[Would you like to see this in-game?]
TL;DR: A 105mm howitzer on a high-mobility truck.
Getting towed howitzers from point A to point B in a timely manner has always been an issue when it comes to large militaries. One of the most well known ways of transporting these weapons was through their mounting on various self-propelled chassis, turning them into self-propelled howitzers, or SPHs. The most well known form of SPH are tracked SPHs. This type of SPH provides a robust and fairly mobile platform to transport their weapons. Modern tracked SPHs usually incorporate a 360 degree rotating turret, direct fire capabilities, and decently reliable protection for their crews. As a result, however, they are usually quite expensive to build or purchase, making them unattractive for both less-funded militaries and well-funded militaries looking to motorize large quantities of howitzers. One of the solutions to this issue was simply mounting howitzers on cheaper to produce chassis. These chassis were usually wheeled and incredibly lightly armored but also more mobile on solid ground than tracked chassis. The late 1990s to early 2000s saw a global shift in the motorization of howitzers, with more and more militaries increasing funding on wheeled SPHs that were cheaper and easier to produce in larger numbers. China, noticing the shift, also began work on their own wheeled SPHs, with NORINCO producing vehicles like the SH1 and SH2 for the growing market. The SH1 was a more conventional design that required the deployment of stabilizers to fire. The SH2, on the other hand, was seemingly more intended for use closer to the frontline. The vehicle was based on the XLW-TB 6x6 light truck and mounted a 122mm PL-96 howitzer directly on the bed, not needing any form of deployment other than the lowering of the stabilizers, the process of which could be omitted if the situation called for it. The bed mounting also meant that the gun crew could operate the gun almost entirely on the vehicle, allowing for a quick getaway. The vehicle was also direct-fire capable if needed, however, as the vehicle was an SPG first and foremost, the cannon could not depress past 0 degrees or horizontally traverse more than 30 degrees to the left or right. 24 rounds of ammunition could be carried on the vehicle, allowing it to operate independent of an ammunition carrier. Later on, a new entry into the SH family would be presented, the SH5. This vehicle was essentially the same as the SH2, just with the 122mm howitzer switched out for a 105mm howitzer. It was intended to be a lighter version of the SH2, completing the trinity of light (SH5), medium (SH2), and heavy (SH1) artillery. The SH5 would have its ammunition capacity increased to 40 rounds due to the rounds themselves being smaller. In 2020, Nigeria would receive a number of SH5s that they had ordered an unknown number of years prior.
Place In War Thunder:
Gun trucks in War Thunder are largely considered meme vehicles with little real tactical value. This is largely due to their unarmored nature, terrible top speeds, and horrendous performance on soft terrain. The SH5, while still comparatively unarmored, moves significantly faster, fast enough to justify its lack of armor. It also has more modern systems to better deal with soft terrain. Playstyle would be fairly self-explanatory. You’d want to avoid direct confrontation and artillery strikes. Your mobility would allow you to appear in very strong early game positions, however, you will have to play with an incredible handicap. You have zero degrees of gun depression, a hefty trade-off for your incredible mobility. You also have a horizontal traverse of only 30 degrees to the left and right. Of course, with your mobility being so good, it would be possible to employ a sort of shotgun tactic in which you rush in and pop targets at point-blank range. While the SH5 was intended exclusively for export, it provides an incredibly unique playstyle that should not be locked behind a paywall. It would be a perfect vehicle to fit the terrible 6.0 - 8.0 gap in China’s tank destroyer line or could supplement an entirely new wheeled line.
Armament: 105mm howitzer
Dimensions: 8.50m, 2.50m, 2.95m (L,W,H)
Armor: Proof against small arms fire and artillery splinters
Ammunition: Ultimately unknown, however, one source mentioned that it can fire the same M1 HE shell that the American 105mm M101 fires, meaning that it can also fire M67 and M662 HEAT as well as M327 HESH. Due to the longer length of the barrel, these shells would have a higher velocity. (If anyone have any more definitive sources on ammunition, let me know.)
SH5型105毫米车载榴弹炮 - 搜狗百科
India Vs China military Balance- Large Calibre artillery – Part-1 Chinese Howitzers - Full Afterburner