Japan (1989) Infantry Fighting Vehicle – 120 built (current)

Specifications & Development

The 三菱89式装甲戦闘車 Mitsubishi 89-shiki sōkō-sentō-sha is the first and only JSDGF infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). It was required as a Japanese version of the American Bradley, but other European vehicles like the German Puma were also considered. The whole development began after the official specifications in 1980, at Mitsubishi. Four prototypes were produced in 1984 and tested until 1986. Eventually, the Type 89 (from the year of entry into service) was accepted, and production was set up the production for an initial order of 300 vehicles. The primary contractor was Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, delegating to a main subcontractor, Komatsu Limited.


The hull was conventionally built in welded steel RHA. A Mitsubishi 600 horsepower 6 SY 31 WA water-cooled diesel engine took place in the hull front left compartment, and the driver was located to the right. It was linked to an automatic transmission with the front drive sprockets. The drivetrain was completed by six doubled rubberized road wheels and rear idler on each side, plus three track return rollers. The tracks were of the central pin model, and the suspensions were individual torsion bars.

The driver got a single-piece hatch that opens to the right with three fixed vision periscopes. The hatch is topped by a fully traversable periscope, which can be shifted for a night vision periscope, as well as the three others. An infantryman was seated right behind the driver with his own hatch and two vision periscopes covering the front angle, and a large spherical firing port on the right side. Another was located in the rear door. In the center of the hull was the fighting compartment, and the troop compartment was situated right after it. A two-man turret mounts the single Oerlikon 35 mm dual-feed auto-cannon capable of firing AP rounds and credited with 200 rounds per minute rate of fire produced under license in Japan. A Type 74 7.62 mm LMG was mounted coaxially, which could fire tracers.

Pistol port view
The turret is also equipped with a single Type 79 Jyu-MAT light AT missile launcher on each side. Underneath the launchers, a bank of three smoke grenade launchers electrically fired took place. The gunner sits left of the turret and the commander is on his right, both with rear-opening hatches. They have both telescopic sights mounted on the front of the turret, with IR night vision. The gunner two periscopes cover the front and left of the turret while the commander six periscopes provide a full peripheral vision. There is a laser warning system.

The the main troop compartment took place at the rear, with three seats per side, for six fully-equipped infantrymen (a platoon). They can access or disembark from two large armored doors at the rear end, which swing open to the sides. The compartment is provided with six firing ports, three on the left and two on the right, the last one being placed in the right rear exit door. Each of them has a vision periscope mounted above.

Active service

The production run is currently not over. So far 120 vehicles had been delivered out of an order for 300. With the end of the cold war, the rate of delivery was slowed down. The Type 89 entered service officially in 1989 but the first units began to operate this new model in 1991. Apart from some drilling exercises in the Home Islands, these vehicles were not engaged in peacekeeping or any operations outside Japan. However service expectancy is about 40 years, so these records are not closed. The Type 89 is part of the JSDGF Rapid Reaction Force. One of the prototypes is displayed today at the JGSDF public information center.

Type 89 IFV links & resources

The Type 89 IFV on Wikipedia

Type 89 IFV specifications

Dimensions (L-w-H) 6.70 x 3.20 x 3.75 m oa (21.9 x 10.4 x 12.3 oa ft)
Total weight, battle ready 27 tons (54 000 lbs)
Crew 3+7 (Commander, Driver, gunner, 7 infantrymen)
Propulsion 6 SY 31 WA Water-cooled 6-cyl. diesel 600hp
Top speed 70 km/h (43.5 mph)
Suspensions Torsion bars
Range (Fuel) 400 km (248 miles)
Armament 1 x 35 mm KDE cannon

2 x Type 79 Jyu-MAT missile, Type 74 7.62 mm coaxial LMG

Armor Steel RHA – unknown
Production (as of 2014) 120

Active vehicle in the 2000s.


Active JSDGF Type 89 in 2007

Preserved Type 89 prototype at the JGSDF Information Center

Type 90 Kyū-maru Main Battle Tank
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