI-Gizmo July 27, 2008 at 9:02 pm

The Soviets pushed China to intervene in
Korea. They suffered almost a million casulties
at the hands of the UN (mostly US) and vowed
to never confront the US head-on again.
The US has vowed to avoid a war on the Asian
mainland. You better bet the Chinese are trying
to get the upper hand on us, and they are using
asymmetric tactics. At this point the US-Sino
relationship is so intertwined that one could
not fall without damaging the other. We in the
US seem to create or feed the monsters of the
World when it benefits us, then when they have
served their purpose we distinguish them.
All great civilizations are conquered from
within?

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s,dog7 July 28, 2008 at 3:54 am

Russians are dogs, the government that is.
think about it, they tolled china to send troops to
fight south Korea, 1 million died, but did they send troops,, no,, they would not attack Germany unto they had to, look at Japan, unto America dropped a nuclear bomb on them, the Russians declared war on Japan,, only because they new Japan was finished and new if they started a war with America they would be finished as well,, they always wait and see,, never do any think unless they are safe.
America has had 60 years of new weapons then china, I bet they stole some weapons,, but i bet there is better weapons that we will never see unless America starts to loses the war.
Russia will probably try get china to go to war with America, to see what happens.
If America and the free world comes up with a new weapon like the nuclear bomb back in ww2, I hope they attack Russia and any full evil country with or with out nuclear weapons and set the world right once and for all.
No more communist countries, all democratic, the communist countries 98% don

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SSR July 30, 2008 at 3:41 am

Interesting article. to bad about the (low) level of debat here :-)
SSR
http://www.hjv.dk

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kevin reynolds July 30, 2008 at 10:44 am

If you all remember your history, the T-38 tank used by the Soviets in WW2 was designed and built in the USA not Russia.
Components of the short-lived Canadian built AVRO have been found on Soviet and Chinese aircraft.
As long as there is a market elsewhere, free world technology WILL end up in some fanatical force somewhere and used againbst U.S. and her allies.

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Kirby January 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm

you like to compare wz731 with Scimitar? does scimitar have a raisable battle field radar???
these weapons look “pathetic” to you? in the battlefield PLA has tradition to use things which work, from home-made mortars during civil war, to the wide array of networked equipment today which are integrated within doctrine.
btw chinese casualties in korea were 400,000 including wounded–less than the number suffered by south korea alone. please stop using random numbers. who do you think knows more about china’s own losses, the PLA, or american cowboys trying to brag their victories?

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Kirby January 13, 2009 at 1:44 pm

you like to compare wz731 with Scimitar? does scimitar have a raisable battle field radar???
these weapons look “pathetic” to you? in the battlefield PLA has tradition to use things which work, from home-made mortars during civil war, to the wide array of networked equipment today which are integrated within doctrine.
btw chinese casualties in korea were 400,000 including wounded–less than the number suffered by south korea alone. please stop using random numbers. who do you think knows more about china’s own losses, the PLA, or american cowboys trying to brag their victories?

Reply

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