Japan’s Next-Generation Battle Tank: Type 10

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The Type 10 (Hitomaru-shiki sensha) is a next generation main battle tank of JSDF produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force, entering service in 2012.

The MBT is capable of a wide range of missions including anti-tank warfare, mobile strikes, special operations force attacks and other contingencies. The Type 10 MBT is the replacement for JGSDF’s Type 74 and Type 90 MBT fleet. It features significant enhancements in manoeuvrability, protection, fire power and performance.

The main battle tank accommodates a crew of three including commander, gunner and driver. It has a length of 9.4m, width of 3.2m and height 2.3m. The gross weight of the tank is 44t and the combat weight of 48t. The MBT can be transported by trains and trucks. The Type 10 MBT features a turret fitted with an automatic loading system. The turret can be rotated through 360° in traverse to determine the enemy targets. It is armed with a 120mm L44 smooth-bore gun, which is licence-built by Japan Steel Works. The turret is also fitted with smoke grenade launchers. The secondary armament of the Type 10 MBT consists of a M2HB 12.7mm heavy machine gun and a Type 74 7.62mm co-axial machine gun.

The vehicle’s armor consists of modular sections, providing the ability to mount varying degrees of protection depending on the mission profile as well as weight requirements. Vehicle weight is about 40 tonnes with the base configuration, and 48 tonnes when fully equipped.  It is also fitted with a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system and automatic fire suppression systems.

The Type 10 tank is powered by water-cooled, four-cycle, eight-cylinder diesel engines coupled with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) gearbox. The engine generates a power of 1,200hp. The tank is equipped with hydro pneumatic active suspension and offers superior mobility. It can accomplish a speed of about 70km/h forward as well as reverse. It has an operational range of about 440km.

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