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Type 90 (Kyu-maru)

Main Battle Tank (MBT) Combat Vehicle

The Japanese Army Type 90 Main Battle Tank represents a respectable frontline combat system.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 3/3/2018
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Year: 1992
Manufacturer(s): Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Tokyo - Japan
Production: 341
Capabilities: Engineering; Tank vs Tank; Main Battle Tank (MBT); Frontline;
Crew: 3
Length: 31.99 ft (9.75 m)
Width: 11.25 ft (3.43 m)
Height: 7.68 ft (2.34 m)
Weight: 55 tons (50,000 kg); 110,231 lb
Power: 1 x Mitsubishi 10ZG 10-cylinder water-cooled 2-stroke diesel engine developing 1,500 horsepower at 2,400rpm.
Speed: 43 mph (70 kph)
Range: 249 miles (400 km)
Operators: Japan
The Japanese-produced Type 90 Main Battle Tank is in service with the Japanese Self-Defense Force and features the German-designed Rheinmetall 120mm smooth-bore main gun (produced in Japan by Japan Steel Works under license) and a computerized Fire-Control System (FCS) by Mitsubishi Electric. Full-NBC protection is afforded to the crew with passive night vision equipment as well. Production of the system spanned from 1989 to 2009 to which 341 examples were completed in all.

The Type 90 MBT utilizes a conventional layout and arrangement with the engine in a rear compartment, the turret at center and the driver in the hull-front. Unlike other "Western" MBTs, the Type 90 utilizes only a crew of three (as opposed to four) made up of the driver, commander and gunner. Projectile-loading duties are then handled by an automated loading system - this arrangement more similar to Soviet-Russian designs. The Type 90 has full hunter-killer appropriations that allow for the tank to fire on-the-move with accuracy. Beyond the 120mm main gun is a 7.62mm Type 74 coaxial machine gun and a 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun for aircraft defense. Smoke grenade dischargers allow the vehicle to disperse its own smoke screen to cover maneuvers - either offensive or defense in nature.

Power is supplied from a Mitsubishi 10ZG 10-cylinder diesel-fueled engine developing 1,500 horsepower at 2,400rpm. The Type 90 maintains a maximum road speed of 70kmh with an operational range out to 350 kilometers on internal fuel.

Overall, the rather expensive Type 90 MBT is generally viewed as on par with other main battle tanks of this class 50-ton class. The chassis supports several other battlefield guises including an engineering vehicle with dozer blade, a bridgelayer with scissors-type blade and Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV) variant with powered winch system.


1 x 120mm main gun
1 x 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun
1 x 7.62mm coaxial machine gun
2 x 3 smoke dispensers

35 x 120mm projectiles
1,500 x 12.7mm ammunition
2,000 x 7.62mm ammunition
6 x smoke grenades

Variants / Models

• Type 90 MBT - Base production model
• Type 90 ARV - Armored Recovery Vehicle
• Type 91 AVLB - Bridgelayer
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