Type 10

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Type 10
A JGSDF Type 10 Tank in 2015
TypeMain battle tank
Place of originJapan
Service history
In service2012–present
Production history
ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Unit cost$15 million (2021)
Produced2010 (in production)
No. built106 (FY 2010–2020)[1]: 5
Mass40 tonnes (basic loadout), 44 tonnes (standard loadout), 48 tonnes (full loadout)
Length9.485 m
Width3.24 m
Height2.30 m
Crew3 (commander, gunner and driver)

ArmorNano-crystal steel, modular ceramic composite armor, light-weight upper armor.
Japan Steel Works 120 mm 44 caliber smoothbore cannon with automatic loader (32 rounds)
Type 90 12.7 mm machine gun
Type 74 7.62 mm machine gun
Engine4-stroke V8 diesel 22.6 litre
1,200 hp/2,300 rpm
Power/weight27 hp/tonne
TransmissionContinuously variable transmission (Hydraulic Mechanical Transmission)
SuspensionHydropneumatic suspension
500 km
Maximum speed Forward: 70 km/h
Backward: 70 km/h[2]

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, entering service in 2012. 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.[3]


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.[4] 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.[4] Heavy emphasis was placed on C4I capabilities as well as on performance, firepower, protection and mobility.[5]


Development history[edit]

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.[4] After assessing the upgrade potential of current Type 74 and Type 90 main battle tanks, the Ministry of Defense 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.[4]


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.[6]

Compared to the Type 90, the Type 10 is lighter. However, the weight of the composite armor has been greatly strengthened, from 1,380 kg to 1,940 kg for the turret and from 1,249 kg to 2,680 kg for the hull. In the penetration resistance test, APFSDS type IV (Prototype of Type 10 APFSDS) was used to shoot at full load from 250 m[7] based on the Japanese Ministry of Defense standard "Resilience test method for armored kinetic energy bullets NDS Z 0012B".[8] As a result, it is said that each composite armor module and mantlet achieved the required performance based on the required specification "Type 10 tank GV-Y120001E" for frontal protection.

The composite armor technology has been greatly improved compared to the Type 90 tank, and it has become possible to make it with the same protective performance with a weight of 60%. As for the basic armor, "nanocrystal bulletproof steel" and "triple hardness bulletproof steel" are used to improve the protection performance. The upper surface armor adopts a "lightweight bulletproof structure for the upper surface" and can effectively respond to "EFP" and the like.[9]


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.[4] The Type 10's new cannon can 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.[10] The Type 10 APFSDS round is composed of amorphous metals containing heavy metal particles. It has high rigidity and is self-sharpening,[11] Lightweight ammunition is fired at high initial velocity (Estimated 1,850 m/s up to 1,900 m/s) due to high cavity pressure. The 120 mm Japan Steel Works L/44 has 640 MPa pressure and shoots a 7.8 kg projectile, while the Rheinmetall Rh-120 L/55 120 mm has 580 MPa pressure and shoots the DM53 8.35 kg projectile at 1,750 m/s. It is designed to penetrate hybrid reactive armor such as Реликт (Relikt). The Type 10 tank can also fire the JM33 APFSDS (license produced DM33 shell acquired from Germany) as well as all standard 120 mm NATO ammunition.


The Type 10 tank is equipped with C4I system (command, control, communication, computer & intelligence) called "10NW". This system can be incorporated into the JGSDF network to enable sharing of information among tanks in real-time conjunction with FCS,[4] 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.[3] Currently, the Type 10 tank is the only MBT equipped with the FCP (Fire Control Picture)-level C4I.

According to the specifications described in "Type 10 tank GV-Y120001E", it has the following functions.[12]

  • The search range for each vehicle can be specified from the platoon leader's vehicle.
  • The detected target is collated with the database and automatically identified, and the distance, position, type, etc. are automatically shared within the platoon.
  • It is possible to instruct each vehicle from the platoon leader's vehicle. It is possible to instruct both concentrated shooting and shooting at individual targets.
  • The platoon leader's vehicle automatically knows where and when the vehicle under command is aiming.
  • When aiming, FCS collates with the database and automatically aims at weak points.
  • When landing, FCS will judge the effect from the landing position and enemy vehicle type, and if uncertain, it will recommend a re-attack.
  • Automatically track multiple detected targets, determine the threat level, and recommend to occupants.

