Type 87

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

The Type 87 twin-25mm towed anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) system was designed in the 1970s/80s to meet the PLA’s demand for an air defence weapon system that can protect the ground troops against airborne targets flying at low- and ultra-low-altitude, such as high-speed, low-flying attack aircraft, helicopter, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It replaced the Type 58 twin-14.5mm anti-aircraft machine gun (AAMG) used by the infantry regiment to provide field air defence. Based on the Type 87 design, the PLA has also developed the PGZ95 self-propelled AAA. The same 25mm cannon has also been adopted by the Type 92 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) as its main gun.

The Type 87 is the first Chinese-made AAA system that uses the Western-standard calibre (25mm) instead of Soviet standard (23mm). The development programme began in 1976, but the initial design failed to meet the PLA requirements. NORINCO began to work on a revised design in 1979 and the weapon was delivered to the National Weapon Test Centre for trial and evaluation in 1984. The design was approved for finalisation in 1987 and officially designated Type 87.

The Type 87 AAA is mounted on a two-wheel cartridge, with two ammunition magazines, each carrying 40 rounds. The automatic, recoil-operated 25mm cannon fires the WB041P high-explosive rounds with tracer in either single shot or burst mode, with a cyclic rate of fire of 600~700 rounds/min and a muzzle velocity of 1,050m/s. The weapon can be fired either automatically, or by a foot pedal, or by a hand trigger. The AAA system is fitted with a Type 86 infrared tracking sight for the use at night to a maximum range of 7,500m. It is operated by a crew of five and is towed by a 6X6 truck.

The Type 87 is deployed by the ground forces to provide field air defence at the regiment level. It can be used either individually or in a group of fire units. Fire testing results showed that the 25mm cannon is highly effective against both low-flying and ground targets. A number of derivations have been developed including a self-propelled variant based on the Type 63 armoured personnel carrier.

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