The first Japanese APC
Both operational experience by the US Army and the tactical needs developed post-war imposed the use of an APC by the JGSDF. Specifications were emitted in the late 1950s, then a design by Mitsubishi heavy industries was submitted, based on a chassis sharing many components with the Type 61 main battle tank also in development. The first prototype was tested in 1960 and accepted for service. A grand total estimated of 755 vehicles were delivered until 1972 and its replacement by the Type 73 APC. The other military denomination was SU-60.
Although the design is generally straightforward for a late 1950s APC and looks in many ways similar to the American Food & Machinery Corp. vehicles, there was one obvious difference, the left side glacis plate ball-mounted 0.3 cal. machine gun. This feature will appear later obsolete and was not repeated with the Type 73 APC. The main armament was a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun mounted on the roof, near to the front, with a 360 turret ring and an aperture providing enough elevation inside the hull. It was manned by one of the crew members and could be equipped with a rather small personal armored shield. The front compartment housed the driver, commander (behind) and the two machine-gunners (one left of the driver, the other behind), while the rear compartment was large enough for six to eight infantrymen, a platoon.
Access and exit were provided by two large doors at the back.
The hull was assembled by welded RHA plates, slab-sided but with a sloped three-sided front glacis. The armor only offered some protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. The flat roof was provided sloping sides and storage ramps and handbars to allow additional equipment to be carried, or even additional personal that could hold on the handbars. The propulsion was provided by a center Mitsubishi 8 cylinder HA 21 WT diesel capable of 230 hp, providing a top speed of 45 kph on flat. The ride was relatively smooth due to a combination of five rubberized roadwheels suspended by coil springs and shock dampers and three return rollers per side, drive sprockets at the front and idlers at the rear. Field performances were as follows: Gradient: 60%, Side slope: 30%, Vertical step: 0.6 m, Trench: 1.82 m, Fording: 1 m. The hull was not treated NBC and the APC itself was not amphibious.
SV-60 self-propelled 81-mm mortar carrier Mounted in the open rear compartment but can be operated from outside. 18 built.
SX-60 self-propelled 106.7-mm mortar carrier Same arrangement but with a 107 mm mortar. 18 built.
NBC detection vehicle Entirely lined and NBC protected and equipped with a rear device for taking soil samples.
SU-60 ATGM Anti-tank missile carrying vehicle. Had two KAM-3D Anti-Tank Guided missiles on the roof
Type 75 engineering vehicle Or SU-60 Dozer. Fitted with a dozer blade. Only two built.
Type 60 106mm Recoilless Gun 223 vehicles derived from the same chassis from 1960 to 1979 (will be treated in a separate subject).
Although this APC had no major technical flow, it was limited due to the absence of NBC protection and no amphibious capabilities. It was nevertheless the only APC in service in the JSDGF from 1960 to 1972 and began to be replaced by the Type 73, most were converted into specialized variants or used for training the 1980s before being scrapped.
Specs. Type 60
|Dimensions (l-w-h):||4.85 x 2.40 x 2.31 m (15.9 x 7.87 x 757 fts)|
|Total weight, battle ready:||11.8 Tonnes (23600 ibs)|
|Crew :||4+6 (Driver, Commander, Radio, Gunner, +6 infantry)|
|Propulsion:||Mitsubishi 8 HA 21 WT diesel 230 hp|
|Suspensions:||Torsion bars & schocks absorbers|
|Top Speed (flat)||45 kph (28 mph)|
|Range (road)||230 km (143 miles)|
|Armament||M2HB Cal.50 (12.7 mm) HMG roof, Cal.0.3 (7.62 mm) M1919A4 hull|
|Armour||Front 13 mm, sides 8 mm (0.45 -0.3 in)|
Unknown unit, standard green livery, 1960s.
Type 60, 12th Tank Battalion, Camp Sumigahara, Gunma prefecture.
71th Tank Regiment, Camp Kita-Chitose, Hokkaido Prefecture.
7th Tank Battalion Camp Kusu, Ohita prefecture, 1991.