Type 90

Type 90

:" For other articles with similar titles see Type 90 (disambiguation)Infobox Weapon|is_vehicle=yes
name=Type 90

caption=A Type 90 on display at the JGSDF Ordnance School in Tsuchiura, Kanto, Japan.
type=Main battle tank
design_date=1976 - 1977
production_date= 1989
designer=Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
manufacturer=Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
number=310 - 315
length=9.755 m
width=3.33 m
height=2.33 m
weight=50.2 tonnes
armour=Modular ceramic/steel composite armour
primary_armament=120mm smoothbore gun35 rounds
secondary_armament=M2HB 12.7mm machine gun
1,500 rounds
7.62mm machine gun Type 742,000 rounds
engine=Mitsubishi 10ZG 10 cylinder, Two stroke cycleDiesel 21500cc
engine_power=1500ps/2400rpm (1,120 kW), 15min output rating: 4410N・m(450kgf・m)
suspension= hydropneumatic
speed= 70 km/h (Acceleration: 0-200m/20s)
pw_ratio=30 hp/tonne
vehicle_range= 350 km (Fuel 1100L)

The Type 90 (Japanese: きゅうまるしき せんしゃ Kanji: 90式戦車) is the current main battle tank (MBT) of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF). It is built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and was designed as a replacement for all deployed Type 61s and a portion of their Type 74 tanks, and entered service in 1990. It is slated to be complemented by the Type 10.

Manufacturing cost

The Type 90 has an approximate unit cost of 790 million Japanese Yen [Based on the production of nine Type 90 tanks during FY2007) [http://www.mod.go.jp/j/library/archives/yosan/2007/19gaiyou.pdf] ] or approximately 7.4 million US Dollars at 2008 exchange rates.


After the adoption of the Type 74, the Japanese High Command was already looking for a superior, completely indigenous tank design to defeat the Soviet T-72. As a result, development of a prototype, the TK-X MBT began between 1976 and 1977. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and joint development were performed by leadership of TRDI (Japan Defence Agency's Technology Research and Development Institute).Major subcontractors include Japan Steel Works, Daikin Industries, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Fujitsu Company and the NEC Corporation.

Requirements of the Type 90 were completed in 1980 with two prototypes, both armed with a Japanese 120 mm gun (product by Japan Steel Works Limited) firing Japanese ammunition (product by Daikin Industries Limited), completed in 1982 to 1984 [http://kago-ai-chan.net/uploader/img/naver6683.bmp] . Testing, improvements (Turret and half Modular type ceramic composite armour), and designs were modified and constructed until 1986.

A second series of four prototypes was built between 1986 and 1988 which incorporated changes as a result of trials with the first two prototypes. These were armed with the Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun also fitted to the German Leopard 2 and, in a modified version, in the US M1A1/M1A2 Abrams MBT.

These second prototypes were used for development and then user trials, all of which were completed by 1989.when Japan formally acknowledged the Type 90 in 1990.

With the exception of the 120 mm smoothbore gun, which is made under licence from Rheinmetall of Germany, the Type 90 and its subsystems are all designed and built in Japan.


The profile of the Type 90 is similar to the original German Leopard 2 without the sloped armor, (Leopard 2 to 2A4) but unlike the Leopard 2, the Type 90 uses modular ceramic composite armor, [http://kago-ai-chan.net/uploader/img/naver6684.jpg] common in contemporary post-1990s tank designs. The adoption of modular composite armor design facilitates the upgrading and exchange of the armor, and its frontal armor is tested to be effective against 120 mm APFSDS projectiles from the L44 gun, while the side armor of the turret is capable of defeating up to 35 mm APDS (Armor penetration of 90 millimeters of RHA at one kilometer) projectiles.

The Type 90 is smaller than most main battle tanks with a height of 2.33 meters, a width of 3.33 meters, and weighing in at 50.2 tonnes. It was designed with a distinctive low-slung turret with boxy, vertical sides and a long overhanging bustle. In comparison, the Leopard 2A4's dimensions are 2.48 meters high and 3.70 meters with a weight of 55.2 tonnes.


