AirShow China 2018: Dongfeng CS/SS4 82mm self-propelled mortar system

During the Airshow China 2018 international aerospace exhibition held in Zhuhai from the 6 to 11 November 2018, automotive manufacturer Dongfeng Off-Road Vehicle has unveiled the development of a new self-propelled mortar (SPM) called CS/SS4, this new mortar system is based on the Soviet-/Russian-made 2B9M Vasilyok (Cornflower) 82mm automatic mortar system.

Dongfeng CS SS4 82mm self propelled mortar system AirShow China 2018 Zhuhai 925 001
DongFeng CS/SS4 82mm self-propelled mortar system at AirShow China 2018, Zhuhai. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The CS/SS4 carries a 82 mm automatic mortar Type 81 that is a copy of the Vasyliok. "The CS/SS4 is a self-propelled rapid-fire mortar system that is intended for light infantry, airborne troops, marines, mountaineers and military police units. The weapon can be operated during patrol, reconnaissance, strike and fire support missions," a spokesperson for Dongfeng told TASS at the show.

Chinese Company Dongfeng did not disclose the specifications of the Type 81 mortar. However, the baseline model, the 2B9M Vasilyok, weighs 632 kg and has a four-strong crew. The weapon has a practical rate of fire of 100-120 rounds per minute and a technical rate of fire of 170 rounds per minute. The mortar features a muzzle velocity of 270-272 m/s and a range of some 4,300 m. The 2B9M is fitted with a PAM-1 2.5-3x optical sight. Thus, the Type 81 mortar is believed to have the same specifications.

The CS/SS4 uses the chassis of the Mengshi EQ-2050 4x4 all-terrain vehicle (ATV) developed by Dongfeng. The manufacturer claims that the ATV weighs some 2.3 t and has a payload capacity of 1.2 t. The vehicle is 4.7 m long, 2.1 m wide and 1.75 m high. The EQ-2050 is powered by a 150-hp Cummins EQB150-20 diesel engine, producing a maximum speed of 120 km/h and a range of 500 km.

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Close view of 82mm mortar system mounted at the rear of the CS/SS4 (Picture source Army Recognition)

The CS/SS4 SPM is reported to have a crew of four, including two gunners, a commander and a driver.

According the People`s Liberation Army (PLA), the Chinese military intensively operates the CS/SS4 artillery system. "The SPM is supplied to the airborne troops. It is an easy-to-operate rapid-fire weapon system that can engage both dismounted infantry and field installations. The CS/SS4 perfectly matches the ‘shoot- and-scoot’ tactics of the People`s Liberation Army Air Force Airborne Corps [PLAAFAC]," said Chinese military source.