Type 96

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  

The Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force has type-classified a new 8 × 8 armoured personnel carrier called the Type 96. This is now in production and in service with the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force. As of late 1999, a total of 46 Type 96 (8 × 8) APCs had been delivered to the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force. This included 28 manufactured in late 1999 with another 28 ordered in FY2000.

Since then, orders have been placed on a regular basis with 31 ordered in FY2003 and 14 in FY2004. It is estimated that total production of the Type 96 is now about 200 units.

The prime contractor is probably Komatsu or Mitsubishi. The former company designed and built the Type 87 (6 × 6) reconnaissance and patrol vehicle while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries designed and built the Type 82 (6 × 6) command and communications vehicle. Full details of both these vehicles are given in a separate entry. Japan has not exported any of its armoured fighting vehicles. It is understood that production of the Type 87 and Type 82 6 × 6 vehicles is now complete. Like all Japanese armoured vehicles the Type 96 was not offered on the export market. Description

The hull of the Type 96 APC is of all-welded construction with the engine compartment being located at the front of the vehicle on the left side. The exhaust outlet is on the left side of the hull roof.

The driver is seated at the front of the vehicle on the right side and is provided with a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear and three day periscopes for forward observation. The central one can be replaced by a passive periscope for driving at night.

The commander/gunner is seated to the rear of the driver and has a raised cupola, which is provided with day periscopes for all-round observation and a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear. Mounted on the forward part of the cupola is a .50 (12.7 mm) M2 machine gun which can probably be aimed and fired from within the cupola. More recently, some vehicles have been fitted with a locally developed 40 mm automatic grenade launcher.

The troop compartment is at the rear of the vehicle and normal means of entry and exit for the troops is via a power-operated ramp located at the rear of the vehicle. Over the top of the troop compartment are five roof hatches, three on the left and two on the right, all of which open outwards. At least two firing ports and associated vision devices are provided in each side of the rear troop compartment.

Mounted on top of each side of the troop compartment, towards the rear, is a bank of four forward-firing smoke grenade launchers.

Standard equipment includes powered steering on the front four roadwheels, central tyre pressure regulation system which allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure to suit the terrain being crossed, NBC system and a laser warning device which is mounted at the front of the vehicle on the left side of the roof. This is of the same type as fitted to a number of other Japanese armoured fighting vehicles such as the Type 90 MBT. Variants

NBC reconnaissance vehicle

Japan is developing a new NBC reconnaissance vehicle that is understood to be based on the Type 96 (8 × 8) chassis. It is fitted with a complete array of sensors, as well as a weather observation system, self-decontamination system and an integrated air-purification system.

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Type 96 quantities:
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