China Adds Guided Mortar Rounds to PLL-05 Self-Propelled Howitzer

Released on Monday, March 27, 2017
CEP - Circular Error Probable
km/h - kilometers per hour
LTDR - Laser Target Designator Rangefinder
NORINCO - North Industries Group Corporation
SAL - Semi-Active Laser
SPH - Self-Propelled Howitzer
China North Industries Corporation's (NORINCO's) WMA029 6x6 self-propelled howitzer-mortar (SPHM) has been qualified to operate with at least two 120 mm guided mortar bombs: the GP120 and GP120A.

The use of the guided munitions is intended to provide the 120 mm rifled main gun with an enhanced precision effect.

The GP120 (also referred to as the GP4) is a terminal corrected 120 mm mortar bomb; it is 1,080 mm long, weighs 18 kg, and is used in conjunction with a normal clip on mortar propelling charge system. Terminal correction is achieved during the final stages using impulse thrusters located near the mortar bomb's centre of gravity.

According to NORINCO the GP120 has a minimum range of 1 km and a maximum range of 6 km. It is claimed to have a circular error probable (CEP) of not more than 5 m.

The GP120A (also referred to as GP9) utilises semi-active laser (SAL) guidance and like the GP120 also has the standard clip-on change system.

In this case terminal correction is achieved during flight via four flip-out control fins located further forward than the thrusters used in the GP120.

The GP120A has an overall length of 980 mm and a launch weight of 20 kg; NORINCO is quoting a minimum range of 2 km and a maximum range of 7.5 km. It is designed to engage stationary and moving targets, and has a claimed hit probability against moving vehicles of 90% when the target is moving at a speed of less than 36 km/h.

In order to designate the target, the GP120A is used in conjunction with either the Laser Target Designator Rangefinder (LTDR OL1), which has a maximum range of 5 km, or the LTDR 0L2 (7.5 km).

It is understood that Chinese industry has also developed a 120 mm mortar bomb carrying two top attack anti-armour submunitions, similar to that used in a 155 mm artillery projectile.

Source: Enhanced capability for WMA029 mortar system

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