JGSDF Light Armoured Vehicle - Tamiya's No. 35275, released in 2004
JGSDF Light Armoured Vehicle - Iraq Humanitarian Assistance Unit
With the HMV Hayate and Type 73 Small Utility Vehicle fitted with little armor and having poor defense capabilities, in 1997 the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) began development on a new high-mobility light armored transportation vehicle. Designed to be strong against guerilla and terrorist forces, the Lighted Armored Vehicle was deployed to JGSDF regiments from 2002. Capable of accommodating 4 personnel, the JGSDF Light Armored Vehicle was fitted with a 160hp liquid-cooled 4-cycle 4-cylinder diesel engine, allowing it to reach top speeds of 100km/h. Weighing just 4.5 tons, it could be used as a long distance transportation vehicle utilizing Japan's public roads and highways, and was able to be carried by a CH-47J helicopter or C-130H transport aircraft for emergency air-drops. Taking advantage of its superior durability, maneuverability and small size, the Light Armored Vehicle is capable of providing critical access to the front line and undertaking vital transportation operations during confrontations. The gun mount on the roof can be fitted with a 5.56mm MINIMI machine gun or Type 01 Light Anti-Tank Guided Missile. Vehicle deployed to the Iraq town of Samawa in 2004 were fitted with reinforced bulletproof windshields and extra equipment such as wire cutters, updating it to the standards of light armored vehicles of other nations. Many vehicles also featured an armored cover around the gun mount for extra protection. Due to the historical significance of the JGSDF Samawa reconstruction mission, the JGSDF Light Armored Vehicle gained much international attention in 2004.