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Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck

JGSDF Light Truck Type 73
Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck
Overview
Manufacturer
Mitsubishi Motors
Also called
½ Ton Truck
Production
1973 - Present
Body and chassis
Class
Mini SUV
Layout
F4
Related
Jeep CJ-3B
Powertrain
Engine
Water-cooled 4-cycle, 4-cylinder Diesel engine
Transmission
Manual transmission and Automatic transmission
Dimensions
Length
4,140 mm (163.0 in)
Width
1,765 mm (69.5 in)
Height
1,970 mm (77.6 in)
Curb weight
1,940 kg (4,277 lb)
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. They are powered by Mitsubishi-made 4-cylinder diesel engines with a total of 123 horsepower.

History

First generation

A JGSDF Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Kyū with a rear-mounted Sumitomo M2 heavy machine gun in an anti-personnel role.
Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Kyū
Overview
Manufacturer
Mitsubishi Motors
Also called
Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck ()
Production
1973 - 1997
Body and chassis
Class
Mini SUV
Layout
F4
Related
Jeep CJ-3B
Powertrain
Engine
Water-cooled 4-cycle, 4-cylinder Diesel engine
Transmission
Manual transmission
Dimensions
Length
3,750 mm (147.6 in)
Width
1,650 mm (65.0 in)
Height
1,950 mm (76.8 in)
Curb weight
1,450 kg (3,197 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor
None
Successor
Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck (Shin)
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 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-J54A. Production continued on before it ended in 1997 after the Type 73 Light Truck Shins were placed in production by 1996.
The Kyūs had been exported out of Japan, mostly declared as military surplus vehicles to the Philippines and South Vietnam with the latter using it as one of the main jeeps of the ARVN next to the Willys M606 and M38A1s in the course of the Vietnam War. They had been exported to New Zealand for civilian use.
A good closeup of the transmission stick used in a Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Kyū.
A view of the Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Kyū as used by JGSDF MP officers. Note the mounted radio at the rear of the vehicle.
The side and rear portion of the Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Kyū as used by JGSDF MP officers.

Second generation

A JGSDF Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Shīn with a rear-mounted Sumitomo M2 heavy machine gun in an anti-personnel role.
Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Shīn
Overview
Manufacturer
Mitsubishi Motors
Also called
Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck ()
1/2 Ton Truck
Production
1996 - Present
Body and chassis
Class
Mini SUV
Layout
F4
Related
Mitsubishi Pajero
Powertrain
Engine
Water-cooled 4-cycle, 4-cylinder Diesel engine
Transmission
4-speed automatic transmission
Dimensions
Length
4,140 mm (163.0 in)
Width
1,765 mm (69.5 in)
Height
1,970 mm (77.6 in)
Curb weight
1,940 kg (4,277 lb)
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.
The Type 73 Light Truck Shin can be mounted with various heavy machine guns and anti-tank missile launchers. But like its predecessor, the Shīn 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 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.

 
Transmission sticks inside a Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck Shin. On the left is the shifter for the automatic transmission, and on the right is the shifter for the transfer case (2WD L & H, 4WD L & H).

Design

A comparison of the front grilles of the Kyū (Above) and Shin (Below) light trucks as used by the JSDF.
Both Kyū and Shīn light truck vehicles can be outfitted with various weapon systems such as Kawasaki Type 64 anti-tank pods, Kawasaki Type 79 and Kawasaki Type 87 anti-tank missile launchers, Komatsu Type 60 recoilless rifles, Sumitomo MINIMI LMGs and Sumitomo M2 machine guns 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. They also have rear seats that can be folded up when they are not needed. Air conditioning is installed as a standard feature.

Variants

While there are no variants to either the Kyū and Shin Light Trucks, a small numbers were produced with small megaphones, roof-mounted single beacons and grille flashers. The Light Trucks were painted in white as they were exclusively used by JSDF military police units.

Users

  • Japan Japan - Currently using the Shin Light Trucks. Kyū Light Trucks have been decommissioned from some frontline units, though many are still in service.

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Last updated on 2 July 2014 at 18:09.

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