Monday, July 27, 2020

PF-98a of an China Army Amphibious Infantry Squad

Unit:  1st Heavy Amphibious Combat Assault Brigade, 74th Group Army
Source (here)

I counted a 5-man squad:  one PF-98 ammo carrier, one PF-98 launcher,  one commander,  one LSW and one w/rifle grenade launcher.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Hi res photos of the day: infantry squad PF98A 120mm anti-tank rocket

Since 1999, the PLA has started deploying PF98 to both Company and Battalion levels for direct and sometimes indirect infantry fire support.  However, due to its weight the poor PLA infantry squad continues to solider on with their Type69-1/RPG7 mod (2.1 to 4.5kg depending on which warhead) and PF-89, Chinese equivalent of the one-shot-wonder AT4.  Both Type69-1 and PF-89 lack the necessary armor penetration to be considered an effective anti-armor solution in today's battlefield.

Enters PF98A, a lighter, less expensive variant of the PF98, purposely built for infantry squad operations.  Main changes are:  Tube service life reduced from 500 rounds to just 200 due to thinner material for weight reduction.   A single "stick" instead of a bipod/tripod - again - for weight reduction.   A fire team of 2 troopers carries only a total of four rockets (2x2) with them, weighting in about 15.33 kg for the entire kit, geared for a greater foot-mobility.  The tube by itself weights 22lbs or 10kg without warheads.

A 2-man fireteam and its 2-round backpack

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cool Pictures of PLA's Infantry Support Weapons and Their Warheads.

Not your father's RPG:

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/10kg 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


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

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