120mm wheeled 6x6 self-propelled mortar carrier China
The SM4 is a 120mm wheeled self-propelled mortar carrier based on the chassis of the wheeled armored vehicle WMZ 551, designed and manufactured by the Chinese Company NORINCO (China North Industries Group Corporation). This new artillery vehicle was unveiled during IDEAS, defense exhibition in Pakistan in December 2014. The SM4 self-propelled mortar serves as the main equipment of batteries affiliated to light mechanized infantry battalions. Usually, it is used to perform firing missions with a battery as the basic firing unit. When necessary, it is also capable of implementing single-gun firing missions. Able to fire a variety of ammunition, it offers a large fire coverage, short reaction time and small recoil. It can be ready to fire from road conditions in less than 1 minute. In January 2019, a video was released by the Algerian Ministry of Defense showing Chinese-made SM4 120mm 6x6 wheeled self-propelled mortars used by the Algerian army during a large military exercise. There is no official information about the number of SM4 mortar carrier vehicles delivered to the Algerian army.
SM4 120mm mortar carrier NORINCO variants:
No variants at this time
The main armament of the SM4 120mm 6x6 wheeled self-propelled mortar carrier consists of one 120mm mortar mounted on a turntable with a traverse of 360° and elevation from 45° to 80°, at the rear of a WMZ551 6x6 armored vehicle hull that fires to the rear through an opening in the roof covered by a two-part hatch that can be opened and closed hydraulically to achieve better concealment and battlefield survivability. All firing operations can be performed from inside of the vehicle. It has a maximum rate of fire from 12 to 15 rounds per minute and can fire different types of ammunition including HE (High Explosive), PFHE (Proximity Fuzed High Explosive). A total of 30 ammunition are carried inside of the vehicle. The 120mm mortar has a range from 500 to 13,000 m. The weapon system adopts manual muzzle loading and an anti-recoil device. Two firing modes are available including pull action fuse and impact action fuse. A pintle-mounted 12.7 mm heavy machine gun is mounted on the roof of the crew cabin.
|A pintle-mounted 12.7 mm heavy machine gun is mounted on the roof of the crew cabin.|
|Design and protection|
The design of the SM4 120mm 6x6 wheeled self-propelled mortar carrier is divided in two main parts with the crew compartment at the front and the mortar system at the rear. The roof at the rear of the hull has been raised to increase the internal volume to carry the 120 mm muzzle-loaded mortar and its ammunition. The hull of the SM4 provides protection against firing of small arms and shell splinters. The SM4 has a crew of five including driver and commander located at the front of the vehicle and three operators for the mortar weapon. The commander and driver each have a windscreen to the front that is covered, when in a combat area, by an armored shutter hinged at the top. On each side and between the first and second axles is a small door that opens to the front. There is one additional door mounted at the rear of the hull. The SM4 has a total weight of 17,000 kg.
|AThe SM4 120mm 6x6 wheeled self-propelled mortar carrier is motorized with a Deutz BF8L413FC diesel engine developing 320 hp. coupled to a ZF 6HP500 automatic transmission with torque converter providing five forward gears and one reverse. The engine compartment is to the rear of the driver's compartment and separated from the remainder of the vehicle by airtight bulkheads. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 100 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 800 km. The SM4 is fully amphibious propelled in the water by two shrouded propellers, which are mounted on either side at the rear of the hull and that are run from a power take-off. The vehicle can swim at a maximum speed of 8 km/h in the water.|
|Standard equipment of the SM4 120mm wheeled self-propelled mortar carrier includes an NBC protection system, night vision equipment for the driver, an automatic fire extinguishing system, air conditioning and run-flat tires. If the tires are punctured by bullets or splinters, the vehicle can continue to run a distance of 100 km at a maximum speed of 40 km/h. The mortar is coupled to a ballistic computer and a computerized fire-control system (FCS) that calculates gun setting data, assists the gunner in firing, stores and processes various data and commands to improve operational effectiveness.|
|One 120mm mortar and one 12.7mm machine gun||Protection against firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters.|
|China, Algeria||17,000 kg|
|Designer Country||Speed vehicle|
|NBC protection system, night vision equipment for the driver, an automatic fire extinguishing system, air conditioning and run-flat tires.||800 km|
|1 + 4||Length: 6.63 m; Width: 2.80 m; Height: ? m|
Pictures - Video