Ethiopian Army has now put Chinese SH-15 155mm self-propelled howitzers into service

According to Hammer of War on November 16, 2023, the Ethiopian Armed Forces recently showcased a part of their 32 SH-15 155mm self-propelled howitzers manufactured by the Chinese company Norinco. According to open sources, the unit price of the SH-15 is estimated to be around $2.1 million, based on a previous export order.
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According to information available, Ethiopia purchased a total of 32 units of Norinco's SH-15 6x6 155mm self-propelled howitzer (Picture source: Twitter/Hammer of War)

In the early 2000s, China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) commenced the development of a series of self-propelled howitzers, drawing inspiration from the French CAESAR artillery system. The aim was to manufacture a range of artillery platforms mounted on truck chassis specifically for export purposes.

Introduced in 2017 as a successor to the SH-1, the SH-15, a 6x6 155mm self-propelled howitzer, gained recognition as an export success. It secured significant orders from Pakistan, ranging between 236 to 300 units, and Ethiopia procured 32 units. Subsequently, it became part of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) arsenal, designated as Pào Che Liúdànpào 181 (PCL-181).

The SH-15 is armed with a 155mm/52 caliber gun, ensuring compatibility with various rounds, including high-explosive, armor-piercing, and smoke rounds. Additionally, it can deploy indigenous precision-guided munitions such as the GP155 or GP1, and the gun is compatible with all standard 155mm NATO ammunition. The estimated firing range of the howitzer spans from 20 to 30 km with standard ammunition and up to 53 km with a rocket-assisted artillery projectile.

Featuring a semi-automatic loading system, the SH-15 achieves a firing rate of up to 6 rounds per minute. The platform's onboard ammunition storage capacity is up to 30 rounds, with the option to carry additional rounds in a separate ammunition vehicle.

For self-defense, the SH-15 is equipped with a roof-mounted 12.7mm heavy machine gun. Ensuring the protection of its crew of six, an armored cabin provides defense against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters and features two large bulletproof windows at the front and two doors on each side.

The SH-15's fire control system comprises a digital ballistic computer, GPS, and laser rangefinder, facilitating accurate targeting and adjustments for factors such as wind and temperature. Powered by a 520hp diesel engine, the SH-15 boasts a top speed of up to 90 km/h and an estimated range of 500 km.

Featuring large stabilizing spades at the rear that take only a minute to deploy, the SH-15 has a weight of around 22 to 25 tonnes, making it suitable for air transport via most medium transport aircraft, including the Y-9 military transport aircraft, while the larger Xi'an Y-20 can carry two units.