NORINCO 85 mm Field Gun (Type 56)


The Russian 85 mm Divisional gun D-44 was first supplied to China during the Korean War. China began production of this gun during the early 1960s under the designation Type 56. Some slight changes were made to the D-44 design to suit Chinese production methods, one of them being the location of a push-rod firing device in the centre of the elevating handwheel. The Type 56 does not appear to use the Russian infrared searchlight and sight system. It has been observed that some NORINCO Type 85 Field Guns have a castor wheel under the left trail leg to assist in bringing the weapon into action. Ammunition currently available for the Type 56 includes HE, HEAT-FS and HESH. In the past AP-T and HE-FRAG have been used. The only current projectile for which definite information is available is the Type 56 HEAT-FS. This one-piece round weighs 12.5 kg and is 990 mm long. The projectile weighs 7 kg and the TNT/RDX 50:50 shaped charge weighs 0.647 kg. The direct fire maximum range is 970 m at which it will penetrate 100 mm of armour set at an angle of 65. A Dian-1A fuze is used and the muzzle velocity is 845 m/s. Optical equipment fitted includes a Type 58 panoramic sight with a magnification of x3.7, Type 85 direct fire sight with a magnification of x5.5 and a collimator Type 58.


Russia developed and fielded an auxiliary propelled version of the D-44 called the SD-44 but as far as is known this was never built in China for the PLA or offered on the export market by NORINCO.


Calibre: 85 mm
Barrel length:
(overall) 4.693 m
Muzzle brake: double-baffle
Recoil system: hydraulic recoil buffer and hydropneumatic recuperator
Breech mechanism: semi-automatic vertical sliding block
Carriage: split tubular trail
Shield: yes
(travelling) 1,750 kg
(travelling) 8.34 m
(travelling) 1.73 m
(travelling) 1.42 m
Elevation/depression: +35/-7
Traverse: 54
Rate of fire: 15-20 rds/min
(max) 15,650 m
(HEAT) 970 m
Crew: 6-8
Max towing speed:
(road) 60 km/h
(cross-country) 15km/h
Towing vehicle: 4 x 4 truck


Production complete. In service with the People's Liberation Army. Also in service with Afghanistan, Albania, Cameroon, Congo, North Korea, Mozambique, Pakistan (190), Sri Lanka (330), Tanzania (75), Vietnam and Zaire (24).

COMPANY NAME : China North Industries Corporation

NORINCO 85 mm field gun Type 56 in firing position