Type 74 SP Howitzer

The Type 74 is a main battle tank (MBT) of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF). It was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a replacement for the earlier Type 61. It was based on the best features of a number of contemporary designs, placing it in the same class as the US M60 or German Leopard 1. Like these designs, it mounts the Royal Ordnance L7 105 mm gun. The design did not enter widespread use until 1980, by which point other western forces were starting the introduction of much more capable designs.

Type 74 SP Howitzer
Class Vehicle
Type Self-Propelled artillery
Manufacturer Komatsu Limited
Production Period 1975 - 1978
Origin Japan
Country Name Origin Year
Japan 1975
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Japan 1975 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Komatsu Limited 1975 1978 View

The JGSDF started studies on a new tank design with Mitsubishi in 1962, as it was realized that the Type 61 would not be able to defeat the latest Soviet designs like the T-62. Features from several designs were incorporated, including the controllable suspension of the US-German MBT-70 project, the hull of the Leopard 1, and the L7 105mm gun. The design included a rotating cupola for the commander, and a new autoloader for the main gun. Prior to the 1965 decision to design an entirely new tank, some technologies which would later be used in the STB-1 were already in development independently in Japan.The design was finalized in 1964 and various test rigs were built between 1964 and 1967.

DesignationsType 74 105mm Self-Propelled Howitzer
Manufacturer(s)Komatsu and Japan Steel
StatusProduction completed. In service with Japan.
Production Period1975-1978Production Quantity20
TypeSPA (T)Crew4
Length, overall5.78 mLength, hulln/a
Width, overall2.87 mHeight, overall3.20 m
Combat Weight16.300 kgUnloaded Weight13.300 kg
Radio, externaln/aCommunication, crewn/a
Main Armament105mm howitzerAmmunition Carried30x105mm
Gun Traversen/aElevation/Depressionn/a
Traverse Raten/aElevation Raten/a
Gun Stabilizationn/aRangefindern/a
Night VisionyesAuto-Loadern/a
Secondary Armament12.7 mm M2 MG (AA)Ammunition Carriedabout 500x12.7mm

EngineType 4ZF 2-stoke air-cooled V-4 dieselTransmissionmanual
Horsepower300hp at 2000rpmSuspensiontorsion bar
Power/Weight Ratio18.4hp/tTrack Widthn/a
Speed, on road50 km/hTrack Ground Contactn/a
Fuel Capacity410 lGround Pressure0.60kg/cm2
Range, on road300 kmGradient60%
Fuel Consumptionn/aVertical Obstacle0.7 m
Turning Radiusn/aTrench Crossing2.1 m
Ground Clearance0.40 mFording1.3 m (1)
Smoke Layingn/aNBC Protectionyes
Armor DetailsAll-welded armored hull.
(1) Amphibious with screen erected.

End notes