China has upgraded its 152 mm, Type 66 howitzer to fire laser terminal guidance shells which can track targets after they are fired, making them as accurate as missiles besides electromagnetic jamming shells and flare shells, Global Times reported today.
"Electromagnetic jamming, which is popular in modern warfare, will not work against the weapon," the state broadcaster quoted Zhong Puxing, another PLA artillery officer, as saying.
"Reconnaissance drones and aim assist radars are also deployed together with the 152 millimeter howitzers, which gives the artillery wings and eyes," Jin Shuaishuai, an officer at the PLA 73rd Group Army artillery force, told CCTV.
"Fully manually operated, the 152 millimeter Type 66 howitzer is inexpensive compared to the 155 millimeter PLZ-05 self-propelled howitzer, which has a similar caliber but is highly automated," a military expert said.
Manual operation may slow down the function of the old howitzer in addition to the requirement of a truck to carry it around, the report added.
"An advanced self-propelled howitzer often uses electronic systems to calculate trajectories, and the weapon cannot do much if these devices become jammed," the expert said, explaining why the old howitzer's manual system is more reliable in these circumstances.