PLZ83

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This page is about the Chinese tank destroyer PLZ83. For the gift version, see PLZ83-130.
cn_plz_83.png
GarageImage PLZ83.jpg
PLZ83
AB RB SB
6.3 6.3 6.3
Research:71 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:210 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The HuoPao LiuDan ZiXing 83 (PLZ83式152毫米自行加榴炮) was the very first self-propelled howitzer of PLAGF from 1980s as the key equipment of army mechanization. Due to the lag in development of general-purpose tracked platforms and the demand for replacement SPHs for the fleet of WWII Soviet tank destroyers, the PLAGF had already attempted to modify the ZSD63 chassis into the Type 70-I SPH with an obsolete 122 mm WWII era howitzer, with almost non-existent protection and reliability. Soon after the approval of economic reform and military modernization in 1978, the PLAGF issued the mission to vehicle factories for a domestic 152 mm SPH; thanks to the joint efforts of the three factories involved, the prototype was soon built in 1980 and two more were produced in 1981, using the new WZ321 tracked platform specifically for heavy guns. The vehicle, now named Type 83 (PLZ83 after 1987) was certified in November 1983 and was publicly shown in the 35th National Day parade. With new guided 152 mm shells and integration into the PLAGF's datalink network, both PLZ83 and PLZ83A are still one of the cornerstones of the PLAGF artillery corps until the more advanced 155 mm PLC181 and PLZ05 series replace the remaining 152 mm calibre towed guns and SPH.

Introduced in Update "Kings of Battle" as the first domestic SPH of the Chinese ground tech tree, players will see similarities with the 2S3M, as both of them were based on the same D-20 (PL66) 152 mm howitzer; although having devastating calibre, due to the lack of more powerful 152 mm shells for last-ditch direct fire, players will have to exercise extra caution when utilising the howitzer - always aim for the most unprotected part of enemy vehicles to achieve one-hit kills as it might not have the chance to reload again and finish off the target.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull15 / 15 / 15
Turret30 / 15 / 10
Crew5 people
Visibility94 %

Some similarities can be found between the PLZ83 and later PTZ89 - they are both based on the WZ321 tracked platform developed in the 1980s. Although it is not as protected as its Soviet counterpart, the 2S3M, the PLZ83 still has sufficient protection to stop .50 calibre rounds up front at point-blank range (aside from the LFP); for an SPH, this is certainly good news as enemies have to utilize their autocannons or larger calibre cannons to destroy the vehicle, although it is wise to avoid the frontline at all as this will vastly increase its risk of being destroyed. As an SPH, the PLZ83 has a relatively tall profile to house its 152 mm howitzer, meaning that it will give itself away quickly without foliage or indestructible cover; so be sure to hide the vehicle from the sight of enemy vehicles. Being hit in the hull or the turret can bring completely different outcomes - while the hull can sometimes survive oncoming shots thanks to the engine block or the driver, 26 rounds are stowed in the turret behind the 3 turret crew, so any penetrated shots from APCBC with explosive filler can send the turret flying.

Armour type:

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull ___ mm ___ mm Top
___ mm Bottom
___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Turret ___ - ___ mm Turret front
___ mm Gun mantlet
___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Cupola ___ mm ___ mm ___ mm ___ mm

Notes:

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB61 / 10 km/h
RB and SB57 / 9 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight29.5 t
Engine power
AB992 hp
RB and SB520 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB33.6 hp/t
RB and SB17.6 hp/t

For maximum compatibility (and also due to the limit of technology) to Chinese tracked vehicles, all vehicles based on the WZ321 tracked chassis used the same 12V150L engine from the Type 59 and a revised planetary transmission for its workload, and PLZ83 is no exception; thus the mobility of the vehicle feels like a lighter Type 59 and shares identical speeds at different gears. Be sure not to over-extend, as it doesn't have sufficient reverse to retreat to cover.

Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 61 10 29.5 739 992 25.05 33.63
Realistic 57 9 460 520 15.59 17.63

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 895 → 4 818 Sl icon.png
RB4 375 → 5 411 Sl icon.png
SB5 938 → 7 345 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications61 500 Rp icon.png
102 800 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 800 Ge icon.png
Crew training61 000 Sl icon.png
Experts210 000 Sl icon.png
Aces890 Ge icon.png
Research Aces570 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
130 / 200 / 250 % Sl icon.png
178 / 178 / 178 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
4 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 800 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
3 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 800 Sl icon.png
145 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
3 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 800 Sl icon.png
145 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
3 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 300 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
420 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
420 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
4 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 800 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
3 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 800 Sl icon.png
145 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement cn.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
3 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 300 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
4 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 800 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
3 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 800 Sl icon.png
145 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
3 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 300 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
152mm_china_HE_VT_ammo_pack
Research:
3 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 300 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Main armament

152mm PL66 Gai cannon
Ammunition30 rounds
First-order15 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
17.3 → 13.3 s
Vertical guidance-5° / 65°
Main article: PL66 Gai (152 mm)

To accommodate such a huge 152 mm howitzer onto the WZ321 chassis, Chinese engineers revised the hydraulic recoil absorbers design and placed them under the barrel, as well as an assisted mechanical loader (the proposed autoloader was flawed and eventually ditched). The PLZ83 is tied with the 2S3M in terms of gun traverse speed and slower than the M109 series in various tech trees, so plan ahead and turn the turret accordingly for any situations.

