List of modern equipment of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force

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Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
陸上自衛隊 (Rikujō Jieitai)
Flag of the Japan Self-Defense Forces.svg

Ground Staff Office
Northern Army
North Eastern Army
Eastern Army
Central Army
Western Army
Central Readiness Force
JGSDF Reserve
JGSDF Reserve Candidate

The following is a list of modern equipment currently in service with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.


Name Used by Notes Period used
Camouflage patterns
Type I Camouflage (ja) 1st Airborne Brigade, JGSDF Air Defense Artillery Groups Also known as "Old Camo" or "Airborne Camo", it is the first camo scheme adopted by Japan after World War II. It is based on Hokkaido's wilderness(effective in Sasa veitchii field). The shades become distinguishable after wash, and the pattern itself doesn't match to the environment in mainland Japan, leading to the introduction of Type II camouflage. Copied by China in its Experimental PLA Woodland Flecktarn Camouflage. 1970s–1990s (still in limited use in 2014)
Japanese Flecktarn.png
Type II Flecktarn camouflage (ja)
Currently used by the JGSDF, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan National Defense Academy cadets, and JASDF Air Rescue Wings Pararescuemen. Second domestically designed pattern. As in the case of the Type I has been copied by China. Made from 50% cotton/50% vinylon or 70% vinylon/30% cotton. The earlier model had anti-IR/flame-resistant fabric, but the latter lacks the feature. 1991–present
Japanese Winter Flecktarn.png
Type II brown-dominant winter pattern (ja)
JGSDF Darker contrast on Type II Flecktarn camo to fit the color of winter plants. Used on JGSDF Type-2 Camouflage Cold Weather Field Parka and Trousers(防寒戦闘服外衣, 戦闘外被, or shortly 外被). 1991–present
Japanese Flecktarn.png
Type III Flecktarn camouflage (ja)
Recently adopted by the JGSDF Modified from ''Type II'' pattern with a 50% cotton/50% vinylon or 70% vinylon/30% cotton fabric(depending on the year of contract/manufacturer) and other changes including a change in the front closure, a mandarin collar, Velcro cuffs and pocket lids, wider pen pockets, a loop inside the right chest pocket for ID card chain, two calf storage pockets, and knee pads in the trousers. The back pocket on the trousers has been eliminated. The belt(made from the same fabric) comes with a name tag, unlike the former Type II Combat Uniform/Type II Camouflaged Work Uniform. The Type III Combat Uniform/Type III Camouflaged Work Uniform(戦闘服3型・迷彩作業服3型, or shortly 戦闘服) have the same pattern as the Type II camouflage. Each soldier receives two sets of the Type III Work Uniform after enlisting, and after the boot camp each soldier receives two sets of Type III Combat Uniform, Airborne Uniform or Tank Uniform, depending on the troop where the soldier belongs to. The Combat Uniform and Camouflaged Work Uniform are identical to each other, except for the product tag. Commercial version of the item (100% polyester version, cotton/poli version etc.) is no longer authorized to be used, including the vinylon/cotton fabric version. The use of commercial combat cap in vinylon/cotton fabric is authorized. The commercial versions have slightly different shades. 2007–present
Japanese Desert Flecktarn.png
JGSDF Desert Flecktarn camouflage
JGSDF International Peace Cooperation Activities Training Unit, JGSDF Central Readiness Force Recently adopted by the JGSDF for Middle Eastern deployments. This camo is a desert version of the JGSDF's flectarn pattern. The first unit using this particular camouflage was the Central Readiness Force during the 4th DAPE (Deployment Air Force for Counter-Piracy Operation) in the Gulf of Aden. June 2010–present

(See also List of military clothing camouflage patterns [Asia A-M])

