Type 79 Jyu-MAT
Anti-Tank, Wire-Guided Missile System
Introduced in 1984, the Type 79 Jyu-MAT serves the JGSDF as a heavy-class, armor-defeating weapon system.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
As tank armor protection of the Cold War continually evolved, so too did its counters in the form of anti-tank missile launchers. For the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), this became an all-new system following the original Type 64 ATM of 1964. Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), having manufactured the Type 64, delivered to the JGSDF in 1984 as the Type 79 "Jyu-MAT". The Type 79 represented an all-modern solution which has seen continued service with Army forces. Design of the Type 79 (as with the Type 64) was attributed to the Defense Agency Technical Research and Development Institute. Unlike the Type 64, the Type 79 was a more portable weapon and utilized the more accurate SACLOS ("Semi-Automatic Command to Line-Of-Sight") wire-guided system approach.
Taken as a whole, the Type 79 is a complete tank-killing system encompassing the mounting hardware, launcher, optics/guidance kit and missile. The missile weighs 15.7 kilograms while the launcher tips the scales at 278 kilograms. The missile was capped by a 4.2 kilogram shaped charge warhead which gave it appropriate penetration values against enemy tanks of the Cold War period - primarily those emerging from the Soviet Union. Detonation was through an impact detonation or delayed fuse system depending on missile type - of which there proved two primary models. Once clearing the launch tube, the missile relied on an onboard rocket motor for propulsion while spring-loaded fins added stabilization. As a wire-guided weapon, the operator utilized the launcher to "guide" the missile to the intended target by way of a spooled wire. While this limited useful engagement ranges, it provided the necessary accuracy in ranged fighting. Alongside the standard shaped charge warhead missile, there was an armor-piercing fragmentation warhead which was slated for use against "softer-skinned" targets such as offshore ships. The launcher was designed to be used atop its base heavy-duty tripod or affixed to specialized mounts for vehicle use. The configuration also allowed the launcher to be actuated remotely when attempting to set up an anti-tank ambush.
The Type 79 Jyu-MAT is also known by the designation of "KAM-9". The follow-up Type 87 "Chu-MAT" series is a smaller, more portable system introduced in 1989 and features a laser-assisted guidance system although its tank-killing/armor-defeating role remains the same.