Happy first day of Spring

The cherry blossoms always make me swell with joy this time of year– especially after a dark winter.

“In the cherry blossom’s shade
there’s no such thing
as a stranger.”
Kobayashi Issa

Here we have a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Type 74 (nana-yon-shiki-sensha) main battle tank under cherry blossoms somewhere in Japan.

Designed in the late 1960s as a contemporary of the U.S. M60 and the Soviet T-62/64, about 900 Type 74s were built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a replacement for Japan’s first indigenous Post-WWII tank, the Type 61, which is turn was a very M46 Patton-like design that mounted a 90mm popgun.

If it looks familiar, the Type 74 uses the hull of the German Leopard I– though with different suspension and a 10cyl MHI diesel– and equipped with a licensed Royal Ordnance L7 105mm cannon with a number of local improvements.

They have largely been relegated to second-line service since the 1990s when the very Leopard 2-ish Type 90 Kyū-maru MBT went into production and in the end will be replaced as the new Type 10 MBT, complete with a 120mm gun and nano-crystal steel modular ceramic composite armor, is fielded in greater numbers.

Though a dated design for sure, about 250 updated Type 74s remain in service and, due to the current Japanese constitution, will likely never deploy outside of the Home Islands. As such they should prove a good enough deterrent for Godzilla.

 

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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