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Type 74

Main battle tank

Type 74 MBT

The Type 74 main battle tank was generally out-dated even before it entered service

Entered service 1975
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 38 t
Length (gun forward) 9.42 m
Hull length 6.7 m
Width 3.18 m
Height 2.67 m
Main gun 105-mm rifled
Machine guns 1 x 12.7-mm, 1 x 7.62-mm
Elevation range - 6 to + 12 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 55 rounds
Machine guns 600 x 12.7, 4 500 x 7.62
Engine Mitsubishi 10ZF Model 22 diesel
Engine power 720 hp
Maximum road speed 53 km/h
Range 400 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 1 m
Trench 2.7 m
Fording 1 m
Fording (with preparation) 2 m


   Development of the new Japanese MBT to supplement the Type 61 commenced in the early 1960s, when it was realized that the Type 61 would not be able to counter the threat posed by the latest Soviet designs such as the T-62. The new Japanese tank was designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The first prototype was completed in 1969. The first production vehicle was completed in 1975. This tank uses a number of best features of contemporary Western designs, placing it in the same class as the M60 Patton and Leopard 1. However it saw widespread use only in 1980s, when more capable Western designs were introduced. So the Type 74 was generally out-dated even before it entered service. Production ended in 1989 and about 890  tanks built. Japanese Ground Self Defense Force is the only operator of this MBT, as this county laws do not allow to export military equipment.

   A cast turret of the Type 74 is broadly similar to that of the French AMX-30. This main battle tank is armed with a fuly-stabilized 105-mm rifled gun. It is the British L7 gun, manufactured in Japan under license. Prototype of the Type 74 was fitted with an autoloader, however it proved too complex and expensive, and was removed. Initially the Type 74 used HEP rounds. These were later upgraded to APFDSD and HEAT-MP. A total of 55 rounds are carried for the main gun. 14 rounds are stored in the turret bustle and are ready to use. Remaining rounds are stored in the hull.

   Fire control system of this main battle tank was very advanced. For the first time in the world a tank was fitted with advanced computer for ballistic calculations. It also had a laser rangefinder. In service tanks were later upgraded with infra-red imagers.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and a roof-mounted 12.7-mm MG.

   The Type 74 has an all-welded hull. It fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

   This MBT has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   The Type 74 is powered by Mitsubishi 10ZF Model 22 air-cooled turbocharged diesel engine, developing 750 hp. This main battle tank has a high power-to-weight ration of 18.9 hp/tonne. Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension, allowing this MBT to "sit", "stand", "kneel" or to "lean". This feature was incorporated from the canceled German-US MBT-70 design. The driver can adjust the suspension to suit the type of terrain. It can be fitted with a deep wading kit for crossing of shallow water obstacles up to 2 m deep. Some tanks were fitted with a front-mounted dozer blade. Mine rollers can be attached at the front. This version with mine clearing rollers is referred as the Type 74F.

   In the early 1990s the Japanese Ground Self-Defense forces received the new Type 90 main battle tank, which supplemented the Type 74. The ageing Type 74 MBTs are due to be replaced with the latest Type 10 in the JGSDF inventory.




   Type 78 armored recovery vehicle;

   Type 87 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun;

   Type 91 armored bridgelayer.


Video of the Type 74 main battle tank


Type 74 MBT

Type 74 MBT

Type 74 MBT

Type 74 MBT

Type 74 MBT

Type 74 MBT

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