We shall begin our regional survey by looking at indigenous capabilities. There are currently four countries self-sufficient in artillery system production - China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, and we shall look at their offerings in turn.
As the world's largest armed force, and one that continues to rise at a stunning rate - for the coming year China announced a 12.2% hike in its defence budget to US $132 billion - the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is enamoured with SPH systems. In total, China owns 6,000+ towed artillery pieces and 1,700 SPHs. The PLA has traditionally operated Soviet 122mm, 130mm and 152mm artillery calibres, although its newest SPH is notable for being of 155mm calibre. This signals that China is switching over to 155mm for future designs. The system in question is the 35-tonne PLZ05 (Type 05) from NORINCO, which features an U52 gun. It can fire laser-guided munitions based on the Russian Krasnopol design, with the WS-35 round reputedly having a 1OOkm range.
Also new for the PLA is the 22.5-ton PLZ07 (Type 07) 122mm SPH introduced by NORINCO in 2007. China has also brought the PLL05 120mm mortar howitzer into service, this being based on a WZ551 6x6 chassis; it was first noticed deployed in 2008. China also has systems available for export, primarily through the state-owned firm NORINCO. China has sold PLZ45 155mm SPHs to Algeria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, this type being a forerunner to the PLA's own PLZ05.