Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle

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Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle
JGSDF Type 16.jpg
TypeTank destroyer
Place of originJapan
Production history
DesignerTRDI (Technical Research & Development Institute)[a]
Designed2007 onwards
ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Unit cost700 million yen[1]
Producedplanned start in 2015
No. built200–300 (original requirement)
VariantsMitsubishi Armored Vehicle
Mass26 tonnes
Length8.45 m (27 ft 9 in)
Width2.98 m (9 ft 9 in)
Height2.87 m (9 ft 5 in)
Crew4 [b]

105 mm gun (developed by Japan Steel Works)[2]
12.7 mm NATO M2 Browning machine gun, coaxial Sumitomo Type 74 7.62 mm NATO medium machine gun
Engine4-cylinder water-cooled
turbocharged diesel engine
570 hp
Power/weight21.9 hp/tonne
SuspensionWheeled 8 x 8
400 km (250 mi)
Speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Maneuver Combat Vehicle 08.jpg

The Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle (16式機動戦闘車, Hitoroku-shiki kidou-sentou-sha) is a wheeled tank destroyer of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.


The Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle (MCV) equips designated combat units. Due to its light weight and small size, it is designed for easy deployment (by aircraft if needed) allowing rapid movement on narrow roads and in built-up areas in response to various contingencies. Despite its small size and light armor, it can successfully attack much larger armored fighting vehicles as well as personnel, using its large caliber gun.[3]

For FY2016, the MOD has requested funding for 36 examples of the MCV, to enter service with elements of the 8th Division at Kumamoto, and the 14th Brigade at Zentsūji. Both formations are currently planned for conversion to rapid reaction forces[4] (though these plans, as with the original plans for the MCV [see History], are presently (mid-2015) under review and subject to possible major revision). The intention is for the MCV to act as both as a rapid reaction asset against conventional incursions on the outer islands and as a counter-insurgency vehicle against asymmetrical attacks in urban areas of Japan by enemy special forces, intelligence operatives, or their proxies.

MCVs are expected to be highly functional, but can also be loaded on Kawasaki C-2 at the same time. [5]JPSDF is dedicated to securing transport vessels for maritime transport independently, and will be carried on these vessels and transported to the Okinawa Islands.

Although the vehicle uses modular armor, it has a relatively delicate undercarriage and drive system that may be vulnerable to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other underbody blasts (such as from anti-tank mines). Since the MCV is designed only for defending against enemy invasion of the home islands, it is unlikely to find itself fighting a lengthy counter-insurgency campaign in a foreign nation, or encountering enemy minefields while spearheading an invasion of an enemy power.[c]

The main gun is manually loaded as a cost-saving measure. Some critics have expressed doubts about its effectiveness due to this strain on the crew in hot conditions, as the vehicle does not have air conditioning.[6] Concerns have also been expressed by some about what they perceive as a shortfall in the MCV's off-road capability.

In 2009 resistance testing of the shielding against HEAT rounds was conducted using the Carl Gustav M2; and against regular kinetic ammunition the frontal shield was developed to resist shots from 20 mm to 30 mm autocannons while the side armor was deemed sufficient to resist 12.7 mm heavy machine gun fire.


The Technical Research & Development Institute of Japan's Ministry of Defense had made several prototype vehicles since 2008. They unveiled their fourth of what were initially called "mobile combat vehicle" prototypes on 9 October 2013. JGSDF service Acceptance tests were scheduled to begin in 2014 or 2015, with initial operational deployment by the JGSDF planned for 2016.[7][8] 99 MCVs were originally planned to be introduced by the end of FY 2018.[6] The name of the vehicle was changed to maneuver combat vehicle during the second half of 2011.

The MCV was part of a new armored vehicle strategy that prioritized light air-transportable firepower. Originally the number of main battle tanks was to be reduced from 760 to 390, with most remaining tanks to be concentrated on the main Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Kyushu. Some 200–300 MCVs were to be procured and these would be airlifted to islands when and where they were needed. The idea was that the smaller, lighter, and faster MCV could be redeployed quicker than tanks to better defend the outlying islands.[9] This represented a shift in Japanese armored vehicle structure from one designed to repel a Soviet invasion from the north to a more mobile force aimed at possibly defending against a Chinese invasion of the southern island chain.[6] The MCV was intended to help re-equip existing divisions and brigades reorganised into mobile (rapid reaction) divisions/brigades, as well as equip new dedicated rapid reaction regiments alongside (eventually) the Light-weight Combat Vehicle System (LCV) which was also designed with defense of the outer islands in mind.

See also[edit]


PR image from the TRDI / MOD illustrating MCV and possible use.
  1. ^ Became the Acquisition Technology and Logistics Agency in 2015.
  2. ^ some prototypes equipped with an autoloader had a crew of three
  3. ^ Aircraft or artillery delivered mines deployed by an invading force, or infantry placed mines remain a possibility


  1. ^ http://www.mof.go.jp/budget/budger_workflow/budget/fy2016/seifuan28/12-1.pdf
  2. ^ http://combat1.sakura.ne.jp/KIDOU.htm
  3. ^ TRDI 2011 Pamphlet pp.8 Department of Ground Systems Development Archived 20 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Record defense budget request shifts focus to islands closest to China". The Asahi Shimbun. 1 September 2015. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  5. ^ [空輸試験性能 http://oretumariore.blog121.fc2.com/blog-entry-780.html]
  6. ^ a b c Japan To Emphasize Military Mobility With MCV, Defensenews.com, 12 October 2014
  7. ^ "Army of Japan unveils its new MCV 8x8 High Mobility Combat Vehicle", Armyrecognition.com, 11 October 2013
  8. ^ Japanese MCV Combat Vehicle Design Unveiled - Armedforces-Int.com, 11 October 2013
  9. ^ Japan going light on tanks in new defense plan, Asia.nikkei.com, 22 November 2013

External links[edit]