Type 85

Manufacturer: NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Self-propelled howitzer  

The NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) 122 mm self-propelled howitzer Type 85 is the self-propelled artillery component of the range of full-tracked vehicles based on the Type 85 armoured personnel carrier, formerly known as the Type YW 531 H. This system has also been referred to as the Type 85/Type 54-II self-propelled 122 mm howitzer.

Recent information has indicated that the 122 mm self-propelled howitzer Type 85 was not considered to be a success and its design left a lot to be desired.

This includes lack of protection for the gun crew from small arms fire, shell splinters and the weather.

It is now being supplemented by the more recent and effective 122 mm Type 89, which features an improved weapon system mounted in a fully enclosed turret. As of early 2008 there were no known export sales of the latest NORINCO 122 mm Type 89 self-propelled howitzer.


The Type 85 self-propelled howitzer uses the basic all-welded steel chassis of the Type 85 APC with a Chinese-produced copy of the Russian 122 mm D-30 towed howitzer mounted in a semi-open superstructure at the rear.

The driver is seated at the front of the hull on the left side and has day periscopes to the front and a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear. One of the periscopes can be replaced by a passive periscope for driving at night. Another hatch cover is positioned to the rear of the driver.

The power pack compartment is to the right of the driver with the crew and gun compartment extending to the rear. The semi-open superstructure is equipped with a canvas cover for weather protection. Although the crew compartment has an open top, sides and rear, a shield provides the gun crew with some protection from small arms fire and shell splinters over the frontal arc. No protection is provided against overhead attack.

The 122 mm D-30 howitzer is fitted with a multibaffle muzzle brake and has a maximum elevation of +70°. Traverse is limited to 22.5° either side. The D-30 fires a 122 mm HE projectile weighing 21.76 kg to a maximum range of 15,300 m, but an ERFB projectile has been developed which has a maximum range of 21,000 m. The maximum rate of fire is 6 to 8 rds/min.

When travelling, the 122 mm ordnance is held in a travel lock which folds down on to the hull front when the weapon is deployed in action.

The vehicle is amphibious but requires additional pontoons attached to both sides of the hull to achieve full flotation. When afloat, the vehicle is propelled in the water by its tracks. No secondary armament is carried other than the crew's weapons and the vehicle is equipped with a Type 889 or VRC-83 radio set.

Production of the NORINCO 122 mm self-propelled howitzer Type 85 was completed some time ago and marketing has now ceased.

Property Value
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Height to hull top (mm)
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Max. water speed (km/h)
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Ammunition of the main gun
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Type 85 quantities:
Country Qnt

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Type 85
Type 85