Japanese army displays Type 96 APC with mine clearing system

Isa Khan

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On March 23, Caesar on Twitter published pictures of a Type 96 armored personnel carrier adapted in a mine clearing version with Type 70 MiclicC system, which one may assume is dedicated to deployments in EOD and IED infested regions, namely for UN missions.

The Type 96 Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier entered service with the Japan Self-Defense Force in 1996. On 10 January 2017, a new 8×8 APC prototype called the Wheeled Armoured Vehicle (Improved) was handed off to the Japanese Armed Forces to replace the 365 Type 96 vehicles in service. Developed by the Japanese Defense Ministry in collaboration with Komatsu Limited, this next-generation wheeled vehicle was designed to offer more protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with a similar layout to the Patria AMV and Stryker providing the Japanese Army with a family of different vehicles on a common chassis.

The new vehicle proposed is longer, higher and heavier than the Type 96: the prototype is 8.40 m (27 ft) long, 2.50 m (8 ft) wide, and 2.90 m (9 ft) high, weighing 20 tons and carries two crew members and nine troops with a new more powerful 500 hp diesel engine and strengthened suspension to run at 100 km/h. The vehicle will equip JGSDF combat and combat-support units for peacekeeping operations as well as “counter island invasion” scenarios.

A mine-clearing line charge (abbreviated MICLIC) is used to create a breach in minefields under combat conditions. While there are many types, the basic design is for many explosive charges connected on a line to be projected onto the minefield. The charges explode, detonating any buried mines, thus clearing a path for infantry to cross. The system may either be human-portable or vehicle-mounted. The systems do not guarantee clearance of all types of mines.

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