Type W99

Manufacturer: NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC  
Product type: Weapons & Weapon Systems  
Name: Mortar  

China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) is now offering on the export market an 82 mm towed rapid-firing mortar system called the Type W99. This was first revealed early in 2001, but it is not known as to whether this system is currently deployed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

In appearance the NORINCO Type W99 appears to be almost identical to the Russian 82 mm AM 2B9 Vasilek automatic mortar system. This entered service with the Russian Army around 1971 and has also been manufactured under licence in Hungary. There are a number of self-propelled versions of the Russian 82 mm AM 2B9 Vasilek automatic mortar system.

As far as it is known, none of these self-propelled models ever entered production.


The NORINCO 82 mm Type W99 mortar weighs 650 kg and is normally operated by a crew of four or five. It has a minimum range of 800 m and a maximum range of 4,270 m. When deployed in the firing position it rests on a circular screw jack lowered under the forward part of the split trail carriage and the two trails, each of which are provided with a spade. Each trail is also provided with a handle to assist in bringing the weapon into action.

Compared with conventional muzzle-loaded 81 mm and 82 mm mortars the 82 mm Type W99 offers a number of operational advantages including a higher rate of fire and the gunner can select single shots or burst firing. It can be also used in direct fire role as well as the normal indirect fire role. A conventional mortar can only be used in the indirect fire role.

According to NORINCO, their 82 mm Type W99 mortar is fitted with a standard sighting system and a firing calculator, although no details of the latter have been released.

It can fire a W99 82 mm high-explosive mortar bomb or modified versions of existing 82 mm mortar bombs with maximum muzzle velocity being 272 m/s. Clips of four 82 mm mortar bombs are loaded from the right and four rounds can be fired in 1.5 seconds.

The 82 mm ordnance has a traverse of 30 left and right with elevation from -1 to +85. Breech loading is normally used at the lower angles of elevation but it can also be muzzle loaded.

The complete Russian 2K21 Vasilek mortar system comprises the actual 82 mm AM 2B9 Vasilek mortar, the 2F54 transport vehicle based on the GAZ-66 (4 × 4) 2,000 kg truck and 226 82 mm mortar bombs (of which 96 are fitted with fuzes ready for use in 24 clips).

The 2B9 Vasilek is normally carried in the rear of the GAZ-66 and unloaded when required for action, using onboard handling gear. NORINCO has stated that it is also offering a complete system built around the 82 mm Type W99 mortar.

According to NORINCO, the Type W99 has a mean time between failure of around 360 rounds and can be deployed in an operational ambient temperature range from -40 to +50C.

NORINCO 81 mm Automatic Mortar

More recently, NORINCO has marketed an 81 mm version, which weighs 700 kg, has a minimum range of 800 m and a maximum range of 4,000 m. This is chambered for Western calibre 81 mm ammunition but as far as it is known this remains at the prototype stage.

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Type W99
Type W99