Type 730 CIWS

Type 730 CIWS

The Type 730 is a Chinese seven-barrelled 30 mm Gatling gun CIWS. It has a PLA-N designation H/PJ12. It is mounted in an enclosed automatic turret and directed by radar, and electro-optical tracking systems. The maximum rate of fire is from 4200 rd/m to 5800 rd/m, and the effective range is up to 3 km.


The system's primary purpose is defence against anti-ship missiles, and other precision guided weapons. However it can also be employed against fixed/rotary wing aircraft, ships and other small craft, coastal targets, and floating mines. Though externally similar to the Dutch Goalkeeper in appearance, it is thought to operate indigenous radar and optical systems. Another reported source of technology was reported to be the French which had experimented with the same General Electric EX-83 mount for their CIWS requirements. Two systems, SAGEM's SAMOS and the Thomson-CSF's SATAN were under evaluation in October 1987. The SAGEM SAMOS system featured the EX-83 mount with a SAGEM VOLCAN optical director, while the Thomson-CSF variant was controlled with a off-board Castor IIJ fire-control radar. Photos of the prototype Type 730 unit under trial apparently shows a SAGEM VOLCAN EO director in place of the domestic OFC-3 EO director.

The Chinese are currently developing a new version of the system which will include missiles on the same installation. A land based variant designated LD2000 (LD: Lu Dun, 陆盾, meaning Land Shield) have also been successfully developed, but this land version lacks the electro-optic fire control system of the ship-borne version, instead, the radar is supplemented by a thermal imaging sight. However, the missile armed version was first successfully developed for the land based version as LD-2000 Gai, with six surface-to-air missiles, three on each side of the turret, as it was revealed to public in 2005, but it is not clear the exact type of the missile, some claim that they are TY-90, while others claim they are DK-9, the surface-to-air version of PL-9.


The gun is designed by the 713th (research) institute under the name 'Project 850' and is powered by 2 electric motors. The radar TR47C is a derivative of the EFR-1/LR66 J-band radar (NATO code name: Rice Lamp) by Xi'an Research Institute of Navigation Technology, but it is unclear that if this derivative is developed by the same institution. The OFC (Optical Fire Control)-3 electro-optical fire control system is designed by the Central China Optronic (electro-optical) Research Institute.


The TR47C radar operates in the same way of AN/APY-1/2 radar onboard E-3 Sentry in that the azimuth is scanned mechanically, while the elevation is scanned electronically, incorporating a total of 169 transceivers of phased array technology that enables the radar to pick up the splashes of 30 mm rounds. Like the western CIWS, the information is processed on site, via local computers of the radar and the gun mount, thus providing faster reaction time than the Russian design in which the radar and fire control system are separately located.

Electro-optics (optronics)

The OFC-3 system is modular design that is consisted of a laser range finder, a color TV camera, and an IR camera, and the laser range finder can be replaced by a laser designator (for the laser beam riding SAM), the TV camera can be replaced by a night vision camera, and the IR camera can be replaced by a ImIR, at higher cost. Development to incorporate the dual band IR, night vision camera, and the color TV camera is reportedly in progress.

Fire-control system

Like western CIWS, Type 730 CIWS can process all the information on its own, thus offers faster reaction time than the Russian AK-630, but Type 730 CIWS lacks the local manual control such as that on AK-230. Type 730 CIWS is fully compatible with Chinese and European combat data systems such as ZKJ-1, ZKJ-4, ZKJ-4A-3, ZKJ-5, ZKJ-6, ZKJ-7, H/ZBJ-1, and Thomson-CSF TAVITAC, and can be directly integrated with these combat data systems without any modification.


The system can track a sea-skimming target with 0.1 square metre radar cross section at 8 km, extended to 15 km if the radar cross section is increased to 2 square metres, and further extended to 20 km if the radar cross section is increased to 10 square metres, though the targets could not be engaged until much closer (3 km) due to the limited range of the gun.


The 30 mm Gatling gun is extremely similar to the General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger. Although there are sources claiming that it is the Chinese version of the Russian Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-6-30 Gatling gun, this appears to be unlikely, since the Russian Gatling gun only has 6 barrels. Like the American Gatling gun, the Chinese Gatling gun can only last a single minute if fired at the rate of 4,200 rounds per minute, after which the heat generated would melt the rifles of the barrel, ending its useful life. If fired at the rate greater than 4,200 rounds per minutes, the barrels last even shorter. There are two ammunition drums each contains 250 rounds, and other versions of the ammunition drums have been reportedly developed.


The system has been fitted onboard the 052B, 052C, 051C destroyers and the new 054A frigate so far, and is expected to replace some Type 76 mounts on older combatants. Contrary to many foreign sources predicted that this CIWS will be standard for all new principal surface combatants, this did not materialize. According to Chinese, the system is as capable as four older Type 37 AAA, (or two AK-630 under most ideal conditions), but the unit cost is higher than the total cost of four Type 37AAA. Due to the high cost of the system, smaller new ships such as frigates are equipped with the Russian AK-630 instead.

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