The Type-89 IFV is a unique product of Japan’s largest defense contractor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The Mitsubishi Type 89 has been in service with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force since 1989, and to date about 120 vehicles are in service. Development began in 1980, with four prototypes being produced in 1984. These prototypes were tested until 1986. It was accepted into service and type classified in 1989, hence the designation Type 89.

The Japanese infantry fighting vehicle has a weight of about 26.5 tons, a length of 6.8 m, a width of 3.2 m, and a height of 2.5 m. It has a crew of three, including driver, gunner and commander. Vehicle also provides accommodation for seven troops. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via the rear doors or roof hatches. There are six firing ports.

Mitsubishi Type 89
Mitsubishi Type 89

The vehicle is of relatively conventional layout with a welded steel hull. The 600 horsepower Mitsubishi 6SY31WA water-cooled diesel engine located in the front left of the hull. It drives an automatic transmission which in turn drives the track via drive sprockets at the front of the hull. On each side of the hull are six road wheels with an idler at the rear, and three track return rollers. The suspension is a torsion bar system. Type 89 can reach a maximum speed of 70 km/h, and has a range of 400 km.

The vehicle’s main armament is a two-man turret which mounts the Oerlikon Contraves KD-series 35 millimeter caliber dual-feed cannon with a cyclic rate of fire of approximately 200 rounds per minute, which is produced under license in Japan. Coaxially mounted to the cannon is a Type 74 7.62 millimeter caliber machine gun. The turret also mounts a single Type 79 Jyu-MAT missile on each side of the turret. Underneath the missile launcher is an array of four smoke grenade launchers.

The Type 89 is now part of the Japan Rapid Reaction Force. Apart from some drilling exercises in the Home Islands, these vehicles were not engaged in peacekeeping or any operations outside Japan.


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