UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Type 90 Tank

The main battle tank, Type 90, is domestically designed and produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Development of the Type 90 tank was initiated in 1977, and it was accepted for service in 1990. The Type 90, equipped with 120mm gun, is a first-class tank that is equal to any tank made by leading nations of the world. The tank is equipped with a the same Rheinmetall 120-mm tank gun as the the German Leopard. The Type 90 tank carries a smoothbore barrel rather than a rifled barrel, and ammunition includes armor-piercing projectiles, antitank howitzer shells, and adhesive [high explosive plastic (HEP)] howitzer shells.

The Type 90 weighs 50 gross tons, is powered by a 1,500-horsepower engine, and has a 30-horsepower-per-ton power-to-weight ratio. With the exception of the turretless Swedish Stridsvagn (S-type) tank and various Russian models, the Type 90 tank is the first tank to achieve manpower savings by reducing the crew to three through the development of an ammunition autoloader.

Innovative technology includes a laser and thermal-guided gun and turret controls. The automatic target tracking system using a thermal image display is controlled through a tank commander's targeting periscope attached to the top of the turret in an independently rotatable mode. Night-vision range finders are integrated into fire control systems (FCS) and night vision thermal imaging systems of a passive type use the infrared rays emitted from the opposing target to provide a substantial improvement in visible range. These features enable the tank to achieve high-precision, mobile firing, and enhanced the tanks capabilities to respond rapidly to multiple targets. Proprietary technology was used on the composite armor, including steel and ceramics with superior projectile-resistant qualities.

The initial request was made during the 1988 fiscal year, while the Soviet threat was still the number one issue to the Japanese Defense Agency (JDA). In the Mid-Term Defense Program from 1991 to 1995 the total acquired was 108 tanks. For the 1996-2000 Mid-Term Defense Program the GSDF acquired a total of ninety new Main BattleTanks. Japan's military establishment in 1994 began to reflect a new independence and asignificant enhancement of capabilities. The Ground Self-Defense Force possessed a total of 1,160 main battle tanks. This number included the first of the new Type 90 tanks.

The capabilities of this tank compare with those of the US Ml. The Type 90 tank's 120 milimeter gun and 70 kilometer per hour speed make it comparable to the US Ml. The weight of the Type 90, at fifty tons, is significantly lighter than the Ml. The reduced weight makes it more suited for the terrain of the Japanese islands, and more transportable, than the Ml.

The “90-model tank,” which the Self-Defense Forces continued to buy from FY 1990 to FY 2010, had been developed on the assumption of Soviet landing operations in Hokkaido. the Type 90 tank was designed tomatch the Soviet T-80. As the model had to be larger and more powerful than Soviet tanks, it was very heavy, weighing 50 tons and costing 1 billion yen each. The weight limit on Japan’s highways is generally 40 tons, and on bridges, 25 tons. It was repeatedly questioned if the heavy tanks can actually operate on roads and bridges in the country. The government, however, said that the tank can go through water if it cannot use a bridge, and that it can be loaded on a trailer when taken apart. Using these rationales, the government decided to purchase the 90-model tank.

The Type 90 tank contributes to defense by giving the GSDF a highly capable armor force. The question becomes who is the most likely invader? However, the tanks were actually deployed after 1991, when the Soviet Union had collapsed. At first glance, it would appear that this was now a weapons systems without a threat. The main threat of North Korea is from ballistic missiles, not from amphibious or airborne invasion.

The only countries in the region capable of threatening a direct, ground attack on Japanese territory are Russia and China. As stated in Japan's 1998 defense white paper, "[T]hough the number of Ivan Rogov-class and other amphibious assault landing ships has decreased, it still holds strategic amphibious capabilities." The likelihood of armed invasion of Japan is remote, particularly by forces employing the latest Russian-designed T-80 tank. The other threat to which the Type 90 tank could apply is the growing Chinese amphbious force.

The Type 90 tank has not undergone any major updates, but it has a few subtypes.Initial production type: First production type. Even after the introduction of the B type, the name of the A type was not added. Type 90 tank (B): A type that can be equipped with a type 92 mine field processing roller, an attachment for mounting is added to the front of the vehicle body, and an operation panel is added to the cockpit. Only a few appear to have been improved. Formed in 1993. In addition, the C4I system tank regiment command and control system (T-ReCs) terminal has been installed on some vehicles, and information is shared with other 90-type tanks, 10-type tanks, and ordinary department units equipped with terminals is possible, and the combat ability is improved.

The Type 90 tank is a third-generation tank of the Ground Self-Defense Force developed as a successor to the Type 74 tank . It is read as "Kyuumarushiki". While maintaining the basic parts of the 3rd generation tank, such as high attack power with a 120mm smoothbore gun, high defense power with composite armor, and excellent mobility with a 1500 horsepower engine, it is the first Western 3rd generation tank to have an automatic loader and Equipped with an FCS with an automatic tracking function, it also incorporated unique technologies such as a suspension system with an attitude control function adopted in the Type 74 tank, making it the first domestically produced tank to be one step ahead of the rest of the world.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 21-03-2023 17:04:18 ZULU