BEIJING --- China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) has confirmed that development of its AH-4 155 mm/39 caliber Lightweight Gun-howitzer (LGH) has been completed, and the company is ready for production when orders are placed, the Jane’s Defense Weekly of Britain said on its website on July 18.
In many respects the Chinese AH4 155 mm/39 calibre LGH is very similar in concept to the BAE Systems M777 155 mm/39 calibre Lightweight Howitzer (LH) that was originally developed as a private venture by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited (VSEL) and is now in service with Australia, Canada, and the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, Jane’s website introduced.
NORINCO states that the AH4 has a combat weight of 4,500 kg, including its hydro-pneumatic suspension that enables the weapon to be deployed in firing position within three minutes and returned to its towed position in two minutes, according to the report.
The AH4's elevation and traverse limits are almost identical to the M777 at -3 to 72° and 22.5° respectively. It is operated by a crew of seven, the report said.
NORINCO has confirmed that the AH4 is also capable of firing its expanded family of 155 mm precision-guided munitions (PGMs), according to the report.
These include the latest 155 mm laser-guided projectile (LGP) GP6, which has a maximum range of 25 km with a first round hit probability of 90% and is capable of engaging stationary and moving targets.
This is a follow-on to the earlier 155 mm GP1 LGP and is claimed to have a higher resistance to jamming, Jane’s website said.
NORINCO also states that its AH-4 LGH is capable of firing all NATO-standard 155 mm munitions, Jane’s website added.