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maverick1977

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China Arms Pakistan With ‘Nuclear-Capable’ Howitzers That Can ‘Devastate’ Indian Cities Close To Its Border

ByNitin J Ticku

January 28, 2022

China has been arming Pakistan’s military in a bid to challenge Indian military dominance in the region. Beijing has supplied cutting-edge equipment to Islamabad which many experts see as a strategy to keep New Delhi occupied and diverted.

Islamabad recently acquired the first batch of Chinese-made vehicle-mounted SH-15 howitzers to counter the Indian K-9 Vajra howitzers, reported Hindustan Times. This export from Beijing is expected to boost Pakistan’s firepower against India as the two neighbors remain vigilant against one another at the heavily militarized Line of Control (LoC).

Interestingly, after a successful deployment in Ladakh, the Indian Army is also set to acquire 200 more K9 Vajra (Thunder) howitzers, as previously reported by the EurAsian Times.

Pakistan’s army currently uses the M109A5, a tracked self-propelled howitzer made by the United States, although the country plans to upgrade its artillery force with new wheeled artillery weapons.

At the height of tensions with India in 2019, the Pakistan Army had signed a contract with China Northern Industries Corporation (NORINCO) to purchase SH-15 Howitzer artillery guns.

Pakistan had then announced that it intends to buy 236 of these artillery pieces with transfer-of-technology clauses and station them along the Line of Control.


According to an earlier report by the EurAsian Times – the Sh-15 Howitzer could be made nuclear-capable if Pakistan’s attempts to miniaturize its nuclear weapons are successful.

The SH-15 howitzer made an appearance at Pakistan’s 10th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar in Karachi. Only one picture of the artillery gun appeared which confirmed that Pakistan was in process of acquiring the Chinese artillery guns.

A leaked picture of the trials was published in Chinese magazines. Pakistan was believed to have ordered at least 52 SH-15, enough for three regiments of the artillery.

SH-15 is an ideal ‘shoot and scoot’ artillery weapon for the use of nuclear shells. Pakistan has been working on the miniaturization of nuclear weapons since 1984. The US nuclear artillery shell W-48 uses 10kg high-density alpha-plutonium with a sphere of barely 54mm.

Pakistan Acquires Sh-15 "Nuclear-Capable" Howitzer Artillery Guns From China


Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf had reportedly disclosed to a top US diplomat that Islamabad had created a minuscule nuclear warhead in the latter half of 2011. Such a warhead, if fitted in a 155 mm shell with a stated range of 53 km, could be devastating for cities close to the Pakistan border.

Though India and Pakistan had signed a ceasefire which has largely been followed by both sides, India accuses the Pakistani army of supporting militants wanting to infiltrate and incite violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

Beijing is also supplying Pakistan with NORINCO AR-1 300 mm multi-barrel rocket launchers. The overall contract value is estimated to be around $512 million, stated Hindustan Times.


This development comes shortly after Pakistan inducted the largest and most advanced stealth frigate acquired from China, named PNS Tughril as previously reported by the EurAsian Times.

It could be believed that the objective behind this shipment is to increase Pakistani army firepower along the western border, particularly to heat up the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir which could further lead to the current truce breaking down.

China has itself been embroiled in a border conflict with India along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which is in its second winter now.



M777 howitzer - Wikipedia
India has also acquired American ultra-light M777 Howitzers – Wikipedia

Pakistan’s SH-15 and Indian K9 Vajra Howitzer

The SH15 is a Chinese-made wheeled self-propelled howitzer with a front-mounted armored cabin and a rear-mounted 155 mm gun-howitzer. Small weapons fire and artillery shell splinters are not a problem for this new howitzer. The front of the crew cab includes two massive bulletproof glasses and each side has two doors.

With conventional ammo, the SH15 has a maximum range of 20 kilometers and 53 kilometers with a rocket-assisted artillery projectile. A crew of five people may operate this artillery truck. The vehicle will have a maximum weight of 22 tons, according to military officials.

A computerized fire control system, as well as navigation, location, and targeting systems, are installed on the SH-15. The artillery command vehicle provides target information to the vehicle. For self-defense, a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun can be installed on the roof.

This artillery system is extremely mobile and can deploy across vast distances on its own. Most medium cargo planes can transport it. It is light enough to be transported by a Y-9 or comparable military transport aircraft, giving it a more versatile alternative for expanding rapid response teams.

