Mitsubishi Type 61

Notes: After World War 2, Japan was prohibited from manufacturing their own weapon designs until 1954. At that time, the Japanese were given an option to buy the US-built M-46/M-47 Patton tank or develop their own tank. Since the Japanese had a recurring problem of the crew positions of US-designed tanks being too large for their shorter-stature troops, the Japanese elected to design their own tank, which became the Type 61. The Type 61 began production in 1961, was produced until 1975, and remained in service until 2000; some 560 were built, though production was at a slow but steady rate.

The Type 61 can be mistaken for the US M-41 at first glance, though the two are not related. The Type 61 uses cast and welded steel plate armor like most tanks of the period. Though the Japanese originally wanted the future Type 61 to weigh no more than 25 tons, it was quickly realized that such a light tank would have rather poor armor protection, and the weight limit was raised to 35 tons. The original design also called for a gasoline engine of rather low power, but this was quickly changed to a more powerful Mitsubishi 12HM21 WT-4 570-horsepower diesel engine. From the start, the Japanese felt that a 90mm main gun would be sufficient, as combat ranges on the Japanese Islands would be short and in 1961, 90mm guns were still capable of taking on most tanks.

Layout is conventional with the driver on the front right of the hull with main gun ammunition to his left in a thinly-armored bin. The turret roof has commanderís and loaderís hatches; the commander has a pintle mount in front of his hatch for a heavy machinegun. Initially, the Type 61 had no night vision equipment or smoke grenade launchers, though IR vision for the gunner was added in the mid-1960s and improved in the early 1970s; in the early 1960s, a large white light/IR searchlight was also mounted above the main gun, and four smoke grenade launchers were mounted on each side of the turret. Other small upgrades, such as radios and ammunition storage, continued to be made throughout the Type 61ís career.

Twilight 2000 Notes: In the Twilight 2000 timeline, the Type 61 remained in service in a home guard role, but none left the Japanese Islands.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Type 61 (Early)

$223,738

D, A

500 kg

35 tons

4

16

Headlights

Shielded

Type 61 (Late)

$361,786

D, A

500 kg

35.02 tons

4

16

Passive IR (G), WL/IR Searchlight

Shielded

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

Type 61 (Both)

119/84

24/18

875

248

Trtd

T5

TF41 TS17 TR13 HF51 HS12 HR8

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Type 61 (Early)

+1

Basic

Type 61 90mm Gun, M-1919A4, M-2HB (C)

60x90mm, 4150x.30-06, 600x.50

Type 61 (Late)

+2

Basic

Type 61 90mm Gun, M-1919A4, M-2HB (C)

60x90mm, 4150x.30-06, 600x.50

Mitsubishi Type 74

Notes: By 1962 (only a year after the introduction of the Type 61), the Japanese already realized that the Type 61 was inadequate and inferior to both current Russian tanks and even contemporary Western tanks. They therefore began research on a new tank, doing not only original designing but also adapting and incorporating features from other tanks, such as the variable suspension of the MBT-70, the rolled steel hull with armor spacing beginning to be adopted by Western tanks, and even buying a license for the British L-7 gun. A semi-automatic loader was also designed for the main gun, significantly reducing the work required by the loader (particularly the heavy lifting) and increasing the main gunís rate of fire (though not enough to be reflected in T2K game terms). The main gun was originally supposed to have a fully-automatic loader and no loader crewman, but the technology was simply not perfected at the time. The design work was a long process, and the first of the Type 74s did not begin production until 1975, at which point it was already obsolete. Despite this, production continued until 1988, and Type 74s still remained in Japanese Ground Self-Defense service as late as 2006. Some 1000 were built.

Design is essentially conventional, with the driver on left front side and additional main gun to his right in an armored bin. He has three frontal vision blocks; the middle block may be removed and replaced with an IR vision block. The commander is on the right side in a rotating cupola and all-around vision blocks. He also has an independent image intensifier and a gunsight and override controls for the main gun. The original design called for a commanderís machinegun which could be aimed and fired from under armor, but this was deleted during the prototype phase to reduce cost and the commander given a machinegun on a pintle attached to the cupola. The gunner has both an IR sight and an image intensifier. The main gun is an L-7, with thermal sleeves fitted later while the Type 74 was already in service; the coaxial machinegun is a Type 74, which is a vehicular version of the standard Type 62 machinegun. A cluster of four smoke grenade launchers are found on each side of the turret. The engine is a Mitsubishi 10ZF Type 22 WT 750-horsepower diesel engine, but the transmission is still manual.

