Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Kyū
JGSDF Type73 Light Truck 20081025-2.JPG
A JGSDF Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Kyū with a rear-mounted Sumitomo M2 heavy machine gun in an anti-personnel role.
TypeMid-size off road vehicle
Place of originJapan
Service history
In service1973 - 1997
Production history
ManufacturerMitsubishi Motors
Produced1973 - 1997
Specifications
Mass1,450 kg (3,197 lb)
Length3,750 mm (147.6 in)
Width1,650 mm (65.0 in)
Height1,950 mm (76.8 in)

EngineWater-cooled 4-cycle, 4-cylinder Gasoline: 2.2l JH4, 2.3l KE47 Diesel 2.7l 4DR5 (naturally-aspirated & turbocharged), 4DR6 (direct injection, turbocharged)
TransmissionManual transmission

The Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck (73式小型トラック, 73-shiki kogata torakku) is a series of military light trucks that are used as mini SUVs in the JSDF. They have been under production by Mitsubishi Motors since 1973. In JSDF service, it is officially known as the 1/2 Ton Truck.[1][2] They are powered by Mitsubishi-made 4-cylinder diesel engines with a total of 123 horsepower.[3]

History

First generation

The first production of the Type 73, known as the Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck (Kyū) (73式小型トラック (旧), 73-shiki kogata torakku (kyū)) was based on the Jeep CJ-3Bs that Mitsubishi Motors had been producing under license from Willys. The first Type 73 Kyūs had been placed into production in 1973[4] with the chassis of the Jeep CJ-3B for basis before they made modifications based on it to create the Mitsubishi CJ-3B-J4 and the Mitsubishi CJ-3B-J4C before it was replaced again by producing the Mitsubishi CJ-5A-J54.[5] Both gasoline and diesel variants were produced and a total over 200,000 units were made. Production continued on before it ended in 1997[4] after the Type 73 Light Truck Shins were placed in production by 1996.[6]

The Kyūs had been exported out of Japan, mostly declared as military surplus vehicles to the Philippines[7] and South Vietnam with the latter using it as one of the main jeeps of the ARVN, next to the Willys M606, M38A1 and M151A1 during the course of the Vietnam War.[8][9] They have also been exported to New Zealand for civilian use.[7]

Second generation

Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Shin[10]
1/2 Ton Truck[1]
JGSDF 0.5t track.jpg
A JASDF Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Shin.
TypeMid-size off road vehicle
Place of originJapan
Service history
In service1996 - Present
Production history
ManufacturerMitsubishi Motors
Produced1996 - Present
Specifications
Mass1,940 kg (4,277 lb)
Length4,140 mm (163.0 in)
Width1,765 mm (69.5 in)
Height1,970 mm (77.6 in)

EngineWater-cooled 4-cycle, 4-cylinder Diesel engine 4M40 (1996-2013), 4N15 (2014-) 125 HP
Transmission4-speed Automatic transmission

The Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck (Shin) (73式小型トラック (新), 73-shiki kogata torakku (shin)) began production in 1996 as Mitsubishi Motors began to slowly phase out the Type 73 Light Truck Kyūs from production and from selective service in the JSDF, using the frame of the Mitsubishi Pajero as a basis.[6]

The Type 73 Light Truck Shin can be mounted with various heavy machine guns and anti-tank missile launchers. But like its predecessor, the Shin Light Truck can mount Sumitomo M2 machine guns and, for the first time, the Sumitomo MINIMI Light Machine Gun.

When Shin Light Trucks were deployed to Iraq as part of the JIRSG, the vehicles were bulletproofed[11] due to concerns that Iraqi guerrillas would target their vehicles to provoke JSDF troops who, under the restrictions of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, are not supposed to participate in any kind of offensive combat operations.[12]

Design

A comparison of an early Shin light truck bumper (above) and the revised bumper (below) with integrated fog lamps. The revision increased the number of fog lamps from one to two.
A comparison of an early Shin light truck bumper (above) and the revised bumper (below) with integrated fog lamps. The revision increased the number of fog lamps from one to two.

Both Kyū and Shin light truck vehicles can be outfitted with various weapon systems such as Kawasaki Type 64 anti-tank pods,[13] Kawasaki Type 79[14] and Kawasaki Type 87 anti-tank missile launchers,[15] Japan Steel Works Type 60 recoilless rifles,[16] Sumitomo MINIMI LMGs[17] and Sumitomo M2 machine guns[17][7] to make them both a mobile anti-tank and anti-personnel vehicle.

Both light truck variants have the tarpaulin hood mounts at the rear as an option.[18][19] They also have rear seats that can be folded up when they are not needed.[19] Air conditioning is installed as a standard feature.

Variants

The base Kyu models for personnel and light cargo transport were designated J24A, J25A and J23A. 'A2' versions carried a wireless communications system Type 3. 'P' versions carried a recoil-less rifle, 'K' versions an anti-tank guided missile launcher Type 87. 'G-E' and 'G-N' versions carried a Type 79 guided missile launcher for either anti-tank or anti-landing craft us. 'SR' versions carried a radar system and had jacks to stabilize the vehicle. The 'SH' version carried an orientation system while the 'SC' version carried a communication relay system. 'SR, 'SH' and 'SC' versions were all equipped with winches. Small numbers were produced with small megaphones, roof-mounted single beacons and grille flashers.[20][21] The Light Trucks were painted in white as they were exclusively used by JSDF military police units.[20][21][22]

Users

Current

Former

References

  1. ^ a b This JSDF name designation is used only for the Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Shin only.
  2. ^ "1/2t トラック" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  3. ^ "Type 73 Kogata". Military Today. Archived from the original on 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  4. ^ a b "73式小型トラック(J23・J24型)" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  5. ^ "CJ3B-J4 Military Jeeps". Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  6. ^ a b "1/2tトラック(73式小型トラック・V16型)" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Mitsubishi Military Jeep Photos". Archived from the original on 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  8. ^ a b "CJ3B-J4 Military Jeeps in Vietnam". Archived from the original on 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  9. ^ Mesko, Jim (1982). Armor in Vietnam, A Pictorial History. In Action Series 6033. Squadron/Signal Publications. p. 67. ISBN 9780897471268.
  10. ^ The Shin (新) designation is given to differentiate Type 73 Light Trucks made after 1997 to the present.
  11. ^ 平成17年度所管公益法人等との間で締結された随意契約の緊急点検結果等について(防衛省) (PDF) (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
  12. ^ "Japan's About-Face". Public Broadcasting System. 2011-06-11. Archived from the original on 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  13. ^ 64式 対戦車誘導弾 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  14. ^ 79式 対舟艇対戦車誘導弾 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  15. ^ 87式 対戦車誘導弾 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  16. ^ "60式 106mm無反動砲" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  17. ^ a b "1/2tトラック(73式小型トラック/偵察用)" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  18. ^ 旧・73式小型トラック 長きに渡り隊員に親しまれた通称「ジープ」 (in Japanese). Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces. Archived from the original on 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  19. ^ a b 73式小型トラック 旧・新 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  20. ^ a b "73式 小型トラック(J23A・J25A型)警務隊用" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  21. ^ a b "1/2tトラック(73式小型トラック・V16型)警務用" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  22. ^ 新73式小型トラック (in Japanese). Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces. Archived from the original on 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-06-15.