The introduction of the Type 73 began in the 1960s, to replace the Type 60 APC. Among the requirements included a maximum speed of over 60 km/h.
Mitsubishi is present in all fields from banking and finance, commerce, electronics industry, automobile industry… even in the nuclear technology field. And another very famous area of Mitsubishi is the defense industry. Mitsubishi military products are widely used in the Japanese armed forces. The Type 73 Armored Personnel Carrier is one of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries products, which entered service with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces in 1973.
The introduction of the Type 73 began in the 1960s, to replace the Type 60 APC. Among the requirements included a maximum speed of over 60 km/h, ability to carry 12 men including the crew, to be fully amphibious, have all-welded aluminium armor, provision for the infantry to use their small arms from inside the vehicle. The new combat vehicle will also provide firepower for infantry on the battlefield.
Type 73 has a weight of about 13.3 tons, a length of 5.8 m, a width of 2.8 m, and a height of 2.2 m. It was powered by a Mitsubishi 4ZF air-cooled V-type 4-cylinder diesel engine, with 300 horsepower. The vehicle can reach a top speed of 70 km/h, and has a range of 300 km.
The Type 73 is almost unique in that it uses a mid-engined V4 layout, as the driver and bow machine gunner are in the front of the vehicle. The commander sits slightly behind the bow gunner while the gunner sits behind the driver. The engine is mounted on the left side behind the bow gunner with both its air intake and exhaust on the top of the vehicle. The engine and transmission are designed to be easily removed as one complete unit.
The gunner’s cupola can traverse a full 360°, but the bow gunner’s weapon can only traverse, elevate and depress 30°. It is fitted with six smoke dischargers, three on each side. The Type 73 is not normally amphibious unless a special kit, including a trim vane on the front hull and side-slung buoyancy units, has been fitted but not all vehicles have this kit. It is propelled through the water by its tracks at a maximum speed of 7 km/h. The vehicle is fitted with infra-red driving lights and an NBC system.
Variants of the Type 73 include a Command version, with a raised roof. A special variant, the Type 73 self-propelled wind measuring station provides meteorological data for 130 mm multiple-launch rocket batteries. A total of 338 Type 73s have been produced and are still in service with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.