tanks & armored vehicles
New Japan Self Defense Force Initiatives on Amphibious Warfare, Global Hawk, Cyber-Terrorism

New Japan Self Defense Force Initiatives on Amphibious Warfare, Global Hawk, Cyber-Terrorism

Japan has announced a series of initiatives to bolster the Self Defense Forces’ ability to respond to new and potential threats. The initiatives span from cyber to amphibious warfare and fill gaps in existing capability. TV Asahi has broken the news that the Self Defense Forces plan on buying four U.S.-made AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles...

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MHI Delivers 13 Type-10 Tanks in FY2011

Japan's newest tank, the Type-10, flies past

Type-10 at the Fuji School Open Day last year

Friend of JSW, Susumu of Surveillance to Go Nowhere tipped us off to a small news release from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced that they have completed the provision of 13 Type-10 tanks to the Ground Self-Defense Force in FY2011, the first year of a four-year contract to supply of these 58 state-of-the-art tanks. This is on schedule and is pretty much a non-event, except that they are at least getting these tanks through the door.

It is also worth bearing in mind the troubles faced by the first commissioned production-line Type-10 earlier this year – it is unclear just how many of these Type-10 have received their commissioning yet and whether they have faced any further setbacks like the ones reported in January. What is clear is that the replacement for the Type-74 tanks, which have recently seen renewed service in the Fukushima Dai-Ichi crisis, appears to be on track.

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Update on GSDF’s First Mass-Produced Type-10

The Type-10 Tank during its induction ceremony

The Type-10 Tank during its induction ceremony (Source: Jiji)

Remember back in January when we showed you a video of the first mass production Type-10 tank being induced into the Fuji School of Armor? Well, Shukan Shincho reported in their February 2nd issue that the ceremony was actually hit by a stroke of bad luck: the tank was to be shown off in a demonstration, but on January 9th, the day before the initiation ceremony, a malfunction was discovered in the the protection circuit of the power system forcing the GSDF to cancel the demonstration. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the manufacturer, stated that they were unable to comment on the issue, but the GSDF Public Affairs Office announced that it was a program error, and that repair work was completed on January 22nd.

A bad start for all involved, and as the Shukan Shincho wrote: “You cannot be helped for feeling it’s had bad luck from the beginning.”

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Video: Type-10 Tank Initiation Ceremony

From Jiji on January 10th, we have this wonderful video of the initiation ceremony of the first mass production model of the Type-10 tank into the GSDF’s armor training unit at the GSDF Fuji School in Shizuoka Prefecture, whose open day I attended last year.

Until this point, the Type-10s in use at the school have been experimental production models. The mass production model now entering service with the school is the product of several changes and upgrades on the experimental models.

Once the school has received its complement of tanks, expect to see their use extending into the GSDF’s armored units for general service, bringing a much-needed modern light-weight battle tank to fill the gaps caused by the restrictions of the use of the Type-90 outside Hokkaido.

[H/T to Corey Wallace]

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On the Exercise in Kyushu, Okinawa

On the Exercise in Kyushu, Okinawa

As media reporting on the current SDF exercises gets underway, the significant scale is clear to see as Japan charters private vessels to ferry troops and equipment and engages in exercises across Kyushu and Okinawa.

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T-90s to Leave Higashi-Chitose for Oita Tomorrow Morning

T-90s to Leave Higashi-Chitose for Oita Tomorrow Morning

A local Hokkaido newspaper reports on the very slow journey to be taken by Hokkaido's 7th Division Type-90 tanks and other armored vehicles as they make their way to Kyushu for a major exercise.

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Hokkaido's Type-90 Tanks To Train in Kyushu

Hokkaido's Type-90 Tanks To Train in Kyushu

Japan's most controversial tank, the Type-90, is to take part in exercises in Kyushu. The tank is currently only deployed in Hokkaido and so must make the journey across the country along with over a hundred other vehicles.

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries target of cyber-attack

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries target of cyber-attack

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, one of Japan's largest defense manufacturers, has had its several of its computers across many sites compromised by viruses.

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Fuji Firepower Review 2011

Fuji Firepower Review 2011

On Sunday, August 28th 2011, the GSDF held its extravagant annual public review at the Higashi Fuji Maneuver Area near Gotemba, Shizuoka. The live-fire spectacle costs a few hundred million yen, an incredible amount of taxpayer's money that this blogger was able to see being put to 'work'.

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YouTube Fridays: The History of GSDF Tanks, in Plastic

The history of Japanese postwar main battle tanks in plastic.

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Japan's Armed Force Levels, 2011-2015

Japan’s Armed Force Levels, 2011-2015

  The National Defense Program Guidelines are out in English (click image to enlarge; here for the PDF), reflecting desirable force levels for the 2011-2015 period. Highlights include: - An increase in the submarine fleet from 16 to 22, likely due to the retention of older submarines (Japan tends to retire submarines when they reach...

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GSDF Fuji School 57th Open Day 2011 [Part One]

GSDF Fuji School 57th Open Day 2011 [Part One]

On July 10th, 2011, the Ground Self-Defense Force's Fuji School of Combined Arms threw open its gates for the annual open day. James Simpson reports on the force review and display that day.

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