Type 89 FV (P)

Do you want to see the Type 89 (P) being implemented ?
  • Yes!
  • No.
0 voters

Type 89 (P), Light Tank, Japan, Rank VI

Type 90 prototype and Type 89 prototype during an SDF preview ceremony in the 1990s.

The Type 89 Armored Combat Vehicle is Japan’s inaugural Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), geared towards enhancing squad and team-level mission capabilities. Developed by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to enhance the capabilities of infantry units, its initial plan for deployment was to be used nationwide across Japan. The vehicle was designed to provide infantry with increased mobility, firepower, and protection. However, the deployment of the Type 89 faced several challenges. One major obstacle was its high procurement cost, estimated at approximately 600-700 million yen per unit, making it difficult to acquire a sufficient number of vehicles for widespread deployment across all JGSDF units as initially planned.

Full development history of the Type 89.

The Type 89 Armored Combat Vehicle is the first full-fledged Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) equipped by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).

Production of the first prototype began in 1984, followed by technical tests in 1986, and then practical tests. In 1989, it was formalized as the “Type 89 Armored Combat Vehicle”.

The body is made of rolled armor steel plates and welded entirely, improving survivability over the bulletproof aluminum Type 73 Armored Vehicle. However, it does not have buoyancy.

The engine and transmission/steering mechanism are mounted on the left front of the vehicle, but unlike the Type 73 Armored Vehicle, they are integrated as a power pack, greatly improving maintainability.

The engine is a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries liquid-cooled 4-stroke, 6SY31WA inline 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine (output 600hp), which surpasses the Type 73 Armored Vehicle in off-road mobility and can fully keep up with the Type 90 Tank.

The right front of the vehicle is the driver’s seat, so there is no front machine gun up to the Type 73 Armored Vehicle. Behind it are seats, and the sides of the turret have very narrow passages.

The rear of the body is the troop compartment, which can accommodate a fully equipped squad (section) consisting of seven infantrymen. There are seats for six people facing each other, and between the backrests are ammunition storage for the Type 79 Anti-ship Anti-tank Missile (abbreviated as Heavy MAT) and 35mm machine gun ammunition.

A hinged door for boarding and disembarking is provided on the rear of the body, and ventilation fan boxes are attached to the upper left and right sides of the body rear. There are a total of seven gun ports on the left and right sides of the body and on the rear door on the right side, allowing infantrymen to shoot outside using the Type 89 5.56mm rifles they carry.

A small glass window is embedded in each gun port for aiming, prioritizing accuracy over using periscopes located somewhat away, as in other countries’ IFVs.

The turret is a welded construction of rolled armor steel plates like the body, with the right side of the turret interior serving as the commander’s seat and the left side as the gunner’s seat.

For the gunner, a thermal imaging sight-integrated type sight is installed on the turret roof, and for the commander, a laser rangefinder-integrated type sight is installed.

On both sides of the turret are one launcher for the Heavy MAT each. The Heavy MAT is a semi-automatic infrared guidance system with a maximum effective range of about 4,000m and a maximum flight speed of about Mach 0.65. In addition to carrying two instant-use rounds in the launcher, four spare rounds are carried inside the vehicle.

The main gun is the 90 caliber 35mm machine gun KDE developed by Swiss Oerlikon, licensed produced by Nippon Steel. This machine gun is a lightweight version for lightly armored vehicles of the 90 caliber 35mm anti-aircraft gun KDA mounted on the Type 87 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun, with overall weight reduction and maximum firing rate reduced to 200 rounds/minute.

To the left of the main gun is a coaxial machine gun, the Type 74 vehicle-mounted 7.62mm machine gun, and to the right of the main gun is a box containing the guidance device for the Heavy MAT.

The Type 89 Armored Combat Vehicle has not only powerful armaments but also the capability to engage enemy Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), making it superior to other IFVs in its class. It also has the ability to operate jointly with the Type 90 Tank of the same generation. However, like the Type 90 Tank, one of the issues not shown in such catalog data is its high price.

In the case of forming armored and mechanized units with IFVs and MBTs, it is usually necessary to have 1.5 to 2 times the number of the former as the latter. However, the unit price per vehicle of the Type 89 Armored Combat Vehicle is nearly 700 million yen, making it the most expensive in the world. As a result, the annual procurement is limited to a few vehicles, posing a structural problem of not being able to procure a sufficient number over a long period of time.

