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Type 74 MBT

The Type 74 MBT, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is armed with the British-designed 105mm L7 type rifled tank gun manufactured under licence. New 105-mm APFSDS and high-explosive antitank missile projectile (HEATMP) were developed in Japan for the Type 74. The Type 74 tank was a typically Japanese-type tank containing many Japanese-originated ideas. The hydropneumatic suspension system, including the attitude controls, make the vehicle excellent for operation over rugged Japanese terrain. The vertical variability of the road wheel positions provides superior suspension capabilities.

The Type 74's hydropneumatic suspension has a vertical travel of 450 mm, provided a major improvement on the cross-country speed of the tank, compared to the predecessor Type 61 which used a torsion-type suspension with a travel of 190 mm, Leading-edge technology of the times included gun-control and targeting devices comprised of computerized laser range finders, fire-control systems, and gun stabilization systems. The choice of an electrically powered gun turret was validated when the fourth Middle East war demonstrated that hydraulics-driven tank turrets were susceptible to fire. Mobility is roughly expressed by power-to-weight ratio and is 19 horsepower per ton for the Type 74, ranking first-class among tanks of its generation.

The Type 74 tank is equipped with floodlights with xenon lamps instead of tungsten lamps and, the initial design of the floodlight filter measured 60 cm in diameter and broke easily from the shock or air blast each time the gun was fired. Night-vision operating systems were based on models obtained through technical aid from the United States and consisted of the periscope-type hanging from the hatch above the driver's head.

The Type 74 is equipped with the ruby laser type laser range finder.





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