Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force
1 × 12.7mm heavy machine gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher
Six-cylinder, liquid-cooled four-stroke diesel
The Type 96 8×8 wheeled armoured personnel carrier is operated by the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF). The vehicle is produced by Defence Systems Division of Komatsu. Type 96 is a high-mobility APC capable of transporting up to eight fully equipped combat troops and two crew members.
The Type 96 APC entered service with the JGSDF in 1995. Komatsu delivered 46 vehicles to the JGSDF by the end of 1999. JGSDF ordered 31 vehicles in 2003 and 14 in 2004. About 270 units were delivered by 2009. Komatsu received orders for 17 Type 96 APCs in FY2010 and 11 vehicles in FY2011.
The Type 96 APC is primarily used by infantry units to launch operations and transport troops to the battlefield.
Type 96 armoured personnel carrier design
The Type 96 is a basic armoured vehicle equipped with medium armour. The hull is of all-welded steel armour construction based on the 8×8 wheel configuration. The layout accommodates engine compartment in the front-left of the vehicle and exhaust outlet on the left side of the hull roof. The driver is seated forward of the vehicle, on the right side, while the commander / gunner is seated behind the driver.
The troop compartment in the rear can accommodate eight fully equipped infantrymen. The troops can enter and exit the vehicle through a power-operated ramp located in the rear. The troop compartment has two firing ports on each side. There are five roof hatches, three on the left and two on the right, on the top of the troop section.
The Type 96 is also fitted with an enhanced nuclear, biological and chemical (E-NBC) system for crew safety. A laser warning device is mounted forward on the left side of the roof. This is of the same type fitted to a number of other Japanese armoured fighting vehicles such as the Type 90 MBT.
Type 96 APC has a length of 6.84m, a width of 2.48m and a height of 1.85m. The combat weight of the vehicle is 14.5t.
Type 96 APC armament
The Type 96 APC is armed with a 12.7mm (.50-calibre) M2HB heavy machine gun mounted on the forward part of the cupola. The gun can be aimed and fired from within the cupola. Some of the JGSDF vehicles are also fitted with an indigenously produced 40mm automatic grenade launcher. A bank of four forward-firing smoke grenade launchers is mounted either side of the troop compartment.
Type 96 observation and control
The driver is provided with a single hatch cover and three day periscopes for forward observation. The centre periscope can be replaced by a night vision periscope. The commander is provided with a single-piece hatch cover and day periscopes for all-round observation. Each side of the rear troop compartment is equipped with associated vision devices for troops.
The Type 96 APC is powered by a six-cylinder liquid-cooled four-cycle diesel engine. The engine delivers a maximum power output of 360hp at 2,200rpm.
The Type 96 APC delivers excellent cross country mobility. The vehicle is fitted with power steering and central tyre pressure regulation system. The system allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure according to the terrain conditions. The vehicle has a maximum speed of 100km/h and an operational range of 500km.
NBC reconnaissance vehicle
The Technical Research and Development Institute, Ministry of Defence, Japan, has developed a new NBC reconnaissance vehicle based on the Type 96 chassis. It replaces the chemical reconnaissance vehicles and the biological reconnaissance vehicles currently operated by the JGSDF.
The new vehicle is equipped with a wide range of sensors, a weather observation system, self-decontamination system and an air filtration system. The NBC reconnaissance vehicle carries the JGSDF’s chemical warfare response force.
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