With the 105mm main gun, the Japanese Type-16 has more firepower than the Soviet T-54 tank.
The Type-16 weighs 26 tons, 8.45 meters long, 2.98 meters wide, and has a height of 2.87 meters. Type-16 is operated by a crew of four, consisting of: commander, gunner, loader and driver. Due to its light weight and small size, it is designed for easy deployment allowing rapid movement on narrow roads and in built-up areas in response to various contingencies.
In 2009 resistance testing of the shielding against HEAT rounds was conducted using the Carl Gustav M2; and against regular kinetic ammunition the frontal shield was developed to resist shots from 20 mm to 30 mm autocannons while the side armor was deemed sufficient to resist 14.5 mm heavy machine gun fire.
The Type-16 is built on a chassis with an 8×8 wheeled arrangement, simplifying production and repair. It seems that it was specially designed to withstand the violent recoil of the main gun. This fire support vehicle is fitted with a 570 hp turbocharged diesel engine, located in front of the hull. It is claimed that operational range on roads without refueling is only 400 km, with a top speed of up to 100 km/h (62 mph). The vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. Tyre pressure can be adjusted to increase mobility over various off-road terrain.
The primary weapon is the turreted 105mm gun, a proven tank-killer at range while also able to fire a useful HE (High Explosive) shell against “soft” targets. Low-flying aerial threats are countered by way of a turret-roof-mounted 12.7mm heavy machine gun while a coaxial 7.62mm is used against infantry and light-skinned vehicles when the main gun becomes overkill. The Type-16 is fitted with state-of-the-art fire control systems and crew survival features in a compact design.
The Type-16 main gun is compatible with standard NATO 105 mm ammunition. The vehicle lacked an automatic loader and required a manual reloader. Approximately 40 rounds for the main gun were carried, with 15 rounds available in the turret and ready for use.
According to the plan, a total of about 200-300 of these combat vehicles will be produced for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and will replace the old main battle tanks. By 2018, this fire support vehicle was put into service with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and has proven to work well. In 2020, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force has ordered an additional 33 units. Production is expected to continue until 2026.