152 mm PL66 Gai Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 30 -5°/+65° ±180° - 8.8 12.2 14.8 16.4 17.4 17.29 15.30 14.10 13.30
Realistic 5.9 7.0 8.5 9.4 10.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
DDB1/PL66 HE 49 49 49 49 49 49
DDB1/PL66 (VT) HE-VT 49 49 49 49 49 49
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
DDB1/PL66 HE 655 43.56 0.3 0.1 5.86 79° 80° 81°
Proximity-fused shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Arming
distance (m)
Trigger
radius (m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
DDB1/PL66 (VT) HE-VT 655 43.56 0.3 0.1 300 3 5.86 79° 80° 81°

Although the gun was certified in 1966, due to the lack of plans for more powerful shells until the late 1980s, both shells, DDB1 and its VT variant, are equivalent of the already obsolete OF-540 shell in Soviet service, thus it needs more careful aiming for maximum efficiency as enemies can sometimes survive a direct hit and fire back upon PLZ83.

DDB1/PL66, Stock - the DDB1 shell is identical to the OF-540 used in Soviet Army since the 1940s on the ISU-152 and 2S3M. Although the calibre sounds fearsome and it does extensive damage to enemy targets once hit, due to the insufficient explosive filler in DDB1 (the 3OF25 has almost twice the TNT equivalent), players should always aim for weak spots i.e. optics, top of vehicle etc. to achieve a one-hit knock-out. If the gun on the enemy vehicle survives the hit and remains operational, chances are this will be a death sentence to the PLZ83.

DDB1/PL66 (VT), Tier III - the researchable DDB1/PL66 (VT) is identical to its stock counterpart with the addition of an MD81 radio fuse; while this enables the gun to be used as a huge anti-aircraft cannon, the shell should only be considered if enemy aircraft are coming straight at PLZ83 without any manoeuvres, considering the 3 m trigger radius of the MD81 fuse and its relatively high trajectory. Remember to switch back to the stock DDB1/PL66 before hitting ground targets as the trigger radius is very unlikely to do any damage to armoured targets.

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
30 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Machine guns

Ammunition600 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
6.5 → 5.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Vertical guidance-6° / 85°
Horizontal guidance-161° / 156°
Main article: QJC88A (12.7 mm)

The PLZ83 is armed with the later QJC88A 12.7x108 mm machine gun on the commander side (right from the vehicle's PoV) of the turret, it has a larger ammo pool than the Soviet DShK/Chinese Type 54 HMG at 100 rounds per ammo box. The QJC88A still has sufficient firepower to gun down light vehicles or oncoming aircraft if they are set ablaze or have their pilot knocked out.

12.7 mm QJC88A
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 600 (150) 600 -6°/+85° -161°/+156°

Usage in battles

As the very first enclosed SPH of PLAGF, PLZ83 does have some flaws since its introduction, but with careful planning and only firing when players are certain of a knock-out or fatal blow to enemy vehicles, the PLZ83 can still play like its counterparts at its tier with extra caution.

A key to using SPHs is to never taking them as a frontline vehicle - SPHs are designed to strike enemies from the rear, direct fire is only for last-ditch options against oncoming enemy vehicles. This rule also applies to PLZ83, but to make the situation worse, there is no 152 mm HEAT shell for extreme penetration; the HE shell is also an early WWII make, making it less effective than its Soviet counterpart or NATO M109 series. Players will need to be extra careful about where they hit enemies and when to fire the shot, due to the relatively light explosive content. Aim for weak spots with likelihood of overpressure i.e. optics, hatches, tops or bottom of vehicles; although players can knock out the barrel of enemy vehicles with its sheer calibre, it is always better to take out enemies with one shot to eliminate any chance of them fighting back - a necessity for any manually-loaded SPH as they take at least 15 seconds to reload.

Enemy vehicles will have no problem penetrating the vehicle from all distance with their main cannon, if their shots land on the turret front, the last thing players can hear is the huge explosion caused by the detonation of at most 26 shells in the turret; bringing less shells can mitigate this slightly, but unless players are well-used to the ballistics and where to hit, it is always better to bring more spares for follow-up shots but no more than 18 shots for maximum safety.

