Japan’s Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF) is in the final stages of its evaluation of candidates as a potential replacement for its current Type 96 wheeled armoured personnel carrier introduced in 1996 and manufactured by Komatsu.
The Force, following an international assessment of a number of wheeled combat vehicles, in 2020, selected the Patria AMV XP from Finland and a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries local development the MAV (Mitsubishi Armorer Vehicle” or “Mobile Armoured Vehicle) for evaluation. Two candidate vehicles from each firm’s have been undergoing technical test and field trials through 2021 with testing completion reportedly intended for the Fall of 2022. Recent public sighting of test vehicles have occurred in Japan, an unusual occurrence in what has previously been a tightly-controlled project.
The Mitsubishi MAV is an entirely company funded 8 X 8 wheeled combat vehicle design that draws from the company’s development experience with its Type 16 chassis used in the Manoeuvre Combat Vehicle. Japan’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA) announced it as a candidate in September 2016. It has a curb weight of 18 tons with maximum battle weight of 28 tons. It uses a Mitsubishi 4MA four-cylinder diesel engine and can have independent, double wishbone or hydropneumatics suspension. With a crew of two and ability to carry up to eleven soldiers it was first publicly exhibited at DSEI Japan 2019.
The Patria candidate is its latest development the AMV-XP modular, multi-role 8 X 8 wheeled armoured vehicle. AMP-XP scalable protection can address ballistic threats to level 5+ and STANAG 4a/4b mine/IED. The design also minimizes the radar and thermal signature. A fully independent hydro-pneumatic suspension and its Integrated Terrain Control System, large wheels, run flats, CTIS, and ABS offer exceptional terrain manoeuvrability. With a fully digital data and control backbone as well as surplus electrical power generation AMV-XP matches future battlefield needs. Patria has previously been open to technology transfer and license production which could be anticipated as well if selected in this program. The JGSDF had suggested it could make a Type 96 replacement decision as early as the end of 2022.
by Stephen W. Miller