China Got a New Truck Mounted SPH

SH16 - the turreted truck mounted SPH recently unveiled by Norinco. The designation could be wrong though. Via @nickatgreat1220

SHAH ALAM: Back on February 10, the internet was abuzz when China state owned arms manufacturing company – Norinco – published a video of a new type of truck mounted howitzer.

Defense News chimed in with a report:

The highly automated system, which is aimed at export markets, mates a 6×6 truck chassis with an unmanned turret containing a 155mm L/52 howitzer.
The turret on the new artillery piece is identical to that used on the SH16 tracked self-propelled howitzer, a design that first appeared in Norinco’s catalog in 2022. There is no evidence the tracked SH16 exists in prototype form, but there are no such questions about the wheeled SH16 since the video showed it performing live firing.
The new platform sees the same 14-tonne SH16 unmanned turret mounted onto a 6×6 truck chassis. Norinco lists a combat weight of 32 tonnes, or 70,000 pounds. An earth spade at the rear provides stability when firing, and it is operated by just two crewmen in an armored cab.

The turreted truck mounted howitzer from Norinco. Via @nickatgreat1220

The new turreted truck mounted howitzer has been dubbed by internet users as the SH16, a play on the SH15 truck mounted howitzer, which is very similar to the KNDS Caesar truck mounted howitzer. Do note that the SH15 is the exported designation of the truck mounted SPH, it has been reported that the howitzer is PC-181 155mm/52 caliber in China service.
A BAE Systems Archer 155mm SPH mounted a MAN 8X8 truck.

The turreted mounted howitzer is similar to the BAE Systems Archer 155mm truck mounted howitzer – though it is smaller than the one on the Archer – as it features a fully automatic gun laying. This is unlike the Caesar and SH-15 which uses the semi-automatic system (manual) to load the 155mm round and its charges. There are others of course, from Slovak Republic and Serbia as well of course.
Konstructka Defence EVA truck 155mm turreted truck mounted SPH. Used for illustration only. Konstructka

What is this got to do with us then? Not much really as the Army was not looking for a turreted truck mounted 155mm SPH. That said the Army has been looking at a truck mounted SPH since 1997 when the original Caesar was brought for firing and road trials.
Nexter Caesar 155mm truck mounted SPH seen near Kemaman. Internet.

And after years of vacillations, including a dabble with the M109 SPH and a direct negotiations with one of its competitors, it appears that the Caesar has finally crossed the finishing line. When is what remains now.

— Malaysian Defence

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33 Comments

  1. If the government finally gives the green light for SPH. how many units are required by the army ?

  2. Good news, but I thought the Yavuz was a definite. Maybe being C-130 transportable was the clincher.

  3. Next batch, we should consider the SH15. Can get 3-4 battalions for the same amount of money maybe more.

  4. Hahaha so this article was simply a red herring for the announcement that we are finally Finally FINALLY getting Caesars after all. It comes to no surprise when alternative deals keeps getting scuppered by each successive Govts, well lets just see if this deal will outlive Madani Govt and still see light with the next. So far the M109 was the ones coming closest that TDM could sniff a SPH. Hopefully this Ceasar deal can finally close this political football (or maybe not, we shall continue to see!).

  5. @TomTom
    “I thought the Yavuz was a definite”
    Depends on which Govt pursued a deal for it. Hint: its not the current one.

  6. >M109 readiness being that low
    We really dodged the bullet lmao

    Also interesting that TNI still maintains its mountain gun. I guess they still cling to the “run to the mountains and conduct insurgency operation from there” doctrine when facing superior enemy

  7. As has been mentioned Caesar is know to have an overly complex FCS and ultimately it boils down to the need for having a higher level of quality manpower compared to previous years.

    Given the issues they face and the different types of guns operated it would be a miracle of the Ukrainians were not facing certain issues with Caesar.

  8. Hasnan – “5. Can get 3-4 battalions for the same amount of money maybe more.”

    Makes zero sense for a small army with limited resources to have 2 different SPHs; each with different parts, each requiring different training set ups.

  9. We should invest in target acquisition drones and counter battery radar now to make the system more effective. Maybe a reserve regiment to get the maths geeks to better operate these complicated FCS.

  10. On paper every single arty regiment should have an organic radar and UASs; alas we don’t live in fantasyland.

    If we have quality manpower issues to the extent we need to get “maths geeks” to operate a complex FCS then we should not operate anything more complex than a Model 56 or a D-30. The MAF is a reflection of society and the harsh truth is that education levels have gone down; as has the level of English.

    People will be surprised at the number of manuals which comes with stuff we buy; everything from the FCS to the under carriage to the barrel has a manual which needs to be adequately understood.
    Even the G-5 which is late 90’s tech [the Mk3] has electronics and a regimental level FCS which requires some level of competency/training; never mind something contemporary like Caesar.

