NORINCO 130 mm Field Gun (Type 59-1)


The first 130 mm field gun produced by China was the Type 59, a virtually direct copy of the Russian M-46. At around the same time, China was also producing its 122 mm field gun Type 60, a virtual copy of the Russian D-74. Some of the features of the Type 60 were carried over to the Type 59 to produce the Type 59-1. Thus the Type 59-1 uses a scaled-up version of the Type 60's muzzle brake, recoil mechanism and breech system, all mounted on a carriage featuring some components from the Type 60. This amalgamation of Type 59 and Type 60 features has produced a weapon that is more manoeuvrable than the original Type 59 (M-46). The carriage no longer requires a limber for towing and weight has been saved by using a smaller shield. Much of the development work on the Type 59-1 weapon was carried out by the No.127 Factory of the Fifth Ministry of Machine Building. The Type 59-1 fires two types of projectile, HE and illuminating, although at one stage of the gun's development an AP-T projectile was proposed, capable of penetrating 250 mm of armour set at 0 at a range of 1,500 m. Details of the two original projectiles are as follows:

{st} Type HE Illum* Designation Type 59 Type 59 Weight: (projectile) 33.4 kg 29.1 kg (filling) 3.6 kg 1.96 kg Length: (projectile) 668 mm 663 mm Muzzle velocity 930 m/s 950 m/s Max range 27,490 m 24,500 m! Fuze Liu-5 Shi-1

* burns for 40 seconds producing 500,000 candela ! air burst

Both projectiles are fired using a two-charge full variable charge or a three-charge reduced variable charge. There have been two enhanced range projectiles developed for the Type 59-1 gun. One is an RAP known as the MP-130. It weighs 33.4 kg and provides a maximum range of 34,360 m, an increase of 25 per cent. A Rocket-Assisted Projectile (RAP) known as the MP-132 has been developed and tested. The second projectile is an ERFB HE which is fired using a multisection charge system employing four bags, an increment and 2.5 kg of loose propellant. Details of this ERFB round are as follows:

(complete round, with full charge) 58 kg
(complete round, with reduced charge) 50.7 kg
(complete round, packed) 79 kg
(projectile) 32.41 kg
(charge) 3.3 kg
(projectile) 799 mm
Type of charge: TNT
Muzzle velocity: 944 m/s
Max chamber pressure: 3,150 kg/cm{2}
Max range: 32,000 m
Fuze: Liu-5

Early in 1993, NORINCO announced that a new family of ammunition had been developed for the 130 mm field gun Type 59-1 and the Russian 130 mm M-46, brief details of these are as follows:
HE, weight of projectile 33.4 kg with maximum range of 27.49 km. HE incendiary, weight of projectile 33.4 kg with maximum range of 27.49 km
ERFB-BB, weight of projectile 33.4 kg with maximum range of 38 km
ERFB (boat tail), weight of projectile 32.7 kg with maximum range of 30 km
ERFB-A (Nubb), weight of projectile 32.41 kg with maximum range of 32 km
ERFB-B, weight of projectile 32.7 kg with maximum range of 30.7 km Illuminating, weight of projectile 29.1 kg with maximum range of 25 km
Shrapnel (10,000 flechettes), weight of projectile 33 kg with maximum range of 25 km
Cargo (35 HEAT bomblets), weight of projectile 33 kg with maximum range of 25 km
Smoke, weight of projectile 32.47 kg with maximum range of 27 km


NORINCO has developed an Auxiliary Propulsion Unit (APU) which can be fitted to 155 mm, 152 mm and 130 mm towed artillery weapons such as the Type 59-1 field gun to increase their battlefield mobility. This APU consists of one diesel-driven engine which is mounted on the front of the carriage, with the driver being seated on the left, and the hydraulic transmission systems.

The total weight of the APU is 1,800 kg with the engine having an output of 75 hp and a maximum road speed of 15 km/h. Sufficient fuel is carried for three hours of continuous operations and time taken to go from travelling mode into firing mode is two minutes. Steering is accomplished by using the two smaller roadwheels at the rear of the carriage.


Calibre: 130 mm
Muzzle brake: double-baffle
Breech mechanism: semi-automatic vertical sliding breech block
Carriage: split trail with castor wheel on each
Shield: yes
Weight: 6,300 kg
(travelling) 10.8 m
(travelling) 2.42 m
(travelling) 2.75 m
(to axis of bore) 1.214 m
Elevation/depression: +45/-2.5
Traverse: 58
Rate of fire: 8-10 rds/min
(max) 27,150 m
(min) 7,800 m
Crew: 8-10
Towing vehicle: 6 x 6 truck
Max towing speed:
(truck) 15-60 km/h
(tracked vehicle) 35 km/h

Status : Production probably complete. In service with the Chinese Army and with Albania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, Egypt (qv local production), Iran (at least 106), Iraq, North Korea (where it is also produced), Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, Thailand (18 delivered free of charge), UAE, Vietnam and Zaire.

COMPANY NAME : China North Industries Corporation

NORINCO 130 mm field gun Type 59-1 in firing position and showing
castor wheel on top of each carriage trail (1997)

NORINCO 130 mm field gun Type 59-1 fitted with auxiliary propulsion
unit and shown in travelling configuration (1997)