The Japan Ministry of Defense has reportedly shortlisted Turkish company Nurol Makina, Finnish Patria, Canada’s General Dynamics Land Systems and local company Mitsubishi Heavy under its project to buy new wheeled armored vehicles.
Japan’s chosen vehicle will replace the older Type 96 maneuver combat vehicles (MCV) in service with the military. The latter were produced from 1996 to 2008.
The Type 16 is armed with a 105mm rifled gun, a licensed copy of the British Royal Ordnance L7 built by Japan Steel Works (JSW). The gun is therefore compatible with standard NATO 105mm ammunition. The vehicle is also armed with a coaxial 7.62 mm (.30 caliber) machine gun, and a Browning M2HB .50 caliber machine gun is mounted on the loader’s hatch at the right rear of the turret.
Due to its light weight and small size, the Type 96 MCV is designed for easy deployment (by aircraft if needed) allowing rapid movement on narrow roads and in built-up areas in response to various contingencies. Despite its small size and light armor, it can attack much larger armored fighting vehicles as well as personnel, using its large caliber gun.
While the participation of the other companies was known, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency revealed for the first time that even Nurol Makina was competing. It is offering Yoruk wheeled armored personnel carrier to the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF).
Nurol Makina’s contenders are the Patria AMVXP, General Dynamics LAV 6.0 and the Mitsubishi Mobile Armored Vehicle.
Japan first sought to develop Komatsu Improved Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier as a replacement for the Type 96 vehicles. It was however halted in July 2018. It was allegedly because the prototype of the vehicle had significant issues with inconsistent performance of ballistic protection plates.