Other equipment
JSDF standard Personal protective equipment (also known semi-officially as Type 00) NBC suit. Produced by Toyobo in cooperation with Nikko research co., Ltd.
  • Type 66 helmet- It has now been mostly replaced by the Type 88 helmet. Like the American M1 helmet upon which it was based, it is made of iron alloy.
  • Type 88 Helmet - Japanese version of Kevlar PASGT helmet replacing Type 66 helmet.
  • Combat Underwear Type 2 - A khaki flame-resistant T-shirt, usually issued only one(each soldier has to purchase his own underwears) and mainly used for ceremonies etc.
  • Helmet Liner, Type 2 - Used for light duty *current army regulation requires each soldier to wear gloves, a helmet and sleeve unrolled during light/heavy duties and field training
  • Fulton MX991/U Flashlight - Used as "Signal Equipment" in Recon troops.
  • Combat Loading Set (ja) - "戦闘装着セット”, issued in the troop where the soldier is assigned
  • Combat Underwear Type 2 - A khaki flame-resistant T-shirt, usually issued only one(each soldier has to purchase his own underwear) and mainly used for ceremonies etc.
  • Cold-Weather Combat Uniform Inner (Under) - A long-sleeved shirt and matching pants, made from thin synthetic fabric, often referred to as "カエル (frog)" from the fabric's fluorescent green
  • Cold-Weather Combat Uniform Inner (Outer) - Acryl sweater and matching pants, comes with a buttoned collar which is worn folded, often referred to as "バッタ (grasshopper)" from its color
  • Cold-Weather Combat Uniform Middle Layer - Often referred to as "宇宙服 (spacesuit)" from its shiny and bulky appearance
  • Work Jacket - Issued as personal item. Intended to be used in cold seasons over the work uniform. Consists of two chest pockets and two lower pockets (with flaps without closures). Despite of the fact that the item is a cold-weather jacket, the camo version somehow contains hemp fabric, and is hoodless. Since the cold-weather combat jacket is warmer, rarely used in many troops.
  • Combat Rainwear (ja) - The same item is issued as personal item(not as Combat Loading Set) but with a different name(Compact Rainwear Type 3), often mocked as "Shimitex(soak-tex)" or "Nisetex(sham-tex)", due to the poor water-proof coating which disappears after several use
  • Combat Boots Type 2 (ja) - Jungle boots with kevlar-like lining, the same model issued as a personal item is called "半長靴3型 (Boots Type 3 (ja))"
  • Cold-Weather Boots - Compatible with military issue cross-country skis
  • Combat Bullet-Proof Vest (ja) - Storaged as weapon, instead of personal belonging, introduced in 1992. Comes with ammo pouches which aren't used to prevent damaging. In some troops Type 2 bullet-proof vest (ja) and/or Type 3 bullet-proof vest (ja) are issued .
  • Type I Combat Rations - Can-meshi (canned type ration packs)[1]
  • Type II Combat Rations - Pack-meshi (boiled in bag type ration packs)[1]
  • Name Tags - Unlike the new rank/skill insignias (in green shade of the current camo), usually the name tags are in OD of Type 65 Work Uniform. Since the army regulation doesn't mention about the name tags, each unit has its own regulation for the tags. Therefore, the layout, length, font, letters (Japanese or Latin alphabets), place of wearing, how to attach the tag (either sewing or using velcro) etc. vary. Some troops do not use name tags for winter jackets.
  • Tracksuits and running shoes - The recruits are demanded to buy their own tracksuits and a pair of running shoes, upon the enlistment. There is a uniform code called "ジャー戦 (Jaasen, literally jersey and combat uniform)”, which is composed of combat jacket, combat cap, trackpants and sneakers. This uniform code is often used in the boot camp for jogging, eating in canteen or going to bath, since it's easy to identify the name and the troop of the recruits. Any trackpants and sneakers are permitted for the code, for instance, it is possible to wear the following items: Nike Air Force 1, Adidas Superstar trackpants etc.
  • 部隊識別帽 (Baseball Cap) - Many troops use baseball caps with the troop's logo instead of the issued combat cap. Since it is unofficially introduced, each soldier has to buy it by him/herself. There are no standards for the cap, although, in many cases the cap has the soldier's family name on top of the left ear.
  • CAB Clothing Coolnice 2 Pack OD T-shirts - Issued to some troops during the 2011 Tohoku campaigns
  • Carabiner - May be purchased individually, to attach it to the either right or left waist tab on the combat uniform to hang gloves or combat cap.
  • Shoulder Pouch - May be purchased individually, since the combat uniform doesn't have shoulder pockets. There are various commercial versions. Some troops use the velcro version to attach unit patches, insignias etc..