To utilize the maximum efficiency of the PLZ83, it is a good idea to be the second-line fire support vehicle for the team, as over-extending the vehicle can quickly end its career. As HE shells are not affected by range, any well-calculated shots on the weak spots can certainly finish off enemies with relative ease. Due to the lack of HEAT shells, taking it as a turreted ISU-152 is not really a good idea; sneaking up at corners in urban maps can sometimes achieve great results as long as players are ready for any oncoming vehicles and turn the turret beforehand; at close distance without any ballistic drop, whoever shoots and damages the enemy first wins. In case of any flying objects on the skies or light vehicles behind terrain/cover, the PLZ83 also has a VT shell for this mission; just be sure to bring a mix of both conventional HE and HE-VT shells for flexibility.

Overall, although there are major flaws in terms of firepower without more powerful HE shells, the PLZ83 gives the chance to blast enemy players with its huge shell while maintaining sufficient efficiency; just wait for the chance to deliver the fatal blow.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Slightly more generous ammo pool for the gun (albeit vastly less than 2S3M)
  • Sufficient power/weight ratio thanks to T-54/Type 59 equivalent powerplant
  • Devastating 152 mm shell with options for VT fuse
  • Turret without fire-arc limits
  • Relatively fast gun vertical traverse (tied with higher tier Bkan 1C)
  • Somewhat better gun depression than its counterparts (-3° for M109 series and -4° for 2S3M)

Cons:

  • Inferior explosive mass for both shells and lacks HEAT/APHEBC shell
  • HMG rated protection, anything larger can cause extensive damage to the vehicle
  • Rather slow reverse speed
  • Long reload time even with mechanized assist loader
  • Huge turret with likelihood of detonation once penetrated
  • Slow gun horizontal traverse (almost a degree slower than M109 series)

History

By 1960s, although the trends of Cold War aimed for SPH systems with enclosed turret system, PLAGF was rather lacking for such vehicles with only SU-76M and ISU-122/152 serving as the SPG for the Army; further development of Type 70 SPH based on ZSD63's stretched B531 chassis and WWII era 122 mm Model 1938 M-30 (as Type 54), considering the combat compartment with no extra protection outside the vehicle, this would not be a long-term solution for PLAGF especially after late-1970s economic reform and military modernization. In 1978, PLAGF Artillery Corps delivered the request to the General Staff for a new 152 mm and waited for the theorizing from 5th Ministry of Machine Building. The development of the new SPH was handed to Factory 674 (NORINCO Harbin First Machinery Group Corp.) for the chassis systems, Factory 127 (NORINCO Qiqihar Heping Heavy Industries) for the gun systems and Xingguang Instrument Factory at Dexing, Jiangxi for the gunnery instruments. The overall design was then theorized for another half year and passed for development in June 1979, which only took Factory 674 another half year to deliver the first prototype to PLAGF by February 1980. The SPH incorporated with a redesigned PL66-152 howitzer for vehicular use and originally planned for an autoloader, but eventually ditched due to technical difficulties for a simplified assisted loader. The result of the certified PLZ83 also set the foundation for the future WZ321 universal chassis for the future PTZ89 and PHZ89, as well as the foundation of future howitzers with completely domestic solutions; due to the introduction of Bull's GC-45 155 mm howitzer and the development of PLZ45, only 79 PLZ83(A) was produced and now serving as one of the artillery systems in PLAGF service which would very likely to be replaced by PLZ05 series or PCL181 in near future.

An export solution was shown in 1987 NORINCO's catalogue with a PL59-130 howitzer, dubbed the PLZ83-130 but earned no export orders since then.

Media

Skins

See also

Cold War SPHs

  • 2S3M - the Soviet SPH that PLZ83 aimed for
  • M109 series - NATO SPH system with very long service life and upgrades
  • Bkan 1C - Swedish SPH with sophisticated autoloader system

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


China North Industries Corporation - NORINCO 中国兵器工业集团有限公司
Light Tanks/IFV 
WZ501  ZBD86
WZ131  ▂Type 62 · Type 62
WZ211  Type 63 · ZTS63
WZ502  ZBD04A
Main Battle Tanks 
WZ120  Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1
WZ121  Type 69 · Type 69-IIa** · T-69 II G**
WZ122  ZTZ88B · ZTZ88A · ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)
WZ123  ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III
WZ1001  WZ1001(E) LCT · ZTZ99A
Export MBT  MBT-2000** · VT4A1**
Tank Destroyers  AFT09 · PTL02 · WMA301** · PTZ89 · ZLT11
SPH  PLZ83
SPAA  ZSD63/PG87* · WZ305** · PGZ09 · PGZ04A
  *Field modifications
  **Export vehicles

China tank destroyers
PLA 
Gun vehicles  PLZ83 · PTZ89
Missile vehicles  AFT09
ROC 
Missile vehicles  CM25
USA 
Gun vehicles  ␗M8 HMC · LVT(A)(4) (ZiS-2) · ␗M10 GMC · ␗M36 GMC
Missile vehicles  ␗M113A1 (TOW)
USSR 
Gun vehicles  ␗SU-76M · ␗ISU-152 · ␗ISU-122 · ␗SU-100