Japan has launched a prototype of an eight-wheeled armored personnel carrier (APC).
The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) expects the Wheeled Armored Vehicle to replace the group’s Type 96, in use since 1996.
The Type 96 features a.50 caliber M-2HB machine gun and a 40 mm grenade launcher. Komatsu Limited showcased the new 8.4 m, 20-ton troop carrier on Tuesday, according to Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency.
Notably, the JGSDF is upgrading the APCs exterior shell to withstand stronger explosives, Sputnik News reported today. A larger engine for greater speed and other improvements are in the works.
The vehicle is capable of transporting 11 troops propelled by a 500-horsepower engine topping out at around 60 mph on paved surfaces.
Japan spent approximately $41 million to develop the new APC. Trials will continue until 2019, according to the Ministry of Defense.
Some analysts suspect that Japan will deploy the APC for "counter island invasion," possibly for the East China Sea in the event that a dispute emerges between Tokyo and Beijing.
Japan will be competing with US and European countries for the New Zealands patrol and transport aircraft contracts. Representatives from Japan's defense ministry and Kawasaki Heavy are in New Zealand for negotiations
Amid escalating tension with China and North Korea, the Japanese government on Thursday announced increase in defence budget for fiscal 2017 starting April 1, that covers a new amphibious force and a new sea-based ballistic missile interceptor system. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abes cabinet approved ¥5
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Japan has launched its first military communication network satellite to deal with threats from China and North Korea. The Japanese Defense Ministry launched Kirameki-2 communications satellite using an H-2A rocket from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan,
Japan plans to submit a bill to the ordinary Diet session to be convened Friday that would allow supply of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) secondhand defense equipment to other countries for free or low price. The government intends to provide secondhand SDF defense equipment mainly to member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including the Philippines, which has a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea
Australia and Japan have signed an agreement that facilitates closer bilateral defence logistics support and cooperation during activities such as combined exercises, training and peacekeeping operations. The agreement is expected to be finalised by the end of 2017, Australian Department of Defense announced last saturday
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