The Type-10 main battle tank of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is considered by the military as one of the world’s leading tanks

As a new generation of Japanese tanks, the Type 10 possesses many outstanding features compared to the previous Type-90 tanks in terms of firepower, protection and maneuverability. The Type-10 MBT project was started in the 2000s. One of the most important requirements for the new tank is the capability of having a C4I (Command, Control, Communication and Computing) system.

The Japanese main battle tank has a full load mass of about 48 tons, a length of 9.485 m, a width of 3.24 m, and a height of 2.30 m. The required crew consists of 3 people: commander, gunner and driver. The use of modular components significantly improved the side armor compared to the Type 90. The Commander’s Panoramic Sight was moved to the right and is located at a higher position than the Type 90, giving the commander a wide range of view.

Type 10 tank
Type 10 tank

Compared to the Type 90, the Type 10 is lighter. However, the weight of the composite armor has been greatly strengthened, from 1,380 kg to 1,940 kg for the turret and from 1,249 kg to 2,680 kg for the hull. The vehicle’s armor consists of modular sections, providing the ability to mount varying degrees of protection depending on the mission profile and weight requirements.

Whereas the Type 90 used the same 120mm Rheinmetall main gun as other Western powers, the Type 10 uses a completely new gun, developed indigenously by Japan Steel Works. The Type 10’s new cannon can fire an improved round, the newly developed Type 10 APFSDS round, which is specifically designed for and can only be fired by the Type 10. The Type 10 tank can also fire the JM33 APFSDS (license produced DM33 shell acquired from Germany) as well as all standard 120 mm NATO ammunition. Secondary armament consists of coaxially mounted 7.62 mm machine gun and a roof mounted remotely controlled 12.7 mm heavy machine gun.

The C4I system can be incorporated into the JGSDF network to enable sharing of information among tanks in real-time conjunction with FCS, as well as connected to the infantry’s outdoor computer network “Regiment Command Control System” to facilitate integrated military operations with the infantry troops. Currently, the Type 10 tank is the only MBT equipped with the FCP (Fire Control Picture)-level C4I.

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