Combat vehicles / Main battle tanks / Type 90

Type 90

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Main battle tank

  • ORIGIN
    Japan

  • NICKNAMES
    Type 90 Ky?-maru-shiki-sensha (nickname)

  • DESIGNED
    1976 - 1977

  • DESIGNER
    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

  • PRODUCTION
    1989 - 2010

  • PRODUCERS
    Japan - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

  • QUANTITY
    A total of 341 produced, production complete.

  • UNIT COST
    $ 7.4 million in 2008

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Powerful armament
    High rate of fire
    Well armored
    Good mobility
    Very expensive

Introduction

The Type 90 is a main battle tank of Japanese origin. It was developed to supplement and replace the Type 74 in Japanese service. Externally the Type 90 looks similar to the original Leopard 2, however, the design is actually very different.

Layout

The Type 90 looks rather similar to the German Leopard 2 but is not a direct copy since it has a variety of distinguishing features. These differences include an autoloader and hydropneumatic suspension. The overall layout is conventional with the driver in the front, the turret in the middle and the engine and drivetrain at the rear.

Firepower

The main armament is a 120mm smoothbore cannon which fires NATO standard ammunition. The 120mm cannon is connected to an automatic loader. In theory the gun can be fired every 2 seconds, but in practice maximum rate of fire is 10 to 15 rpm. A 7.62mm Type 74 machine gun is mounted as a coaxial weapon. A 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun is pintle mounted on the turret roof.

Protection

The Type 90 features composite armor which generates a protection level over the frontal arc capable of withstanding all but the latest sabots and missiles. A fire suppression system, NBC protection and smoke grenade launchers are fitted.

Mobility

The tracked chassis provides a good all terrain mobility and road speeds of up to 70 km/h. A 1.500 hp diesel engine provides propulsion. The hydropneumatic suspension provides good crew comfort and a stable firing platform in rough terrain.

Users

The Type 90 is used only by Japan. Over 340 Type 90 have been produced and it has replaced the Type 61 and Type 74 tanks. As with all Japanese military equipment there are no export sales. The Type 10 is to supplement and eventually replace the Type 90 in service.

Variants

Type 90

Type 90: The Type 90 was produced only in a single version. Externally it looks similar to the Leopard 2A4. The most distinct difference is that the Type 90 has 6 roadwheels and a hydropneumatic suspension that allows either front or rear to be lowered.

TypeMain battle tank
Crew3 (commander, driver, gunner)
Length7.5 m (hull), 9.76 m (gun forward)
Width3.43 m
Height2.34 m (turret roof), 3.05 m (overall)
Ground clearance0.45 m
Weight50.2 t combat load
Ground pressure0.89 kg/cm2
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear, 4.55 m length, 0.60 m width, 2.71 m track
Turn radiuspivot
EngineMitsubishi 10ZG32WT 10-cylinder diesel, 1.500 hp at 2.400 rpm
Power ratio29.9 hp/t
TransmissionMitsubishi MT1500 automatic transmission, 4 forward, 2 reverse
Speed70 km/h forward, 42 km/h reverse
Fuel1.100 L
Range400 km
Wall1 m
Trench2.7 m
Gradient60% gradient, 40% slope
Fording2 m
ArmorModular ceramic and steel composite armor
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
Smoke2x3 or 2x4 smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
Armament1x 120mm L/44 cannon
7.62mm Type 74 coaxial machine gun
12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
Weapon1120mm L/44 cannon
16 rounds ready to fire
-5 to +80° elevation, powered
360° traverse, powered
stabilized in both axis
Weapon27.62mm Type 74 machine gun
traverse and elevation as main armament
Weapon312.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun on pintle mount
100 rounds ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

Type 90 ARV

Type 90: The Type 90 armored recovery vehicle is based on the chassis of the Type 90 main battle tank. Instead of a turret it features a 25 t crane and a fixed superstructure for the crew. A winch is fitted and there is a dozer blade that doubles as an earth anchor.

TypeArmored recovery vehicle
Crew4 (commander, driver, 2 operators)
Length8 m
Width3.4 m
Height?
Ground clearance0.45 m
Weight?
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear, 4.55 m length, 0.60 m width, 2.71 m track
Turn radiuspivot
EngineMitsubishi 10ZG32WT 10-cylinder diesel, 1.500 hp at 2.400 rpm
Power ratio?
Transmission?
Speed70 km/h
Fuel?
Range?
Wall?
Trench?
Gradient?
Fording?
ArmorSteel
NBC equipment?
Night vision?
Smoke2x3 or 2x4 smoke grenade dischargers
RemarksWinch, 25 t crane, dozer blade
Armament12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
Weapon112.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun on pintle mount
100 rounds ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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