  11. We need to invest in many areas but sadly that need will not be fully fulfilled by any govt of any pm from any blocks.As long as our mps still asking brilliant questions like kita nak perang dengan siapa,ada untung ke beli defence equipment banyak2.The army better take care of that SPH later because mark my words that the only batch that they will get

  12. @dundun
    “We really dodged the bullet lmao”
    Did we? 31% availability is still better than 0% availability since we have none. TNI sought to get new Caesars even after getting them used M109s, instead we sat on our hands doing nothing but wavering from M109 to Caesar to Yavuz back to Caesar.

  13. Currently the budget approved is for 18 units of SPH.

    In reality we need much more than that to equip units that would be capable to support operations in both Western and Eastern Army Field Commands.

    Hopefully there will be good news soon on the SPH acquisition.

    One of the “endstate” priorities that is mentioned in Tentera Darat Army 4NextG plan is to have “tembakan jarak jauh berketepatan tinggi” aka long range precision fires.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fo0AhZKagAA617B.jpg

    So the next thing what we need to acquire, is a precision guidance kit fuse, to convert normal shells in RAD stockpile in to precision artillery shells. That is the lowest cost way to acquire long-range precision artillery capability. Plenty of countries that has developed such a fuse, including China and Turkiye
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F1QDZaUX0AEUVng.jpg
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F2OVdKmXIAAdPHU.jpg

    Or we can get the original precision fuse, M1156 PGK from US.

    As for the STA (Surveillance and Targeting Acquisition)

    along with Forward Artillery Observers/JTACs, for long range STA, we need UAVs organic to RAD, but not to the artillery batteries themselves.

    I would prefer UAV batteries to be attached to Division Artillery HQs. So far, 4 of the 5 Divisions have Division Artillery HQs. 1 UAV battery would also be attached directly to Briged Artileri Rocket. Most of the call of fire will be requested to Division Artilery HQ anyway, so that would be the best.

    The best UAV IMO for this mission would be the Penguin C. It has 25 hour endurance, up to 180km range and non-ITAR. Each UAV Battery will consist of 8 Penguin C systems. Enabling 6 observation areas (that spans hundreds of KM each) with 2 systems on standby.

    Forward Artillery Observers would also be provided with quadcopter UAVs. I would propose the Skydio X10D for this purpose. The Skydio X10D has 40min flight time and 12km range.

    As for artillery locating radars, i would prefer the Ground Master 200 MM/C. It is a version of the Ground Master 200 radar we bought together with the Starstreak for GAPU. This AESA ALR radar cost much more cheaper than the legacy ARTHUR radar. Each Ground Master 200 MM/C costs about EUR14.5 million. I would propose to have 4 units in Western Field Army Command and another 4 units in the Eastern Field Army Command.

  14. @ marhalim

    Those pictures are taken from Tentera Darat own presentation.

    If that is not the actual plan, what is it then?

    Anyway, my plan, to have long range precision artillery with 155mm howitzers, what i planned for the enablers (precision fuse) and STA (UAVs and artillery locating radars) are still valid.

  15. From the presentation

    Army 4 Next G plan consists of :

    Perancangan Pembangunan Keupayaan
    1) Tempur
    2) Bantuan Tempur (of which the artillery is under)
    3) Bantuan Khidmat

    Each element has a stated “endstate”
    1) Tempur
    – Angkatan seimbang di dua wiayah
    – Mampu melaksanakan force projection
    – Peningkatan Keupayaan Pengesanan
    – Network centric
    2) Bantuan Tempur
    – Tembakan jarak jauh berketepatan tinggi
    – Pertahanan Udara Aras Sederhana (MERAD)
    – Peningkatan keupayaan jurutera medan
    – Perintah dan kawalan mampan
    – Integrasi sistem pengesanan dan perisikan secara real time
    3) Bantuan Khidmat
    – Integrasi sistem bantuan logistik
    – Digital network support architecture
    – bantuan logistik yang tangkas dan mampan untuk mengekalkan inisiatif ketumbukan tempur
    – Centralised comman and decentralised control

  16. noted

    I am basing my plan on it just as a reference only, there are things that i agree and disagree on with that plan, as is with the 15to5 and CAP55.

  17. … – ”Anyway, my plan, to have long range precision artillery with 155mm howitzers, what i planned for the enablers (precision fuse) and STA (UAVs and artillery locating radars) are still valid.”

    Not to be fastidious but ”precision fuse” would not fall into the category of ”enablers” anymore than a RAP shell for example.

    … – ”we need UAVs organic to RAD, but not to the artillery batteries themselves.”

    I really don’t see how this makes any sense. Having an organic capability means the batteries are not reliant on anyone; results in a faster cycle; more efficient way of doing things and greater efficacy. If you’re of the opinion that batteries should not have an organic UAS capability must as well state you believe that all 120mm mortars should be brigade assets.

    … – ”I would propose to have 4 units in Western Field Army Command and another 4 units in the Eastern Field Army Command.”

    Those numbers are arbitrary. How much we get really should be dependent on a host of factors; i.e. what type of conflict; who we facing off; how we intended to go about force employment; etc.