The South-Korean K-9 Vajra, on the other hand, is also a mobile howitzer like the SH-15 but appears like a Tank and is considered one of the most powerful howitzers in the world today.

It has its own propulsion system for traveling towards its firing station and can shell enemy locations from afar. A K9 Vajra can shoot shells over 50 kilometers and weighs 50 tons.

K9 Vajra
K9 VAJRA 155mm/52 caliber Tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer flagged off by India’s CoAS
An automatic loading system loads the projectiles into the ammunition tray, and they are ready to fire. The K9 Thunder can shoot within 30 seconds while in standby mode, or 60 seconds while moving.

All-welded steel armor protects the K-9’s crew from 14.5 mm armor-piercing bullets, 152 mm shell fragments, and anti-personnel mines, as well as offering extensive nuclear, biological, and chemical protection.

The Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) mode allows the K9 to fire its ammunition (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact). The K9 can fire three shells in less than 15 seconds in MRSI mode — one every 5 seconds — each with a distinct trajectory so that they all reach their target at the same time.

China’s Power Move Against India

The provision of conventional weapon systems, fighter aircraft, destroyers, and even the willingness to provide the DF-17 hypersonic missile to counter India’s most recent acquisition, the S-400 air defense system, are all part of Beijing’s long-term strategy to keep Rawalpindi GHQ in a state of perpetual confrontation with India, according to Hindustan Times.

This tactic has already paid off for the Chinese dictatorship, as it pushes India to maintain vigilance on its western border with a power that punches far above its weight in international fora, as well as in military and nuclear parity.

In order to keep Pakistan under its wing for strategic reasons and to gain access to the Arabian Sea, China has constantly supplied arms to Rawalpindi.

It frequently supports Pakistan in the UN over Kashmir and vetoes any attempt by the UN Security Council to label known pan-Islamic extremist groups or their leaders as terrorists.



this indian correspondent missed the fact that Pakistan army will use 53km nucleared shell on indian army assembly area not cities .. pak army doesnt harm civilians
 

mudas777

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I think before we lay blame we will need to see each attack in isolation. What was done in response? Length of attack . Availability of assets nearby. Available expertise. I agree we have to improve our response to attacks but if this was a brief attack then not much can be done. We have recently celebrated the loss of TTP/BLA assets and I was cautioning people not to celebrate as there will be retaliation. We look at scenarios based on what information is available but do we have ALL the info.
Iam not downplaying your concerns but asking for a more pcomprehensive review of the situation.
A
We all smoke a fag after each and every attack and bury our heads in the sand and hope that it will go away. Imagine if it would have happened in any European country, whole nation would have been up in arm and parliament would have recalled. Elected members would have asked the questions and incompetence of any nature would have addressed and responsible personal would have gone through accountability process.
On the other threat, people are saying this attack lasted almost 5 hours so where was our help for those kids who lost lives for us. Please don't bring in asset availability or expertise those should have addressed and sorted years ago. Are you implying we are sending our kids to those areas without guns or ammunition or transport or any other required equipment?? Even those FC boys must have gone much much longer training then these sold out muppets.
What expertise you need against for low intensity opportune attacks which those trained soldiers couldn't handle with sandle wearing and AK 47's touting men.
Our boys were less in no but they stood up and gave good account for, so certainly they were not lacking in the courage department. Low numbers should have been addressed by providing intelligence and some fire power. Am sure when they came under attack they must have radioed the situation to their hierarchy. One can't just set up a check post and no thought is been given for the defence of the place and other factors are not considered. How many drones one needs to give 24/7 protection to those posts, considering this conflict is going on for years and we are seeing these loses so often.
You are almost trying to defend the incompetence which we are seeing it so often repeatedly but no one is held to account. Mistakes happen, one raises there hand and learn from it, ignoring or coming up with excuses especially when there is loss of life is a criminal act.
 

araz

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Firstly please understand I am equally distressed by the lossof life of our boys. As to your supposition and countering that look at the Ireland war and how many soldiers the British lost. How many men were lost in the Nam by US. Wars are an ugly game and lives are lost. I am being a pure armchair General being totally unaware of the layout and the method in which our boys were attacked. Are you aware? Because till you are you really cannot formulate an opinion and assign blame. The army has internal mechanisms. How do you know heads were not rolled?just because the media did not carry the news! Even in Iraq and Afghanistan the NATO lost people to ambushes. This is a war and loss of life will occur.

