NORINCO AH4 155 mm howitzers for United Arab Emirates army

On 21 February, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) army confirmed the purchase of Norinco AH4 howitzers. The local company International Golden Group (IAG) will supply ammunition. The UAE has received at least one batch of six of the 155 mm/39 calibre lightweight howitzers to arm a battery for deployment in Yemen, according to defense media.

NORINCO 155 mm AH4 howitzers for United Arab Emirates army 1
NORINCO AH4 155mm lightweight howitzer (Picture source: Chinese MoD)

The UAE has also taken delivery of some Norinco GP6 laser-guided 155 mm shells, which the manufacturer claims has a minimum range of 6 km and a maximum range of up to 25 km with a first round hit probability of at least 90%. The GP6 is claimed to be more resistant to jamming than the GP1, while its multiple laser coding technology enables co-operative multi-target engagement. The GP1 and GP6 are also referred to as the GP155 and GP155A respectively. Norinco also markets the GP155B, which is guided by a global navigation satellite system (GNSS).

The Chinese-made AH4 155mm lightweight howitzer is a towed howitzer that uses advanced material construction to achieve high tactical and strategic mobility. It employs a reliable hydro-pneumatic mechanism for quick deployment and operation. The 155 mm/39 calibre ordnance can be elevated to 72° and depressed to -3°. Top traverse is 22° left and right.

The carriage comprises two sub-assemblies, the body and the saddle. The body includes two forward stabilisers and two split trails fitted with self-digging spades and dampers. This new artillery system has total weight of 4,500 kg, which implies that it can be moved by a UAE's CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters using a sling.

The AH-4 is normally operated by a crew of seven men but can be operated with a reduced detachment of five. It can be ready to fire the first rounds in less than 3 min and leave its firing position in only 2 minutes. The AH4 uses a 155 mm/39 calibre cannon. Its maximum rate of fire is about 5 rounds per minute.

The AH4 can fire a wide range of ammunitions including ERFB-HB/HE, ERFB-BB/HE and ERFB-BB-RA/HE.

NORINCO 155 mm AH4 howitzers for United Arab Emirates army 2
NORINCO AH4 155mm lightweight howitzer (Picture source: