China reveals new self-propelled anti-aircraft gun 'for field air defence tasks'

A new type of self-propelled, eight-wheeled 35 millimetre calibre anti-aircraft gun independently developed by China is in action. Photo: Screenshot from China Central Television

China recently revealed a new type of self-propelled, eight-wheeled 35 millimetre anti-aircraft gun equipped with two surface-to-air missiles. Chinese analysts noted that it is a great choice for field air defence tasks.

Independently developed by China's arms industry, the self-propelled anti-aircraft gun is equipped with advanced radar and fire control systems, and can act as a stand-alone combat unit, making it a high-end product among other anti-aircraft guns, China Central Television (CCTV) reported last week.

Without introducing the weapon's designation, the CCTV report said that the eight-wheeled gun system is highly mobile and can accompany mechanized troops to provide air defence cover, making it a great choice for a mid-size combined arms brigade in field air defence tasks as well as countering drones, according to CCTV.

"We integrated detection, track and strike functions to the system and it can finish all of these tasks while it is moving," according to the lead designer of the anti-aircraft gun from the state-owned China South Industries Group Corporation.

The weapon uses a 35 millimetre calibre single-barrel gun with the same combat capability as its two-barrelled predecessors because it uses a completely new rotary autoloader that significantly increases its fire rate, the report said.

The rotary autoloader that can also boost the weapon's accuracy and reliability was challenging to develop because of high requirements in designing and material, CCTV said, noting that the Chinese arms industry has successfully solved all the problems.

A set of two air defence missiles is mounted on the right side of the turret next to the gun.

Compared to self-propelled anti-aircraft guns that use tracks, wheeled vehicles have higher mobility and range, are more difficult to detect and have better chances of survival, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times.

In addition to air targets, the gun can also be used against ground targets, Wei said.