Monday, February 23, 2009

IDEX 2009 :China weapon systems

From top to bottom:
1. CS/SA1 twin 35mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun system.
2. Yitian short-range air defence system on a WZ551 chassis.
3. AR1A 300mm 10-round multiple launch rocket system.

China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) (Hall 9, Stand B40) is showing a number of its latest weapon systems for the first time outside China. This is part of a determined push to further increase sales to the Middle East. Exports have already been made to a number of countries including Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia. These include the Yitian short-range air defence system (SHORAD) and its latest VN1 (8x8) amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC).

Yitian is based on the WZ551 (6x6) APC chassis, which is used in large numbers by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and is fitted with a turret armed with eight TY-90 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) in the ready-to-launch position.The turret has a surveillance radar with a maximum range of 18km against aircraft, and has the electro-optical package mounted below, which can detect targets out to a range of 12km depending on conditions. The TY-90 SA has an effective range of up to 6,000m to a maximum altitude of 4,000m and once expended, new missiles are reloaded manually.

The system takes 30 seconds to come into action after coming to a halt and NORINCO is claiming a single-shot kill probability of 80 per cent. A 12.7mm machine gun (MG) is fitted for local defence.

VN1 is the first of a new generation of Chinese light armoured vehicles. The version at IDEX is fitted with a turret armed with a 30mm cannon and a 7.62mm co-axial MG. In addition to its crew of three, it can carry seven fully equipped infantry. The VN1 is fully amphibious; it is propelled in the water by two propellers mounted one either side at the rear, at a maximum speed of 8km/h. Appliqué armour provides enhanced survivability.

Also being shown by NORINCO is the CS/SA1 self-propelled air defence system. This consists of a 6x6 cross-country chassis, on the rear of which is fitted a locally produced version of the Oerlikon twin 35mm GDF series anti-aircraft gun system. This is normally operated by a crew of four and has a combat weight of 19 tonnes.


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