Artillery / Self-propelled mortars / Type 96

Type 96

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled mortar

  • ORIGIN
    Japan

  • NICKNAMES
    120MSP / 120mm Mortar Self-Proplled (nickname)

  • DESIGNED
    1994 - 1995

  • DESIGNER
    Hitachi

  • PRODUCTION
    1996 - 2002

  • PRODUCERS
    Japan - Hitachi

  • QUANTITY
    A total of 24 produced.

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Powerful long range armament
    Good all terrain mobility
    Limited crew exposure in firing position
    Large and heavy vehicle
    Not as fast as wheeled vehicles

Introduction

The Type 96 is a modern self-propelled mortar of Japanese origin. The Type 96 was developed in the mid 1990's by Hitachi. The main armament is the MO-120-RT rifled mortar produced under license in Japan by Howa.

Layout

The Type 96 is based on the chassis of the Type 92 minefield clearing vehicle, which in turn is based on the Type 73 armored personnel carrier. The Type 96 features a raised superstructure that houses the crew of 5, the rifled mortar and its ammunition. In the firing position the mortar fires over the rear arc of the vehicle. The engine and drivetrain are located at the front.

Firepower

The Type 96 is fitted with the proven MO-120-RT rifled mortar. A total of 50 shells are carried. The maximum range is 8.2 km with regular ammunition and 12.8 km with rocket assisted ammunition. The rate of fire is 6 to 10 rpm. Laying the mortar is done by hand and there is no fire control system. For self-defense a 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun fitted on a pintle mount.

Protection

The steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. In the firing position the crew is somewhat exposed, but not as much as a morter set up in an open field. After a firing mission the Type 96 can quickly relocate to avoid counter battery fire. There probably is a NBC protection system present, but there are no smoke grenade dischargers.

Mobility

The tracked chassis provides good all terrain mobility. The 411 hp supercharged Detroit Diesel engine provides a maximum speed of 50 km/h. As far as known the Type 96 is not amphibious. The only drawback of the tracked chassis is that the Type 96 is not as fast as the wheeled vehicles it is meant to support.

Users

The Type 96 is used only by the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force. It is not available for export. A total of 24 vehicles were produced and are in active service. Additional production is unlikely due to the decision to focus on the adoption of wheeled combat vehicles.

Variants

Type 96 self-propelled mortar

Type 96: The Type 96 self-propelled mortar was produced in only one variant. It is easy to identify by its raised superstructure and rearward facing mortar tube.

TypeSelf-propelled mortar
Crew5 (commander, driver, 3 mortar crew)
Length6.70 m
Width2.99 m
Height2.95 m (roofline)
Ground clearance?
Weight23.5 t
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear
Turn radius?
EngineDetroit Diesel 8V-71T V8 supercharged diesel, 411 hp at 2.300 rpm
Power ratio17.5 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed50 km/h
Fuel?
Range300 km
Wall?
Trench?
Gradient?
Fording?
ArmorSteel
NBC equipment?
Night vision?
Smoke?
Remarks-
Armament120mm MO-120-RT rifled mortar
12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
Weapon1120mm MO-120-RT rifled mortar
50 shells
-45 to 45° traverse over rearward arc
Weapon212.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun on pintle mount
100 rounds ready to fire
manual 360° traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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