The Type 90 mounts a licensed copy of the Rheinmetall L44 120 mm smoothbore cannon product by Japan Steel Works Limited. This is the same gun that is mounted on the American Abrams, German Leopard 2, South Korean K1A1 and Israeli Merkava III/IV tanks. Before Rheinmetall's gun was selected, Japan has successfully produced a domestic version of the 120 mm smoothbore for testing, but the lower cost of the Rheinmetall's gave it an advantage over the domestic version.

Since its introduction, there have been several upgrades to the fire-control system including the addition of a Yttrium-Aluminium-Garnet laser rangefinder with a range of 300 to 5,000 meters, a 32-bit ballistics analysis computer, an improved thermal imaging systems and Automated-tracking systems as well as improved gun stabilization. The FCS also has an automated tracking systems and is capable of engaging moving or stationary targets while moving at day and night. The automatic target tracking system uses a thermal image display which can be controlled by either the tank gunner or commander. It is capable of tracking soldiers, vehicles and helicopters. The targeting computer can also calculate lead on moving targets.

The commander's sight consists of a 3x day and night sight, with a 10 x day sight. The sight can track vertically from -29 to +29 degrees, as well as track horizontally through 180 degrees. The gunners sight has a 10 x zoom.

The gun is armed and loaded through a mechanical bustle autoloader, developed by Mitsubishi of Japan. This design allows the tank crew to operate without a loader, which allows the use of a smaller turret. The autoloading can reload in around two seconds, and the practical auto-loading and firing cycle for one target will be around 4-6 seconds.

Mounted in front of the gunner's hatch on the turret is the ubiquitous Browning M2 machine gun, manufactured under license by Sumitomo Heavy Industries, part of the Sumitomo Group. In addition to the .50-caliber machine gun is a Japanese-built 7.62 mm machine gun mounted coaxially to the left of the main gun.

Powerplant and drivetrain

The Powerpack of Type 90 tank has the Mitsubishi 10ZG32WT 10 cylinder two stroke cycle diesel engine providing 1500 hp, coupled with Mitsubishi MT1500 automatic transmission (forward gears 4, reverse gears 2). manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (designated 10ZG32WT, MT1500). The development of 10ZG32WT prototype was started in 1972 and was finished in 1982. It can attain a top output of 1,120 kW (or approximately 1500 horsepower).

The hydropneumatic suspension units are mounted on the front and rear pair of road wheels, which can be adjusted on-the-fly to deal with uneven terrain, a requirement on Japan's rough, mountainous terrain.


*JPN: 310-315 (2007)

ee also

Type 61 -
Type 74 - Type 90 -
Type 10



External links

* [http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/rc/6279/] at Think Geek
* [http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/type-90.htm Type 90 tank] at the Federation of American Scientists
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/japan/type-90.htm Type 90 Tank] at Globalsecurity.org
* [http://www.enemyforces.com/tanks/type90.htm Main Battle Tank Type 90] at ArmsWorld
* [http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_type90japan.html Type 90 Main Battle Tank] at Historyofwar
* [http://www.mod.go.jp/j/library/archives/yosan/2007/19gaiyou.pdf Official unit cost data of Type 90 Main Battle Tank] at Japan Ministry of Defense pdf file
* [http://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/index.php?fid=1448&lang=3&pdb=1 120 mm L44 Tank Gun] at Rheinmetall AG
* [http://www.channelj.co.jp/meta/anpobo_sensha_j_113006.asx Official Video -Type90 Tank-] at Channel J (product cooperation:JGSDF)
* [http://www.centcom.mil/sites/uscentcom2/Video/Calflex%202006.wmv Official Video -Calflex 2006-] at United States Central Command (U.S.CENTCOM)
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDQu0LevrcA YouTube Video1] at YouTube
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQN6CXfGT4Y YouTube Video2] at YouTube
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYBWb4UbP6A YouTube Video3] at YouTube
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dupnqSjnW4 YouTube Video4] at YouTube

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