The Japan Self-Defense Force showed off some impressive defensive capabilities during live-fire demonstrations at the foot of Mount Fuji.
The exercises, called Fire Power, are aimed at defending outlying Japanese islands from a hypothetical invasion. Fire Power is a first-of-its-kind exercise and follows new national defense guidelines.
During live-fire demonstrations was showed the new Type 16 Manoeuvre Combat Vehicle (16MCV). The Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle is a wheeled tank destroyer of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. This eight-wheel armored vehicle with a 105 mm cannon excels at mobility and air transportation by air.
This fire support vehicle was first publicly revealed in 2013. Official sources claim that the MCV will be produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and deployed in 2017. It is planned that some 200-300 of these vehicles will be built for the Japan’s army. These will replace ageing main battle tanks. By acquiring wheeled fire support vehicle Japan plans to reduce the number of main battle tanks from 740 to only 300 units within the few years.
Specifications and performance
- Crew: 4
- Weight when fully loaded: approx. 26 t
- Length: 8.45 m
- Width: 2.98 m
- Height: 2.87 m
- Top speed: approx. 100 km/h
- Engine: water-cooled 4-cycle 4-cylinder diesel 570 ps/2,100 rpm
- 105 mm cannon
- 12.7 mm heavy machine gun
- 7.62 mm machine gun
The Maneuver Combat Vehicle was intended to help re-equip existing divisions and brigades reorganised into mobile (rapid reaction) divisions/brigades, as well as equip new dedicated rapid reaction regiments alongside (eventually) the Light-weight Combat Vehicle System (LCV) which was also designed with defence of the outer islands in mind.