We all smoke a fag after each and every attack and bury our heads in the sand and hope that it will go away. Imagine if it would have happened in any European country, whole nation would have been up in arm and parliament would have recalled. Elected members would have asked the questions and incompetence of any nature would have addressed and responsible personal would have gone through accountability process.

You are almost trying to defend the incompetence which we are seeing it so often repeatedly but no one is held to account. Mistakes happen, one raises there hand and learn from it, ignoring or coming up with excuses especially when there is loss of life is a criminal act.
On the other threat, people are saying this attack lasted almost 5 hours so where was our help for those kids who lost lives for us. Please don't bring in asset availability or expertise those should have addressed and sorted years ago. Are you implying we are sending our kids to those areas without guns or ammunition or transport or any other required equipment?? Even those FC boys must have gone much much longer training then these sold out muppets.
What expertise you need against for low intensity opportune attacks which those trained soldiers couldn't handle with sandle wearing and AK 47's touting men.


The expertise Iam talking about is the ability to mount a drone attack. Were drones available in the area and was the relevant expertise to mount and deploy them there? How many helos were there and what was the weather like and could they have been deployed.? What help was available in the viscinity and were they in a position to deploy? Do we know what was in the mind of the Commander? How do we know that the help convoy would have gotten attacked and we would have lost more men? What was the terrain layout and the viscinity of population? Were there fears of collateral damage? . The Commander may have asked for MRAPs for years and not gotten them. See we just do not know. And all of these are tragic reasons of a nation lacking resources. It is none the less very tragic but the fact remains we do not know all the facts.

Our boys were less in no but they stood up and gave good account for, so certainly they were not lacking in the courage department. Low numbers should have been addressed by providing intelligence and some fire power. Am sure when they came under attack they must have radioed the situation to their hierarchy. One can't just set up a check post and no thought is been given for the defence of the place and other factors are not considered. How many drones one needs to give 24/7 protection to those posts, considering this conflict is going on for years and we are seeing these loses so often.

No one denies the courage of our boys. The real questions that need answering are the circumstances and why support could not be deployed. I honestly cannot answer that, but then can you? I have already responded to your drone querry. Do we know there were UCAVs deployed in the viscinity? What was the situation for air support with helos? No one knows and yet we argue about the merits of mounting/not mounting a counter offensive. I am sure it will be mounted and people will be hunted down but the media will be too busy playing politics/running after the next big disaster to report that. The disasters sell better whereas army killing some disgruntled Baluchis/Iranis does not.

You are almost trying to defend the incompetence which we are seeing it so often repeatedly but no one is held to account. Mistakes happen, one raises there hand and learn from it, ignoring or coming up with excuses especially when there is loss of life is a criminal act.


Iam not defending anyrhing but presenting a counterargument. How do you feel this narrative of yours is read by the man in khaki who has kept awake all night long on an operation risking his life so we dont have incidences like this. The loss of life is tragic indeed and we need to look at it but assigning blame carte blanche without full control of facts/prior demands turned down due to lack of resources/financial woes of the country is what I think should not be done. I am sure the PA looks at mistakes made and people who have been negligent are shown the door but are we sure there is negligence involved here? This is what Iam asking.
Kind regards
A
 

PanzerKiel

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With Tactical nukes, what's the point of having nuclear shells anyway?
Tac nukes and their missiles are easily detectable and give a warning time to everyone, you cant hide their movement through good ISR capabilities including satellites.

However, artillery guns...their ammo is there in normally army trucks, and no one can tell what types of shells a truck is carrying. Moreover, with so many artillery guns, its almost impossible to target all of them.
 

YeBeWarned

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Tac nukes and their missiles are easily detectable and give a warning time to everyone, you cant hide their movement through good ISR capabilities including satellites.

However, artillery guns...their ammo is there in normally army trucks, and no one can tell what types of shells a truck is carrying. Moreover, with so many artillery guns, its almost impossible to target all of them.
So Army went from tact nukes to Nuclear shells, but do we even have them or have technology to produce a small shell size nuke?
 

PanzerKiel

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So Army went from tact nukes to Nuclear shells, but do we even have them or have technology to produce a small shell size nuke?
They did not Go from tac nukes to shells......we just added more to our inventory of options.

As far as the second part of your question is concerned, i believe we had them for quiet some time, more than 20 years ago.
 
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IceCold

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They did not Go from tac nukes to shells......we just added more to our inventory of options.

As far as the second part of your question is concerned, i believe we had them for quiet some time, more than 20 years ago.
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Can we use it on the border?
 

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