Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Forces (JGSDF) future wheeled armoured personnel carrier will be the Patria AMV XP 8×8.
According to the Ministry of Defence’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA), the AMV has been selected to replace the current Type-96 8×8 which has been in service since 1996. This follows months of testing and evaluations in a process that began in 2018.
A statement by Patria, a Finnish defence firm, stated “Patria has industry-leading experience of licensing and cooperation with local industries…and we are committed to this in Japan as well.” A local subsidiary, Patria Japan Ltd has been established to support the AMV effort. Japan will be the ninth user of the AMV.
The next step will be licence negotiations and selection and coordination of local industries and suppliers a process Patria has previously established with other national programs. An ATLA official shared that based on similar Patria AMV licence production programs like KTO Rosomak in Poland and Badger in South Africa it expected “a good percentage of AMVs (value) to be produced in Japan”.
The AMV XP, (with XP standing for Extra Payload, extra performance, and extra protection) is the latest version of the AMV which was first introduced in 2001. The design emphasizes mobility and protection with the later equivalent to resisting 30mm ballistic threats (Level K5+) and STANAG 4a/4b mine/IED blast.
It is a modular design that provides for both mission adaption, the application of local components, and fitting of a range of weapons up to 120mm. Its large interior volume allows carrying up to twelve soldiers and its outfitting for various roles. A fully independent hydropneumatic suspension, Integrated Terrain Control System (ITCS) and optional rear axle steering enhance its road and cross-country manoeuvrability. It is available with amphibius capability as well. The vehicle is full-digital and networked with GVA interface data and controls. Its electrical power generation and digital backbone are designed to support tactical requirements for Command and Control, situational awareness, Health and Usage Monitoring, and on-board diagnostics. It is available in a standard APC and high roof version the later suitable for command or ambulance.
The projected fielding of the AMV XP is in line with the ground forces new emphasis on highly mobile units capable of rapidly responding to contingencies. The specific configuration or variants and the quantity that will be required by the JGSDF has not yet been announced. ATLA earlier this year budgeted JPY23.2 billion (US$170 million) toward procuring twenty-nine vehicles in fiscal year 20 by 23 with delivery by 2026.
The Type 96 was only fielded as a personnel carrier with an open roof mounted manually operated heavy machine gun. However, an apparently locally developed .50 machine gun Remote Weapon Station had been observed in 2020 demonstrated on a Type 16 Manoeuvre Combat Vehicle (MCV) and could be an option.
The force also has the Type 82 8×8 armoured mobile command post with high rear compartment, though it not clear if it too might be replaced by the AMV XP. The JGSDF currently fields 365 Type 96 and 231 Type 82 vehicles.
by Stephen W. Miller