A JGSDF Type 10 Tank in 2015
|Type||Main battle tank|
|Place of origin||Japan|
|Manufacturer||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries|
|Unit cost||$8.4 million (2014)|
|Produced||2010 (in production)|
|No. built||106 (FY 2010–2020):5|
|Mass||40 tonnes (basic loadout), 44 tonnes (standard loadout), 48 tonnes (full loadout)|
|Crew||3 (commander, gunner and driver)|
|Armor||Nano-crystal steel, modular ceramic composite armor, light-weight upper armor.|
|120 mm/L55 smoothbore cannon with automatic loader built under license by Japan Steel Works (36 rounds)|
|Type 90 12.7 mm machine gun|
Type 74 7.62 mm machine gun
|Engine||4-stroke V8 diesel 22.6 litre|
1,200 hp/2,300 rpm
|Transmission||Continuously variable transmission (Hydraulic Mechanical Transmission)|
|Suspension||Hydropneumatic Active suspension|
|Maximum speed||Forward: 70 km/h|
Backward: 70 km/h
The Type 10 (10式戦車, Hitomaru-shiki sensha) is a next generation main battle tank of JSDF produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force. Compared with other currently-serving main battle tanks in the JGSDF, the Type 10 has been equipped with enhancements in its capability to respond to anti-tank warfare and other contingencies.
The TK-X (MBT-X) project aimed to produce the new Type 10 main battle tank, to replace or complement the existing Type 74 and Type 90 main battle tanks that are currently in service with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force. Development began in the 1990s, and production was expected to start in 2010–2011. A prototype was revealed on February 13, 2008 at the Technology Research and Development Institute (TRDI) in Sagamihara. Heavy emphasis was placed on C4I capabilities as well as on performance, firepower, protection and mobility.
In the early 2000s, Japan decided to update its tank force to better prepare for 21st Century warfare. One of the most important requirements for the new tank is the capability of having a C4I (Command, Control, Communication and Computing) system. After assessing the upgrade potential of current Type 74 and Type 90 main battle tanks, the Ministry of Defence concluded that there was not enough internal space for a C4I system upgrade on existing tanks. Therefore, the development of a new main battle tank capable of various future battle missions was necessary.
The use of modular components significantly improved the side armor compared to the Type 90. The Commander's Panoramic Sight was moved to the right and is located at a higher position than the Type 90, giving the commander a wide range of view.
The vehicle's armor consists of modular sections, providing the ability to mount varying degrees of protection depending on the mission profile and weight requirements. Vehicle weight is 40 tonnes in base configuration, 44 tonnes in standard configuration, and 48 tonnes in full configuration (fully equipped). The prototype featured in 2008 at TRDI weighed 44 tonnes.
Whereas the Type 90 used the same 120mm Rheinmetall main gun as other Western powers, the Type 10 uses a completely new gun, developed indigenously by Japan Steel Works. There is an option for longer barrels of 50 and 55 calibers (L50, L55). The Type 10's new cannon can fire the normal JM33 APFSDS (license produced DM33 shell acquired from Germany) as well as all standard 120 mm NATO ammunition. One major improvement over the earlier Rheinmetall L44 cannon is that this new JSW gun mounted on the Type 10 tank can also fire an improved round, the newly developed Type 10 APFSDS round, which is specifically designed for and can only be fired by the Type 10.
The Type 10 tank is equipped with C4I system (Command, Control, Communication, Computer & Intelligence). This can be incorporated into the JGSDF network to enable sharing of information among tanks, as well as connected to the infantry's outdoor computer network "Regiment Command Control System" (ReCS) to facilitate integrated military operations with the infantry troops. Other features are as follows:
- Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that allows the tank to reach 70 km/h forward as well as reverse.
- Autoloader with crew of three (Commander and gunner in the turret, driver in the hull).
- Hydropneumatic active suspension, which allows it to adjust its stance and absorbs recoil when firing.
- Day/night sights mounted around the turret, providing a full 360° coverage as well as providing input to the C4I system.
The predecessor of Type 10, the Type 90 main battle tank, was deployed only in Hokkaido due to the weight limit of roads and bridges in other parts of Japan. One of the primary purposes of Type 10 is to be able to deploy anywhere in Japan. Size and weight reductions have made Type 10 now six metric tonnes lighter than Type 90, weighing only 44 tonnes. 84% of Japan's 17920 bridges are passable for the Type 10, compared to only 65% of passability of Type 90 and 40% of mainstream western main battle tanks.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense formally acknowledged the Type 10 in December 2009. In 2010, the Japanese Ministry of Defense placed a ¥12,400M order for thirteen Type 10 tanks (Unit cost: ¥954M).
These Type 10 tanks entered JGSDF service in January, 2012.
On 4 January 2014, sources revealed that Turkey was interested in signing a joint development deal of tank engines based on the Type 10's engine. The Type 10 tank boasts of high mobility, including a backward movement speed of 70 km/h (43 mph). The engine was to power the Turkish Altay indigenous tank. However, negotiations broke down and the deal was "off the agenda" by March 2014. Reasons included Japan's stringent arms export ban laws, the intention of Turkey to attempt to export the Altay, and Japan's reluctance to license the joint engine.
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