Eurosatory 2014

Sun rising in the West (ES14E4)

19 June 2014

Traditionally, Japan does not export its military equipment, but this could well change in the future, as the first presence of Japanese companies at Eurosatory would indicate.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Hall 6, Stand 521), which is prime contractor for many of the armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) used by the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force, revealed details of a new 8x8 vehicle here at the show .

This is being described as a multipurpose AFV, which because of its high volume and payload, can be adopted for a wide range of battlefield missions and has been undergoing company trials.

Mitsubishi is quoting a maximum gross vehicle weight of 28 tonnes, of which up to 18 tonnes is the payload. This includes the crew, weapon system and the armour package. The latter can be a mixture of passive armour, bar/net type or explosive reactive armour.

A mine protection package could also be fitted and the crew provided with special blast-attenuating seats in the rear troop compartment.

The APC model would typically be fitted with a roof-mounted remote-controlled weapon station armed with a .50 machine gun and have a crew of three plus eight dismounts. In addition to the baseline armoured personnel carrier, the company has also proposed more specialised versions. These would have a higher roof line to the rear of the driver’s and engine compartment to provide more internal volume and would include a command post and ambulance. The hydropneumatic suspension would provide a high level of cross-country mobility, with summer and winter tyres available as options.

(256 words)