See also: Field Ration - Asia

Type 88 helmet

Infantry weapons[edit]

Name Type Quantity Notes Picture
Standard issue
SCK/Minebea 9mm Pistol Semi-automatic pistol Made under license by Minebea Used with a leather holster or Safariland leg holster. Sig P220 JGSDF 9mm Pistol.JPG
Minebea 9mm Machine Pistol Machine Pistol Made by Minebea Minebea 9mm submachine gun 20120408.jpg
Howa Type 89 Assault rifle 5.56 x 45mm NATO Made by Howa. Standard issue to front line units. A folding stock version is in production for airborne troops and tank troops (including mortar platoons under recon troops etc.). Howa type 89 01.jpg
Howa Type 64 Battle rifle 7.62 x 51mm NATO Made by Howa. Second line troops only, being replaced by the Type 89. Type 64 Rifle.jpg
Sumitomo MINIMI 5.56mm Machine Gun Light machine gun Made under license by Sumitomo. From 1979, over 5,350 underspec MINIMIs were introduced. These MINIMIs often cause malfunctions, for instance requiring to reload after each 6-round shots. M249 FN MINIMI DA-SC-85-11586 c1.jpg
 NTK/Sumitomo Type 62 machine gun General purpose machine gun 7.62 x 51mm NATO   Made by Sumitomo. Weighs 3.3 kilo more than the MINIMI which is replacing it as a SAW. Still used for Infantry support as a Medium machine gun. Also used on vehicles.
Japan Type 62 General Purpose Machine Gun.jpg
 NTK/Sumitomo Type 74 In-vehicle machine gun In-vehicle machine gun   Made by Sumitomo 62式7.62mm機関銃 (8464062457).jpg
 Sumitomo M2 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun Heavy Machine gun   Made under license by Sumitomo. Copy of Browning M2. PEO M2E2-QCB HMG.jpg
M24 Sniper Rifle Sniper Rifle Made by Remington Arms. Standard sniper rifle of US Armed Forces. M24 SWS.jpg
 Howa Type 64 Sniper Rifle Sniper Rifle Made by Howa. Indifferent adaption of standard battle rifle. Still used by sharpshooter regular troops, but trained snipers now use the M24. 64rifle(sniper).jpg
 Howa Type 96 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher Automatic Grenade Launcher   Made by Howa Type96 40mm Automatic Grenad Gun.JPG
Type 06 rifle grenade Rifle grenade Made by Daikin Type 06 rifle grenade.jpg
M67 series fragmentation grenade Hand grenade Produced under license by a domestic concern (Daikin?). Still in at least limited service, including training and reserve units. M67b.jpg
M18 Claymore mine Directional fragmentation Anti-personnel mine (Command activated) Licensed production by? US M18a1 claymore mine.jpg
 Howa 84RR Recoilless rifle   Made under license by Howa(had been imported from 1978 to 1984, the licensed ones have pouches in Japanese OD color, unlike the original model). Models with wornout parts have an issue of safety lever automatically being located on fire position. Carl Gustaf. recoilless.rifle.jpg
 Nissan/IHI Aerospace 110mm LAM Anti-Tank rocket launcher   Made under license by Nissan/IHI IHI Aerospace Panzerfaust3.jpg
Special forces
 H&K USP Semi-automatic pistol   Only Japanese Special Forces Group. HKUSP.png
 H&K MP7 Machine pistol   Only Japanese Special Forces Group. H&K MP7.jpg
 M4 carbine Assault rifle   Only Japanese Special Forces Group. PEO M4 Carbine RAS M68 CCO.jpg
FN SCAR[2] Assault rifle Only Japanese Special Forces Group
Made by FN Herstal.
MK16 Scar L Sideview.png
Heckler & Koch G36[3] Assault rifle Only Japanese Special Forces Group
Made by Heckler & Koch
Domok g36.JPG
HK417[3] Battle rifle Only Japanese Special Forces Group
Made by Heckler & Koch
Heckler & Koch HK417 Sniper Rifle of PASKAL.JPG
 M203 grenade launcher grenade launcher   Only Japanese Special Forces Group. M203 1.jpg
M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) Anti-Tank rocket launcher (Disposable) Used by 1st Airborne Brigade, WAIR, and Japanese Special Forces Group. USAF M72 LAW.jpg
M32A1 multi-shot grenade launcher Grenade launcher Only known to be in use with WAIR. photo essay 110216-M-8774P-019.jpg
Type 96 Heavy mortar (RT 120mm Mortar) Heavy mortar 430 built under license with the ordnance by howa JGSDF 120mm mortar RT.JPG
L16 81mm Mortar mortar built under license with the ordnance by howa 81mmMORT L16.png
Hirtenberger M6C-210 Light Mortar Mo60 newHirtenberg.jpg
FH-70 Towed Howitzer Howitzer 480 built under license with the ordnance by Japan Steel Works Howitzer FH70 03.jpg


