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Type SU 60 APC

Armored Personnel Carrier

Japan | 1960

"The SU-60 became the first armored personnel carrier to be produced in post-World War 2 Japan."

Authored By: JR Potts, AUS 173d AB | Last Edited: 09/25/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Japanese Type-60 was the first armored personnel carrier developed by the Mitsubishi and Komatsu companies in the post-World War 2 period with the system appearing sometime in the late 1950's. Like Hitler's Germany, the Empire of Japan had lost all of her war-making capabilities after World War 2 and therefore she was restricted to defensive components taking the form of "self-defense" forces. The newly-minted Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) tested the Type-60 vehicle and accepted the model into service with production beginning in 1960. In all, some 775 Type-60 vehicles would be produced up until 1972.

The differentiating characteristic between the Japanese SU-60 and her contemporaries was in the location of the defensive armament. The anti-infantry 7.62-mm machine gun was bow-mounted in a World War 2-style, ball-type fitting along the front left side of the glacis plate with the secondary weapon, a 12.7-mm heavy anti-aircraft machine gun, fitted to the APC roof in a trainable turret ring with full 360-degree traverse. The 12.7mm gun emplacement was slightly protected by a rather smallish personal armored shield. The commander sat behind the driver with the driver himself situated at the right front side of the forward hull. There was a complete crew of four including the two machine gunners with additional room for up to eight combat-ready passengers in the rear compartment. Consistent with other armored personnel carriers was the large rear door entry-exit ramp. The design sported five road wheels to a track side with the drive sprocket located at the front of the hull sides and the return roller at the rear. The tracked function allowed for improved off road performance over that of similar wheeled systems. Her design was such that she was given a sloping front glacis plate and lower hull with relatively featureless slab sides, a flat rear panel and a squared-off upper hull. The flattened top hull was convenient for the carrying of additional supplies and even extra personnel should the situation dictate it. There were circular access hatches located forward and aft of the upper hull slab.

The SU-60 could manage a 0.6 meter (1.96 foot) vertical obstacle and cross a 1.82 meter wide trench (5.97ft ) wile fording water up to 1 meter (3.28ft) in depth. The tracks were 35-cm wide, allowing her to navigate a gradient slope of up to 60%. She was powered by a Mitsubishi HA-21 WT 8-cylinder turbocharged diesel developing 230 horsepower at 2400rpm. Top road speed was listed at 27.9 miles per hour (45km/h).

Once in practice, the SU-60 proved to have some major inherent limitations. Her armor defense was poor and capable of protecting her crew against only small arms fire. Her design offered nothing in the way of NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection or night vision capabilities to assist the driver, commander and gunners. She could also not lay down her own smoke screen and was not designed as a true amphibious system. All these qualities limited her scope and placed her well behind that of her contemporaries of the time.

Nevertheless, for a recovering army, the SU-60 fit the bill - at least for the interim.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Type SU 60 APC Armored Personnel Carrier.
1 x Mitsubishi HA-21 WT 8-cylinder air-cooled 4-cycle turbocharged diesel engine delivering 230 horsepower at 2,400rpm.
Installed Power
28 mph
45 kph
Road Speed
186 miles
300 km
The physical qualities of the Type SU 60 APC Armored Personnel Carrier.
15.9 ft
4.85 meters
O/A Length
7.9 ft
2.4 meters
O/A Width
7.6 ft
2.31 meters
O/A Height
23,594 lb
10,702 kg | 11.8 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Type SU 60 APC Armored Personnel Carrier.
1 x 7.62mm general purpose machine gun in forward hull.
1 x 12.7mm heavy machine gun in traversing upper hull turret ring.
1,000 x 7.62mm ammunition
500 x 12.7mm ammunition
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the Type SU 60 APC family line.
Type SU 60 - Base Production Series Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Type SU 60 APC. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 755 Units

Contractor(s): Mitsubishi and Komatsu - Japan
National flag of modern Japan

[ Japan ]
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Image of the Type SU 60 APC
Right side profile view of the Type SU 60 armored personnel carrier
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Image of the Type SU 60 APC
Front left side view of a pair of Type SU 60 APCs on practice runs
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Image of the Type SU 60 APC
Close-up detail view of the forward left side hull of the Type SU 60 APC; note bow-mounted .30 caliber machine gun fitting
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Image of the Type SU 60 APC
A pair of Type 6SU 60 APCs move along a muddy Japanese road
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Image of the Type SU 60 APC
Rear left side view of a passing Type SU 60 armored personnel carrier

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Type SU 60 APC Armored Personnel Carrier appears in the following collections:
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