Very well written. Why do we need more towed artillery as they provide a much better target in terms of drones etc and are devoid of the shoot and scoot capability in an age of very effective fire finder artillery radarsNo problem. The SH-15 is actually a rather smart choice by the PA. I like that They didn’t pick a tracked option because frankly all the tracked options based off the M109, including the K9 inducted by india, the T-155 from Turkey and most versions of the M109 (even the new A7s) are honestly just average at best. They have fundamental design flaws that can’t be fixed unless they are redesigned from the ground up (one of the reasons countries like Germany, Britain etc retired their M109s and made their own guns).
The Chinese and Russian tracked SPs on the other hand are really impressive. I’m totally speculating here, but if PA does go all in on SH-15s, we might see PLZ-05s as a future replacement option for PAs M109s as well. I assume PAs decision to go for a wheeled SP was also influenced by cost and versatility, PAs doctrine focuses a lot on SPs and they already have nearly 600 tracked ones, yet they want a significantly larger number, so going for wheeled makes sense, especially ones with dedicated transport platforms underneath that shouldn’t have much of an issue in any terrain, even our deserts (especially when the engineers operate with them). While tracked SPs offer their own distinct advantages, These are more mobile than tracked SPs and they also out range Indias K9s while also being cheaper.
I’m mildly surprised PA went for the SH-15 given it doesn’t have an auto-loader and they wanted one on their next SP (I was expecting them to pick the South African or Serbian option), but then again this one’s from China so they likely got much a much better deal + ToT + interoperability with the rest of the assets like VT-4 and Z-10ME. Plus the SH-15 due to this lack of auto-loader is much lighter, hence more mobile, and also cheaper, while having a gun that’s just as, if not more capable than the other options.
China was even willing to modify the guns to Pakistani specifications, as they always are. That being said, PA might go for two separate new SP artys due to the aforementioned auto-loader (and other requirements), they do seem to be conducting second trials after all, so we’ll see where thag goes.
But in a nutshell, the performance of this thing is no issue, I don’t know how any of the guns performed in actual trials, but they were literally all good picks on paper (Nora B52, SH-15, South African G6 etc) , I’d have been happy if PA picked any single one. Now I hope PA starts catching up on the towed artillery side of things too, because india dominates that field as much as we dominate the SPs.