The Japanese Type 87 Reconnaissance Vehicle

The Japanese Type 87 Reconnaissance Vehicle

The Japanese Type 87 Reconnaissance Vehicle is a 6×6 wheeled vehicle that services the purpose of reconnaissance for the Ground Forces of the Japanese Self Defence Forces. Developed and manufactured by Komatsu (you read right, they are using a vehicle not built by Mitsubishi!) its understood that 100 are in service. In accordance with Japanese self imposed restrictions on not exporting its AFV’s, the Type 87 is only in service with Japan.

Like all reconnaissance vehicles, it doesn’t require an offensive capability but rather a defensive capability. This comes in the form of the Oerlikon Contraves 25mm auto cannon, which is mounted in a 2 man turret (Commander right, Gunner left) with a coaxial 7.62mm MG.

Reconnaissance vehicles are designed for mobility and such uses aluminium armour for protection against MG fire. This also keeps the weight down so as to not infringe upon the mobility of the vehicle.

Strangely, despite Japan being formed of several thousand islands, the vehicle has no amphibious capability and only able to ford up to 1m.

Its powered by an Isuzu 10PBI 305hp water cooled diesel engine. This provides a top road speed of 100km/h and range of 500km. Weighting 15ton  it has a power to weight ratio of 20.3hp/ton. The engine is located in the rear of the vehicle on the right and an observer sits on the left, with the driver sitting front right and radio operator to his left. The vehicle has no NBC protection system, but does have night vision sighting equipment.