  18. … – ”Anyway, my plan, to have long range precision artillery with 155mm howitzers, what i planned for the enablers (precision fuse) and STA (UAVs and artillery locating radars) are still valid.”

    Yes you’ve made clear your plan; on the army and on various other things on a multitude of occasions. I’m not convinced we’ll be getting all that’s needed in term of the systems and hardware and I’m also not convinced we’ll get the right C3 set up. At least not anytime soon and the reason has to do with service culture and other things; not necessarily funding alone.

  19. – “I am basing my plan on it just as a reference only, there are things that i agree and disagree on with that plan, as is with the 15to5 and CAP55”

    The plans quite obviously gives us an indication of what is planned but what is planned say in 2016 and what’s actually desired in 2026 may be poles apart; i.e. different service leadership; a change of policy or priorities by the government ; a geo-strategic environment which has evolved; etc. From the onset whether with the 5/15 or the army plan; nothing was intended to be sacrosanct. It was always realised that things could and do change.

    Personally I’ve never been excited with the plans as we’ve had a long list of other plans before. All – like the White Paper which some view as if it were the Dead Sea Scrolls – are not worth anything if the needed political commitment is lacking. All the plans as mentioned before are compromises and in addition to their political angle are also PR exercises.

    I can’t comment on the army plan as I haven’t paid it any attention [I’m jaded and don’t get excited easily] but the 5/15 and CAP 55 are seriously flawed; minimalist in the intended force structure and stretched over too long a period. RMN people I know were highly critical of the 5/15 but the RMN like the RMAF had to present something which was palatable to the oenny pinching politicians. Anything more realistic requiring more cash investment would have been rejected. Even then; the 5/15 was initially rejected and it took top level intervention to get it approved by the bureaucratic machinery.

  20. ” Not to be fastidious but ”precision fuse” would not fall into the category of ”enablers” anymore than a RAP shell for example ”

    In my opinion it does, and it needs to be highlighted.

    Getting advanced SPH like CAESARs etc does not suddenly make the army capable of “tembakan jarak jauh berketepatan tinggi” aka long range precision fires.

    Normal 155mm shells at maximum range has a circular error probable (CEP) of 267 m (876 ft), and that is a big margin of probable error.

    M1156 precision fuse kit for example, reduces this to 50m CEP when initially introduced. The latest batches of M1156 fuse has constantly used to hit within 5m of the target point.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FRDp6DlXMAMeQ_Q.jpg

    267m vs 5m. That is the difference between precision and non precision long range fires.

    And the beauty of this thing is that, it is howitzer agnostic. If we get precision guided kits (PGK) now, we can have long range precision fire even with our current G-5 Howitzers.

    This is the cost of Netherlands buying the M1156 PGK. This can be the benchmark cost to compare with other PGKs made in China, Turkiye, Spain, etc.
    https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/major-arms-sales/netherlands-m1156-precision-guided-kits

  21. Sure even with tonnes of plans,white papers and yadda,yadda our armed force’s procurement and planning are in this mess.imagine if they do it without proper planning and outline.Its easy to condemn when we are all outsiders who looks at thing from our small perspective.Well let me spell it for you lot our main problem is money and when money are made available more often than not they sakau it.Ofcourse even our armed force leader want the best for our country defence but what can they do.they just a civil servant who following orders.

  22. The Army 4NextG should be view as what it truly is. A proposal by the army, It’s the army wettest dream if they ignore every other stakeholders be theirs sister services, internal security agency, other ministry, politicians, bureaucracy and the very taxpayers they wanted to defend and whose money they wanted to spend.

    For too long the various gov department and agency are acting in the shadow having various proposal that may or may not be inline with one another, what more a ‘unified’ single plan where every stakeholders can agreed into.

  23. @ darthzaft

    ” A proposal by the army, It’s the army wettest dream if they ignore every other stakeholders be theirs sister services, internal security agency, other ministry, politicians, bureaucracy and the very taxpayers they wanted to defend and whose money they wanted to spend ”

    I don’t quite agree on that statement, as you probably don’t know the entirety of the Army 4NextG plan. What i write here about the Army 4NextG is only a small portion of the overall plan (for example, i have only mentioned about the endstate of what the army wants to achieve, but there is much more, like what is the “pelan tindakan keupayaan”, on how and what to do to achieve that endstate).

    A reason why I came out with this for each service
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/mid-term-review-of-dwp-19/#comment-890540

    Listing out what is possible that can be done, following the needs listed in respective plans (Army 4 Next G, 15 to 5, CAP55, Pelan Perancangan Strategik Maritim Malaysia 2040 (PPSMM 2040) ), done within the budget that can be afforded by the government, with the timelines of when it could be done.

    A reason why I have said what I have said (No OPV for TLDM, MERAD should be for GAPU etc.) is because when you look at overall picture, there are items that are actually duplicate requests and needs.

  24. it looks like same as the BIA 6×6…new SPH from Konstructa , also with auto loader but not heavy as the SH16…

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