Twilight 2000 Notes: By and large, this was Japanís primary main battle tank during the Twilight 2000 timeline. Of course, as Japan primarily defended their own homeland in the Twilight War, it had few engagements with enemy vehicles; those that did (primarily in the Philippines, Korea, and in the Kuril Islands) fared poorly.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$312,417

D, A

500 kg

38 tons

4

18

Passive IR (D, G, C), Image Intensification (G, C)

Shielded

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

139/97

28/21

950

327

Trtd

T6

TF45Sp TS20 TR16 HF56Sp HS14Sp HR10

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

+2

Fair

105mm L-7 Gun, Type 74, M-2HB (C)

55x105mm, 4500x7.62mm, 660x.50

Mitsubishi Type 90

Notes: This Japanese tank is not related to the Chinese tank of the same name. It entered service in 1991, with initial low-rate production beginning in 1989. The Type 90 finally gave the Japanese tankers what they always wanted and needed Ė a tank that is up-to-date and not outclassed by modern designs. By 2006, it had replaced the Type 61 and Type 74, becoming Japanís only main battle tank. From the outside, the Type 90 looks much like an early-model Leopard 2, though the Type 90 is physically smaller. This may be because the Mitsubishi engineers worked extensively with Krauss-Maffei and MaK of Germany during the design process. Approximately 150 Type 90s have been built thusfar, but production continues.

The Type 90ís driver is in the center of the hull, with a driverís hatch that can be propped slightly open, though driving is primarily meant to be done with the driver using the vision blocks. The driver has a power seat that is normally inclined back, like that of the M-1 Abramsí driver. The commander is on the right of the turret; his machinegun may be aimed, fired, and reloaded from inside the turret, and resembles early models of the Remote Weapons Stations now becoming so common on modern combat vehicles. The commander has all-around vision blocks, as well as a separate thermal imager and image intensifier, an aiming reticule, and the ability to use information from the gunnerís sights and ballistic computer. The gunnerís hatch is to the left; he has no vision blocks.

The main gun is a Rheinmetall Rh-M-120, a modified German gun license-produced in Japan and modified specifically to fit the Type 90ís turret. The gun is fully stabilized, but unlike most Western tanks, uses an autoloader that eliminates the need for a loader crewmember. 20 rounds are contained in the turret bustle in the autoloader; the rest of the main guns are in the hull in an armored bin next to the gunner and must be put manually into the autoloader by the gunner and/or commander. The Type 90ís gunner has a thermal imager, a ballistic computer, and the ability to slave the gun to the ballistic computer so that the main gun automatically moves to aim at the next target found by the commander, or follow the gunnerís target automatically. The commander and gunner have monitors that allow them to keep track of targets and help keep track of the tankís condition and ammunition at all times. The Type 90 is completely NBC sealed and has an overpressure system. GPS and inertial navigation are both available. On each side of the turret are a cluster of three smoke grenade launchers.

The chassis can be lowered from 600mm to 200mm for use when on roads or when the tank is hull down. This suspension also allows one side at a time to be lowered to level the tank if necessary. (The leveling is not necessary for proper use of the main gun, as the ballistic computer takes slant into account. Power is provided by a Mitsubishi ZG-10turbocharged engine delivering 1500 horsepower. The transmission is fully automatic, and forms a complete powerpack unit with the engine.

Armor is modular, allowing for easier repairs and updating of armor protection in the future if desired. The frontal armor is composite, and unlike most modern tanks, the turret sides also incorporate composite armor.

Twilight 2000 Notes: The Type 90 was the primary tank sent overseas (in Japanís few overseas interventions in the Twilight 2000 timeline), and saw action in Korea, Manchuria, the Kuril Islands, and the Philippines, as well as the Japanese islands. However, production had to be cut back, and only 100 were ready by the start of the Twilight War; production continued at a low rate throughout the Twilight War, as well as afterward.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$628,935

D, A

700 kg

50 tons

3

28

Passive IR (D), Thermal Imaging (G, C), Image Intensification (G, C)

Shielded

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

186/130

37/28

1100

771

Trtd

T6

TF121Cp TS34 TR19 HF151Cp HS24Sp HR12

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

+4

Good

120mm Rh-M-120, Type 74, M-2HB (C)

45x120mm, 4500x7.62mm, 660x.50