Other features are as follows:

  • Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)[13] that allows the tank to reach 70 km/h forward as well as reverse.
  • Autoloader The autoloader is faster than the Type 90 and can be Fire-to-Fire within about 3.5 seconds.[14]
  • Hydropneumatic active suspension,[13] 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.[6]

Strategic transportation[edit]

The predecessor of the 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 the Type 10 now six metric tonnes lighter than the Type 90, weighing only 44 tonnes. 84% of Japan's 17,920 bridges are passable for the Type 10, compared to only 65% for the Type 90 and 40% for mainstream western main battle tanks.[15]


The development costs as of 2008 are approximately JPY ¥48,400M (approximately USD $450M). Each unit is expected to cost approximately ¥700M ($6.5M).[6]

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).[16]

These Type 10 tanks entered JGSDF service in January, 2012.[17] Currently, there are 76 Type 10 tanks in service, with plans as of 2020 to order 12 more.[18]


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).[19] The engine was to power the Turkish Altay 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.[20]


  •  Japan, Japanese Self-Defense Force




  1. ^ "令和2年度中央調達の主要調達予定品目" [Major Products to be Procured for FY 2020 Central Procurement] (PDF) (in Japanese). 防衛装備庁. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  2. ^ 10式戦車 走行展示 Type10 Tank, Japan's new MBT. YouTube. 11 July 2010. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Introduction of the aircraft Type 10 tank -Japanese Ministry of Defense, Japan Defense Focus No.33 Column". Oct 2012. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Ichinohe 2011.
  5. ^ Japanese Ministry of Defense Technology Research and Development Institute (TRDI). "Department of Ground Systems Development". Archived from the original on September 1, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c GlobalSecurity.org. "Type 10 MBT-X Prototype (TK-X)". Archived from the original on December 12, 2018.
  7. ^ "正面要部耐弾性試験のための労務借上" [Borrowing labor for bulletproof test of main part of front] (PDF). p. 13. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 21, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  8. ^ "Resilience test method for armored kinetic energy bullets NDS Z 0012B" (PDF). Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  9. ^ "防衛庁技術研究本部五十年史" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Japanese MOF report" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  11. ^ "高速飛翔体及びその製造方法". Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  12. ^ Defense Industrial Production Committee 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Accelerating Defence Acquisition: What Defence Can Learn From the World of Motorsport" (PDF). RUSI Defence Systems. Royal United Services Institute: 81–82. June 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 20, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  14. ^ "10式戦車による戦車射撃訓練". Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  15. ^ Ministry of Defence (April 2010). "新たな時代の安全保障と防衛力に関する懇談会 - 第5回配布資料 「防衛生産・技術基盤」" [Handout for the Fifth Meeting of The Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era - Defense Production and Technology Base] (PDF) (in Japanese). Archived (PDF) from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "Based on the production of thirteen Type 10 tanks during FY2010" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on March 23, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  17. ^ "時事ドットコム:動画特集 陸上自衛隊「10式戦車」入魂式=量産型1号車に機甲の魂を注入" [Ceremony to mark the unit on the first mass-produced vehicle]. 時事ドットコム (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  18. ^ Armyrecognition.com, ed. (March 16, 2020). "Army of Japan to acquire more local-made Type 10 Main Battle Tanks MBTs". www.armyrecognition.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  19. ^ Armyrecognition.com, ed. (January 7, 2014). "Japan is looking to develop an engine for main battle tank in collaboration with Turkey". Archived from the original on January 7, 2014.
  20. ^ "Japan Deal Scrapped, Turkey Looking for Tank Engine". Defensenews.com. 5 March 2014. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014.


  • Defense Industrial Production Committee, ed. (February 2014). "10式戦車と今後の戦車製造の態勢" [Type 10 tanks and the future of tank manufacturing]. Special Journal of Defense Industrial Production Committee (防衛生産委員会特報) (in Japanese). Japan Business Federation (285). NAID 40019994077.
  • Kiyotani, Shinichi (27 February 2008). "Japan unveils TK-X main battle tank prototype". Jane's Defence Weekly. 45 (9): 13.
  • Ichinohe, Takao (June 2011). "Type 10 Tanks of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force". 10式戦車と次世代大型戦闘車 [Type 10 Tanks and Next-generation Heavy Fighting Vehicles]. Supplement to Japan Military Review (in Japanese). NCID AN00067836.
  • Technical Research and Development Institute, ed. (2012). 防衛省技術研究本部六十年史 [Sixty Years of the Technical Research Headquarters of the Ministry of Defense] (in Japanese). Ministry of Defense. NCID BB10936527.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]