Anti-tank, anti-ship missiles[edit]

Surface-to-air missile[edit]


Name Type Quantity Notes Picture
Armoured vehicles
Type 10 Main Battle Tank Main battle tank 80 built by Mitsubishi Type10MBT.jpg
Type 90 Main Battle Tank Main battle tank 340 built by Mitsubishi Japanese Type 90 Tank - 2.jpg
Type 74 Main Battle Tank Main battle tank 280- built by Mitsubishi 74式戦車 (8465384154).jpg
Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle wheeled tank destroyer 36 built by Mitsubishi Maneuver Combat Vehicle 08.jpg
Type 89 Infantry Fighting Vehicle Infantry fighting vehicle 120 built by Mitsubishi Type89 FV.jpg
Type 82 Command and Communication Vehicle[5] Command and Communication Vehicle 231 built by Komatsu. To read a review of a US vehicle with the same function see: M1130 Commander's Vehicle. JGSDF Type82 Command Communication Vehicle 20120610-02.JPG
Type 87 Reconnaissance and Patrol Vehicle Reconnaissance vehicle 111 built by Komatsu Japanese - Type 87 Scout - 5.jpg
Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle 47 built by Komatsu JGSDF Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle 02.jpg
Komatsu Light Armored Vehicle Light armored vehicle 1673 built by Komatsu JGSDF Light Armored vehicle 20120408-01.JPG
Type 73 Armored Personnel Carrier Armored personnel carrier 338 built by Mitsubishi JGSDF Type73 APC.jpg
Type 96 Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier[6] Armored personnel carrier 365 built by Komatsu JGSDF Type96 APC 20120429-02.JPG
Type 92 Mine Clearance Vehicle (not to be confused with Type 92 mine roller (attachment to multiple vehicle types - see below)). Mine Clearance Vehicle - Equipped with a MCLC system.  ? built by Nissan Motor Aerospace division (pre-2000)/IHI Aerospace Co., Ltd./Hitachi 92式地雷原処理車0409 装備 27.jpg
Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle Infantry mobility vehicle 4(+4 on order) JGSDF Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle 20161023.jpg
Assault Amphibious Vehicle(AAVP-7A1) Armoured personnel carrier (4 AAVP-7A1s being tested, out of a requirement for 52.)[7] News Photo 040718-N-5055W-061.jpg
NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Reconnaissance Vehicle 17(33 on order) built by Komatsu JGSDF NBC reconnaissance vehicle 20120610-06.JPG
Type 99 155 mm Self-propelled Howitzer Self-propelled artillery 111 built by Mitsubishi/Japan Steel Works 99式自走155mmりゅう弾砲 (8464256105).jpg
Type 99 Artillery Support Vehicle Ammunition resupply vehicle built by Hitachi Type 99 ASV 01.jpg
M270 MLRS Multiple rocket launcher 99 built under license with the ordnance by IHI AEROSPACE 多連装ロケットシステム 自走発射機M270008b 装備 167.jpg
M110 Self-propelled Howitzer Self-propelled artillery 91 built under license with the ordnance by Japan Steel Works and Komatsu 203mm Self-Propelled Howitzer M110A2.JPG
Type 87 Artillery Support Vehicle Ammunition resupply vehicle built by Hitachi 87式砲側弾薬車 (8465278060).jpg
Type 96 120 mm Self-propelled Mortar Self-Propelled Mortar 24 The nickname as the Gottohanma. Built by Hitachi/Howa[8] JGSDF Type96 120M(SP).jpg
Type 87 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun 52 built by Mitsubishi JGSDF type 87 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun 02.jpg

