Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has unveiled a prototype 8x8 armoured personnel carrier (APC) that is expected to replace the Komatsu Type 96 APC in use by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).
Built by Japanese manufacturer Komatsu, the (Improved) Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier prototype was delivered to the MoD on 10 January, the ministry said in a statement.
One rationale for the new design is that it is viable for participating in international peacekeeping missions and defending the Japanese islands, according to the MoD. The new design's key parameter seems to have been an increased degree of protection.
The 20-tonne prototype is 8.4 m long, 2.5 m wide, and 2.9 m high and can carry 11 people, including crew members, according to the MoD.
The JGSDF currently has 389 Type 96 APCs in its inventory, the first of which entered service in 1996, according to IHS Jane's World Armies.
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