This is a proposal for one of the Type 89 prototypes, featuring slight differences in its external appearance compared to the mass-production model. I believe it could potentially serve as a squadron vehicle or a premium variant.

The standout feature of this vehicle, lacking in the production Type 89, is its capability to be equipped with a Type 92 mine roller device, akin to the Type 74 (F) and Type 90 (B). Developed in 1988 and formally adopted as standard equipment in 1992, this apparatus is mounted on tanks and primarily employed for handling small-scale minefields and similar tasks.
Additionally, it appears that the laser warning receiver, typically installed in the middle of the turret, is missing on this prototype.

This prototype vehicle is currently on display at the JGSDF Public Information Center (Rikkun Land) in Asaka, Saitama Prefecture.

Comparison between production and prototype vehicles:

By the way, I’m not exactly sure how many prototypes were built and which one this vehicle is. The picture below is said to be the first prototype, but I’m certain that this is not the same prototype that is on display today.


<89 Type Armored Combat Vehicle>

  • Overall length: 6.80m
  • Overall width: 3.20m
  • Overall height: 2.50m
  • Gross weight: 26.5t
  • Crew: 3 members
  • Troops: 7 members
  • Engine: Mitsubishi 6SY31WA liquid-cooled inline 6-cylinder 4-stroke turbocharged diesel
  • Maximum output: 600hp / 2,100rpm
  • Maximum speed: 70km/h
  • Range: 400km
  • Armament: 1 x 90 caliber 35mm machine gun KDE (ammunition: 251 rounds)
    1 x Type 74 vehicle-mounted 7.62mm machine gun (ammunition: 2,000 rounds)
    2 x Type 79 anti-ship anti-tank guided missile launchers (ammunition: 4 rounds)

This vehicle will share the same ammunition and ATGM as the Type 89 already in the game:

35mm ammunition:
Skärmbild 2024-05-04 204354 Skärmbild 2024-05-04 204409

Type 79 ATGM:
Skärmbild 2024-05-04 204421 Skärmbild 2024-05-04 204433

Additional images:

I believe this was the same vehicle before it was restored and moved for display at Rikkun Land (?)


89Ž® ‘•bí“¬ŽÔ
『陸上自衛隊広報センター 89式装甲戦闘車 87式自走高射機関砲 他』


I think I would rather the B78 IFV and the new wheeled IFV(s), but sure, this could be a good option as well.




From what I’ve read, it seems only three prototypes were built. The first one is vehicle 99-0026, the second is 99-0041 (also called FVX-0001), and the third is 99-0042 (also called FVX-0002). The one still on display is 99-0041/FVX-0001.

This is indeed a picture of the first prototype numbered 99-0026. Here’s a front view of it.


I’d personally like to see 99-0026 come first but +1 to this one too.


Good as filler, I suppose. +1

1 Like

Thanks, maybe I should rename the vehicle to FVX instead? Anyway, the reason I picked this version is because it is still being preserved at the JGSDF Public Information Center. So, if Gaijin wants to implement this vehicle, it would be possible for them to model it based on the surviving example. The older vehicles might be a little more difficult to suggest or implement.

Additionally, there is also a illustration on four angles of the vehicle that I forgot to post. These should tremendously help the modeler to accurately model it.


While its virtually the same vehicle minus some minor cosmetic changes, I’d grind it solely because I got to see it in person last year. The JGSDF’s Public Info Center is a pretty cool place.


35mm Oerlikon is a strong strong argument for wanting ANOTHER Type 89. The current Type 89 is a very good IFV. It may have been consistently and constantly nerfed by Gaijin, for 0 good reason, BUT it is still very good. Because of 2 factors: 1 The gun, 2 the survivability.

I have the 9040s, I the Bradleys, I have the Dardos, I have the BMP-2s. I like the Type 89 more than them, it just is the only one we have.


I don’t disagree, I love the Type 89 too. I just think Japan needs more unique vehicles rather than effectively copy-pastes of prototypes or different series production vehicles. But I guess why not all 3 – this prototype and the unique ones.

I’m sure Japan will get its unique IFV first especially the devs are not even aware of this thing yet, whether it is a common tactical tracked or wheeled vehicle. This suggestion exists as a last resort, or could come after or alongside those vehicles. Or it could be a gap filler that the devs could implement while whatever they are working on is not ready yet, since this is a very simple vehicle and I don’t imagine it would take much time to work on.