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Type 73


73式装甲車


Overview


Type 73

Frontal view of of Japanese Type 73 armored personnel carrier in the field.
Source: Rikujojieitai Boueisho (mod.go.jp) - © CC BY 4.0

Origin
Japan
Type
Armored personnel carrier
Entered service
1973
Status
In service
Development
1967 - 1971
Developer
Japan - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Production
1973 - ?
Producer
Japan - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Unit cost
About 100 million Yen
Number produced
At least 338
Designations
73式装甲車
Notable users
Japan - JGSDF

Description


Introduction

The Type 73 is a Cold War era armored personnel carrier of Japanese origin. In the late 1960's there was a design contest involving both Mitsubishi and Komatsu. The former won the contract and the first vehicle entered service in 1973, hence the Type 73 designation.

Design

The Type 73 is a tracked armored personnel carrier and looks somewhat similar to the American M113, which proved successful in the Vietnam war. The internal layout is quite different though. Three crew members are seated side by side at the front. These are from right to left the driver, vehicle commander and bow gunner. The engine and drivetrain are located in the middle on the left hand side. To the right there is a cupola with the main armament. The rear area seats the rest of the troops, which enter the vehicle via two large doors. There are also two large roof hatches.

Firepower

Main armament of the Type 73 is the 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun. This is fitted on the pintle mount on the turret roof. It is manned by one of the 7 troops in the rear compartment. A 7.62mm Type 74 bow machine gun is fitted which can only fire over the frontal arc.

Protection

The aluminum armor provides all around protection against small arms fire and shell splinters. An NBC system is fitted and there are 2x3 smoke grenade dischargers.

Mobility

The tracked chassis gives the Type 73 good all terrain mobility. A 300 hp V4 diesel provides propulsion. The maximum speed is 60 km/h on road. The Type 73 is fully amphibious, but requires extensive preparation and is quite slow when afloat.

Users

The Type 73 was adopted only by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. None were exported as per Japanese regulations. An initial batch of 225 vehicles were ordered to supplement and replace the older SU 60. Later more were ordered. The Type 73 was supplemented by the Type 89 mechanized infantry combat vehicle, which was adopted in relatively small numbers. Most Type 73 are being slowly being replaced by the Type 96 wheeled armored personnel carrier.

Details


Facts Type 73
General
Origin
Japan
Type
Armored personnel carrier
Crew
3 + 9 (commander, driver, gunner, 7 troops)
Dimensions
Weight
13.3 t combat load
Length
5.80 m
Width
2.90 m
Height
2.21 m over roof MG
1.7 m to hull roof
Main armament
Type
12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
Mount
Pintle mount on roof
Ammunition
500 to 1.000 rounds in total (estimate)
100 rounds ready to fire
Elevation
-10° to +60°, manual
Traverse
360°, manual
Stabilizer
No
Secondary armament
Type
7.62mm Type 74 machine gun
.30 M1919A4 in early production vehicles
Mount
Bow mount in hull front
Ammunition
1.000 to 2.000 rounds in total (estimate)
Traverse
Fires over frontal arc, 30° to all sides, up and down
Stabilizer
No
Chassis
Chassis type
Tracked chassis, 5 roadwheels
Layout
Drive sprocket front, idler rear
Tread
2.56 m
Track width
0.38 m
Track on ground
2.67 m
Suspension
Torsion bar
Automotive
Engine model
Mitsubishi 4ZF
Engine type
2-stroke air-cooled V4 diesel
Power output
300 hp at 2.200 rpm
Fuel
450 L
Mobility
Speed
60 km/h on road
6 - 7 km/h afloat
Range
300 km on road
Turn radius
7 m
Power to weight ratio
22.6 hp/t
Obstacle crossing
Ground clearance
0.4 m
Wall
0.7 m
Trench
2 m
Gradient
60 %
Fording
Amphibious, with 30 minute preparation
Protection
Armor type
Aluminum
NBC system
Yes
Smoke system
2x3 smoke grenade dischargers
Equipment
Night vision
Yes, passive IR for driver only
Radio
Yes

Subcomponents


Browning M2HB

The 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun is the main armament of the Type 73.

Browning M1919

Initial production vehicles were produced with .30 M1919A4 bow machine guns.

Sumitomo Type 74

In the mid 1970's the Type 74 was adopted as the bow machine gun of the Type 73.

Media


Related articles


Type 89

A small number of Type 73 were replaced by the Type 89 mechanized infantry combat vehicle. This is a larger tracked vehicle with much heavier armament.

Type 96

The wheeled Type 96 armored personnel carrier has replaced a large number of Type 73 in Japanese service.

M113

The Type 73 looks quite similar to the American M113, but has a very different internal layout.