The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) unveiled a prototype of the Type 19 155 mm/52-calibre wheeled self-propelled howitzer (SPH) at this year's edition of the 'Fuji Firepower' exercise conducted from 22-25 August, a JGSDF spokesperson told Jane's on 2 September.
The long-range howitzer, which is integrated into an 8×8 MAN tactical military truck, is expected to replace the JGSDF's ageing fleet of FH-70 towed artillery systems, said the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD)'s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA), adding that the new system will be operated by five personnel.
The JGSDF spokesperson said that the service will take delivery of the first seven Type 19 SPHs from domestic manufacturer Japan Steel Works, which has already delivered five Type 19 prototypes to the ATLA, by the end of fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) ending on 31 March 2020.
The designation 'Type 19' means that the system is expected to be delivered to the JGSDF during FY 2019.
The JGSDF has already requested JPY4.7 billion (USD44.3 million) from the government to procure a second batch of seven Type 19 SPHs for FY 2020, following the acquisition of the first batch for JPY5.1 billion.
Meanwhile, the 'Fuji Firepower 2019' exercise, which was held at the East Fuji Maneuver Area (EFMA) near Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, saw the JGSDF displaying more elements of its road-mobile Network Electronic Warfare System (NEWS), which has been developed for analysing electronic waves and conducting electronic warfare (EW).
The NEWS system is made up of several, specially equipped EW vehicles designed to perform electronic reconnaissance while degrading the command, control, and communications networks of adversaries.
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