There is lack of media coverage on PLA's infantry support weapons in the West outside of a few video games; since they are an important component of PLA's TOE and it just happened that the PLA Daily has a bunch of cool photos of them. It is time to take a look.
A front-line PLA infantry platoon is now armed by three different rockets, PF97, PF08 and PF98A. This has been so since the 2000s. PF97 and PF08 are both 80mm one-shot-wonders. PF97 weighting in about 8.15 lb including the warhead - meant for anti-personnel and anti-tank roles - is issued to infantry fire team. The 16.7 lb PF08 with its breaching warhead maximized against bunkers and light fortifications is found at weapon platoon.
The 120mm "Queen Bee" PF98A, weighting in 22lb and a crew of 2, is now issued to infantry squad. A fire-control (laser rangefinder plus ballistics computer) variant is found at company level.
Nice shot of PF08's bunker breaching round
PF08 AKA DZJ08
PF97 with its extended thermometric round. The HEAT and Tandem HEAT variant are not shown here
PF-98A 120mm with its anti-armor HEAT round inflight. Penetration is rated at 800mm against harden steel
Notice the disposable canister behind the launch tube
Saturday, September 02, 2017
A first look: PLA's new 9-man "ZBL09" infantry squad (twitted by the PLA Daily)
- A two-man PF98A 120mm rocket team (first and second from the right), they also carry QSZ92 as their sidearm
- QBB95 squad automatic weapon operator is the second one from the left. He is a private
- The squad leader (corporal, right in the middle) is supported by his second fire-team leader (third from the right). He also leads the first fire-team
- STAR TREK “Red Shirts" are the two on the left.