Other vehicles[edit]

Type 92 mine roller


The JGSDF operates 497 fixed-wing and rotary aircraft (2014).[9]

Name Role Type Number[9] Notes Photo
Fixed-wing aircraft
Beechcraft Super King Air Utility and Liaison LR-2 7 One lost on May 15, 2017.[10] LR-2.JPG
Mitsubishi MU-2 Utility and Liaison LR-1 2 LR-1.JPG
Boeing AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter AH-64DJP 13 Built by Fuji JGSDF AH-64D 20120108-01.JPG
Bell AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter AH-1S 88 Built by Fuji AH-1SinTakayubaru.JPG
Kawasaki OH-1 Scout Helicopter OH-1 38 Up to 112 on order. Replacing the OH-6D fleet. OH-1 JGSDF 20080518 4.jpg
OH-6D Scout Helicopter OH-6D 106 Built by Kawasaki. Being slowly replaced by the Kawasaki OH-1. Hughes OH-6.jpg
Bell V-22B Osprey Transport Helicopter V-22B 17 Ordered May 2015
Boeing CH-47 Chinook Transport Helicopter CH-47J
58 Built by Kawasaki CH-47JA 20090822 Yokota AFB-02.JPG
UH-60 Black Hawk Transport Helicopter UH-60JA 34 Most built by Mitsubishi JGSDF UH-60JA 20090822-02.JPG
Bell UH-1 Utility Helicopter UH-1H
153 Built by Fuji. To be replaced by a version of the Bell 412 EPI.[11][12][13][14] JGSDF UH-1J 20120520-01.JPG
Enstrom 480 Trainer helicopter TH-480B 12 8 on order. G-LADD-Enstrom480.jpg
Eurocopter EC 225 VIP Helicopter EC 225LP 3 Replacing the AS332L[15][16] Eurocopter EC 225 JGSDF JG1021 20120108-2.JPG
Fuji FFOS & Fuji FFRS Recon UAV Small helicopter UAV. Primarily used as a forward reconnaissance platform for field artillery.[17][18] 遠隔操縦観測システム 無人機.jpg
Boeing Insitu ScanEagle Recon UAV 1 Delivered by Insitu Pacific[19]
Yamaha R-MAX Recon UAV Small helicopter UAV[20]
Honeywell RQ-16 T-Hawk Surveillance UAV Apparently in service in some numbers with the Central Readiness Force. Used primarily for hazardous area reconnaissance (e.g. radiation survey). MicroAirVehicle.jpg

