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Maneuver Combat Vehicle

105-mm fire support vehicle

Maneuver Combat Vehicle

The new Japanese Maneuver Combat Vehicle will replace ageing main battle tanks

 
 
Country of origin Japan
Entered service Expected in 2016
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 26 t
Length (gun forward) 8.45 m
Hull length ~ 7 m
Width 2.98 m
Height 2.87 m
Armament
Main gun 105-mm
Barrel length ?
Maximum range of fire ?
Rate of fire ?
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm, 1 x 7.62 mm
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ~ 40 rounds
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power 570 hp
Maximum road speed 100 km/h
Range 400 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench ~ 2 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m

 

   The Maneuver Combat Vehicle or MCV was designed by Japanese MoD Technical Research and Development Institute. Development commenced in 2008. It was first publicly revealed in 2013. Official sources claim that this fire support vehicle will be deployed in 2016. It will be produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Some 200-300 of these vehicles will be produced and replace ageing main battle tanks.

   In concept the Japanese Maneuver Combat Vehicle is similar to Italian Centauro. The main role of this vehicle is to provide direct fire support for infantry units. It can engage hostile armored vehicles, buildings and field fortifications. In some cases it supplements main battle tanks. Wheeled fire support vehicles are cheaper to produce and maintain than main battle tanks. Also these have high speed and mobility on hard surface roads and can respond rapidly to various threats. It is worth noting that main battle tanks require heavy equipment transporters to relocate them if long distances are involved. By acquiring wheeled fire support vehicle Japanese MoD plans to reduce the number of main battle tanks from 740 to only 300 units within the next few years.

   The Japanese MCV is armed with a 105 mm rifled gun. It is compatible with standard NATO 105 mm ammunition. For some reason this gun lacks automatic loader and is loaded manually. Around 40 rounds are carried for the main gun. Around 15 rounds are stored in the turret bustle and are ready to use.

   The MCV is fitted with a modern fire control system with the latest generation optics. This vehicle has a hunter-killer engagement capability. The commander uses a panoramic sight to search for targets. Once the target is selected the gun is laid on the target automatically and the gunner completes al the aiming and firing process. During that time commander looks for the next target. Such hunter-killer engagement method is present on all modern main battle tanks. It allows to acquire and engage targets faster.

   The MCV is capable of engaging most armored fighting vehicles, buildings and field fortifications. It can even successfully engage enemy main battle tanks. However its primary role is infantry fire support rather than anti-tank combat.

   There is a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and a roof-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun.

   This fire support vehicle is relatively light. It is likely to have a steel armor hull. Also there is modular add-on composite armor. It seems that the front arc withstands hits form 35 mm or even 40 mm guns. Maximum level of all-round protection is likely to be against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell splinters. Damaged add-on armor modules can be easily replaced in field conditions. Also modules can be upgraded as soon as more advanced armor becomes available.

   The Maneuver Combat Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   This fire support vehicle uses an entirely new 8x8 chassis. It is not based on any existing armored personnel carrier. It seems that it was specially designed to withstand the violent recoil of the main gun. A number of other fire support vehicle are simply created by merging an existing armored personnel carrier chassis with a gun turret. However such designs usually have various problems with excessive recoil, that the armored personnel carrier chassis was never designed for.

   The MCV is powered by unspecified turbocharged diesel engine, developing 570 hp. Powerpack is located at the front of the hull. It is claimed that operational range on roads without refueling is only 400 km. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. Tyre pressure can be adjusted to increase mobility over various off-road terrain.

   This fire support vehicle can be airlifted. Unlike main battle tanks the MCVs can be easily transported by Kawasaki C-2 tactical cargo aircraft. In case of emergency Japan plans to quickly airlift numerous Maneuver Combat Vehicles to remote islands where these are needed.

 

Video of the Japanese Maneuver Combat Vehicle

 
Maneuver Combat Vehicle

Maneuver Combat Vehicle

Maneuver Combat Vehicle

Maneuver Combat Vehicle

Maneuver Combat Vehicle


 
Maneuver Combat Vehicle

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