Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks

Howa Type 96

40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) (1996)

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

1 / 1
Image from the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

Jump-to: Specifications

The Howa Type 96 fulfills the automatic grenade launcher role in the modern Japanese Army inventory.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/24/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
All modern major leading military powers of the world have adopted some form of belt-fed Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) for the infantry suppression role. For the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) this has come in the form of the Type 96 from Howa. The series was introduced in 1996 and retains an active presence in the JGSDF inventory today (2017).

As with other Western AGLs, the Type 96 makes use of the readily-available (and proven) 40x56mm grenade projectile which is offered with various warheads to suit the mission need. This projectile is fired through a "blow forward" system of operation with feeding done by way of 50-round belts (pulled from a hard case along the left side of the receiver). Sighting is through a flip-up, ladder-style arrangement fitted ahead of the receiver. The weapon is typically fired from a heavy-duty tripod or from a vehicle to better absorb the recoil effects of such a weapon. At the business end of the weapon is a slotted muzzle brake. Handlebar type grips are seated at the weapon's extreme aft end.
The Type 96 has a listed maximum range out to 1,500 meters and a rate-of-fire up to 350 rounds-per-minute is possible. Overall weight is 25 kilograms with an overall length of 975mm. The barrel measures 455mm long.

The Howa design was selected by the JGSDF as a indigenous solution that could be produced locally without a need for licensing and has solved an ongoing problem for the JGSDF - mainly bridging the gap between the in-service medium machine guns and heavy machine guns of the day. This it does well as the weapon has since been featured in stationary defensive roles as well as more mobile, vehicle-mounted roles. In the latter, the system provides a much-needed offensive punch for light-armored, high mobility vehicle types. In its general function, the Type 96 serves the same battlefield role as the American SACO Mk 19 AGL series (detailed elsewhere on this site).


Service Year

Japan national flag graphic


40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL)

Howa - Japan
National flag of modern Japan Japan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
Special Purpose
Special purpose weapon for a specially defined battlefield role.

Overall Length
975 mm
38.39 in
Barrel Length
455 mm
17.91 in
Empty Wgt
55.12 lb
25.00 kg



Blow-Forward Operation

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)



Rounds / Feed

50-round belt.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
4,925 ft
(1,501 m | 1,642 yd)

Type 96 - Base Series Designation

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-