Two versions of the same 155 mm howitzer were initially developed. The PLZ05 with a 54 caliber and the PLZ04 with a more standard 52 caliber. The PLZ05 was deemed to offer superior performance and adopted into Chinese service. The PLZ04 is now intended for the export market.
The PLZ05 superseded the 45 caliber 155 mm PLZ-91 / PLZ-45, which only entered service in limited numbers with a single training battalion. It will eventually replace the PLZ83 152 mm Self-Propelled Gun / Howitzer in Chinese service, a role first intended for the PLZ91.
The PLZ05 turret can traverse 360 degrees and comes with a gun using the French 155 mm standard, abandoning the Russian 152 mm standard used previously by the Chinese. This gives it greater commonality with artillery systems and ammunition used worldwide. It is compatible with all standard 155 mm rounds, including:
Unlike the semi-automatic gun loader of the PLZ91, the PLZ05 features a fully automatic gun loader giving it a maximum firing rate of 10 rounds per minute. It also comes with a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft gun and two four-barrelled grenade launchers.
Weight: 45 tons
Length: 11 m
Width: 3.3 m
Engine: diesel 800 hp