The Japanese Type 73 APC

The Japanese Type 73 APC

The Japanese Type 73 APC was an indigenous design for the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force to replace the older Type 60. Manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, production commenced in late 1973 after development has started in 1967, with a total of 225 built.

The vehicle is an Armoured Personnel Carrier, not and IFV, like the Type 89, which has replaced the Type 73, thou the vehicle can still be found in the command post role. These vehicles have a raised roof.

The crew set up is not typical. The driver sits forward right and a dedicated MG gunner with a forward facing 7.62mm is to his left. Behind them is the commander and sits almost central, with the engine to his left and behind the MG gunner.

There is a further cupola mounting a .50cal MG behind the driver. This is manned by one of the 9 troopers the vehicle carries. The 50cal can be controlled from within the vehicle with an elevation of -10 to +60. The cupola can traverse a full 360 degreeā€™s. The troops exit the vehicle through two rear doors or roof hatch. They have a total of 6 T-shaped firing ports (2 in rear door, 2 either side of the vehicle at the rear) which they can fire their personnel weapons through.

The vehicle armour is a standard aluminium rated to withstand large calibre MG fire and artillery shrapnel. It is also equipped with a full NBC system for the crew and troops. A bank of three smoke grenade dischargers are mounted forward facing on both sides of the vehicle at the rear of the roof.

The vehicle uses a Mitsubishi 4ZF air-cooled 2 stroke diesel developing 300hp and gives a top road speed of 70km/h with an operational range of 300km. The vehicle is full amphibious with an adaptation kit.