Type 61 MBT (Family)
The Type 61 MBT (61式戦車, Roku-ichi Shiki sensha) was a main battle tank (MBT) of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF). Built and designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)
Development started in 1955 with the ST-A series of prototypes and the vehicle was first deployed in April 1961. A total of 560 Type 61s were manufactured between 1961 and 1975 as it was succeeded by the Type 74.
After Japan's unconditional surrender at the end of World War 2, the shattered empire had been deprived of the opportunity of developing their own armoured vehicles. In the years following, the Japanese were heavily restricted in their military. They were limited to a Police Force in 1950, and by 1954 they were permitted to form a National Defense Force with the sole purpose of maintaining their borders without relying on the United States Military. This action was detailed and enacted through the U.S and Japan Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement. With the tensions between the Communist’s and the free world simmering up, the Japanese knew that at some point, they too would need their own tanks. Until then they had been using leased Sherman, Bulldog, and Chaffee tanks in their arsenal.
One year after the Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF) was formed, development on their first post-war tanks began with two roles: a main battle tank and a tank destroyer. The tank destroyer would start its prototype stages as designation SS and would eventually be developed into the Type 60 SPRG. The main battle tank would start development under the designation of ST-A (Special Purpose Vehicle A), and was to be in the same vein as the M47/M48 90 mm's as inspiration for the main gun. As the U.S Military gave a green light to the Japanese to aid one another in technological advancements, development on both projects could start. Originally, Keeping the weight low, the official project's goals were a weight of 25 tons, with a strong engine output and low ground pressure overall. Coupled with this equipped with a high penetration 90mm anti tank cannon. Provided with good depression, off road capabilities, and managing terrain such as beach heads and rice fields. But it became clear to Japan that their tank had to weigh at least 30t to be given necessary armour protection.
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. ()|
|Type 60 ATM|
|ST-A1 · ST-A2 · Type 61|
|ST-B1 · Type 74 · Type 74G|
|Type 75 SPH|
|Jet Fighter||F-86F-30 ▅* · F-86F-40 ▅* · F-86F-40 JASDF▅*|
|F-4EJ Phantom II*|
|See also||Mitsubishi Aircraft Company (1928-1945) · North American Aviation · Lockheed · McDonnell Aircraft Corporation|
|Japan medium tanks|
|Chassis Chi-Ha||Chi-Ha · Chi-Ha Kai · Chi-Ha Short Gun|
|Chassis Chi-He||Chi-He · Chi-He (5th Regiment) · Ho-I · Chi-Nu · Chi-Nu II|
|Chassis Chi-To||Chi-To · Chi-To Late|
|Chassis Chi-Ri||Chi-Ri II|
|Type 61 MBT||ST-A1* · ST-A2* · Type 61|
|Type 74 MBT||ST-B1* · Type 74 · Type 74G|
|Type 90 MBT||Type 90 · Type 90 (B)|
|USA||▅M4A3 (76) W|
|*ST-X Is prototype stage for said MBT|