Historic, retired or reserve equipment[edit]

Small arms
JGSDF soldiers in Type 65 work uniforms prepare to fire M31 HEAT rifle grenades during training.
Other equipment
Type 66 helmet
Anti-tank guided missiles
  • TATM-2 ('Heavy' Anti-Tank Missile, in the same class as the Australian Malkara. Likely procured in very limited numbers.)
  • Type 64 Anti-Tank Missile (Also known as ATM-1, or more commonly KAM-3D. Relatively small stocks still held in reserve)
Anti-aircraft guns
Other armored fighting vehicles
Light and Utility Vehicles
  • Willys MB (Transferred from U.S. Army stocks at the time of the National Police Reserve.)
  • Mitsubishi Jeep J2 (Inherited from National Safety Forces.)
  • Toyota Jeep BJ (Developed to NPR requirement, first 298 examples delivered to National Safety Force in 1953 as its 'official patrol car'. Further procurement for the NSF curtailed. Note: Jeep BJ direct ancestor of Toyota Land Cruiser.)[25]
  • Toyota/Nissan 3/4 ton truck (In service from 1950s to 1970s.)
  • Toyota 2FQ-15 (FQ-10 ?) 4×4 truck (Inherited from NPR. Reportedly based on the Dodge M37.)[26]
  • Toyota FQ-15 (known to U.S. Army as HQ-15) 6×6 heavy duty truck[27]
  • Rikuo Type 97
  • Harley-Davidson WLA (From U.S. Army Stocks, likely in relatively limited numbers but not confirmed.)


  1. ^ a b c d Ration Packs for Japanese Forces Japan Security Watch
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ ja:12式地対艦誘導弾 Japanese Wikipedia entry on the Type 12 SSM, Accessed 9 July 2013.[better source needed]
  5. ^ Category:JGSDF Type 82 (CCV) Wikimedia Commons[better source needed]
  6. ^ ARG. "Type 96 Armored Personnel Carrier". Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  7. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Type 96 entry in the Self-Propelled Howitzers section at
  9. ^ a b "World Air Forces 2014".
  10. ^ (in French)
  11. ^ Donald, David Fuji and Bell Working Together for UH-X July 12, 2017 AI Online Retrieved February 22, 2017
  12. ^ Bell Helicopter Congratulates Fuji Heavy Industries on Japanese Ministry of Defense UH-X Contract Award September 2, 2015 Bell Helicopters Retrieved February 22, 2017
  13. ^ FHI UH-X (Bell Model 412EPI) Military Troop Transport Helicopter / Support Gunship Military Factory Retrieved February 22, 2017
  14. ^ UH-X Multipurpose Helicopter Global Security Retrieved February 22, 2017
  15. ^ "Eurocopter Canada - News 04/07/06". Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  16. ^ EADS Press Release - Japan Defense Agency Received First EC225 In VIP Configuration For The Japanese Emperor’s Royal Flight Service Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ GSDF Fuji School 57th Open Day 2011 [Part Two] Japan Security Watch, 21 August 2011
  18. ^ "Fuji FFOS (Japan), Unmanned helicopters - Rotary-wing - Military". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  19. ^ Insitu Pacific Delivers ScanEagle UAS for the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force -, 14 May 2013
  20. ^ "Yamaha RMAX (Japan), Unmanned helicopters - Rotary-wing - Civil". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  21. ^ a b Licensed by Howa.
  22. ^ Small number of M3s are held in reserve by various JGSDF special forces units.
  23. ^ Type 60 Armoured Personnel Carrier (
  24. ^ The World Worlds - Weapons Database Type SU 60
  25. ^ The rise of the Land Cruiser (
  26. ^ 2FQ-15 The Old Land Cruiser Company website
  27. ^ Toyota FQ-10 / FQ-15 / HQ-15 (195?-196?), MILITARY TOYOTAS
  28. ^ Fuji LM-1 Nikko