Type 90 MBT (Family)

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Description

The Type 90 (90式戦車) is a main battle tank (MBT) of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF). Built and designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) as a replacement for all deployed Type 61 and Type 74 tanks as it didn't compete with Russian tanks like the T-72. It was designed to be able to compete with western designs like the US M1 or German Leopard 2. Like other Gen 3 tanks it is mounted with a Smoothbore 120 mm L/44. Starting development in 1976 and finalized in 1990.

As this tank still sees service it is slowly being supplemented and replaced by the Type 10 MBT in their new role as Gen 3.5 tank.

Vehicles

Rank VII

History

Development of the Type 90 began almost immediately after the introduction of the Type 74 into service, with the Japanese High Command already looking for a superior replacement. A central aspect of the new machine would have to be the ability to take on and defeat the new Soviet T-72 main battle tank. With that in mind, Japanese engineers began working on a prototype design, which would see completion in 1980. Two prototypes of this initial design were built, tested and improved upon between 1980 - 1986.

Testing resumed in 1986 with a second batch of four prototype vehicles, featuring a number of improvements over the initial two. The most significant change included the replacement of a Japanese-made 120mm smoothbore gun with the established Rheinmetall 120 L/44, most notably used by the M1A1 Abrams and Leopard 2 at the time. The decision to change the gun from a domestic one to a licence-built alternative most likely came as a measure to reduce production costs. However, unlike the MBTs of western armies, the designers of the Type 90 opted to equip the tank with an autoloading mechanism, making it the only production vehicle that did so in combination with the Rh 120 cannon. Further testing and army trials of these prototypes was conducted during the late 80s before the Japanese army formally introduced the tank into service in 1990 as the Type 90. Production of the Type 90 began in 1990 and continued until 2009, with 341 vehicles made.

- From Devblog

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (三菱重工業株式会社)
Ground Vehicles 
APC  Type 60
IFV  Type 89
MCV  Type 16
MBT  ST-A1 · ST-A2 · ST-A3 · Type 61
  ST-B1 · Type 74 (C) · Type 74 (E) · Type 74 (F) · Type 74 (G)
  Type 90 · Type 90 (B)
SPH  Type 75
SPAAG  Type 87
Air Vehicles 
Jet Fighter  F-86F-30 ▅* · F-86F-40 ▅* · F-86F-40 JASDF▅*
  T-2 · F-1
  F-104J*
  F-4EJ Phantom II* · F-4EJ Kai Phantom II*
Naval Vehicles 
Patrol Boat  PT-15
  MHI's shipyard is positioned in Shimonoseki
  * Licensed
See also  Mitsubishi Aircraft Company (1928-1945) · North American Aviation · Lockheed · McDonnell Aircraft Corporation

Japan medium tanks
Type 97  Chi-Ha · Chi-Ha Kai · Chi-Ha Kai TD · Chi-Ha Short Gun
Type 1  Chi-He · Chi-He (5th Regiment) · Ho-I
Type 3  Chi-Nu · Chi-Nu II
  Ka-Chi
Type 4  Chi-To · Chi-To Late
Type 5  Chi-Ri II
Type 61 MBT  ST-A1* · ST-A2* · ST-A3* · Type 61
Type 74 MBT  ST-B1* · Type 74 (C) · Type 74 (E) · Type 74 (F) · Type 74 (G)
Type 90 MBT  Type 90 · Type 90 (B)
USA  ▅M4A3 (76) W · ▅M47
  *ST-X is prototype stage for said MBT