Type 96 WAPC (A) - More Effective Than You'd Think

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

TL:DR: A Japanese wheeled APC fitted with a 40mm grenade launcher capable of penetrating around 75~mm of armor.

History:

Getting troops from point A to point B has been and always will be a requirement when it comes to any military worth their salt. Japan is one such military, however, after WW2, they didn’t have many options when it came to moving troops around automotively. Best they had were various trucks and M2/M3 halftracks, all of which lacked adequate protection for crew and dismounts due to being soft-skinned, open-topped, or even both. By the 1950s, this had become unacceptable and a project for a fully-tracked, fully-enclosed, and fully armored personnel carrier was started. The result would be the Type 60 APC, which enter service in 1960 and exit in 1973, being replaced by the more modern Type 73 APC. The Type 73 would serve as Japan’s only armored personnel carrier until the 1990s when it began to show its age. While the Type 73 could transport troops well enough, being tracked, it couldn’t do so as quickly as might be needed on Japan’s nearly 1 million kilometers of paved roads. As such, a project for a wheeled APC was started with the intention of supplementing and only partially replacing the Type 73 as a tracked APC did still have its merits. The result of the project would enter service in 1993 under the name of Type 93 Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier (WAPC). Like most APCs, the Type 93 was capable of mounting weapons for both defensive and offensive purposes. When fitted with the 40mm Howa Type 93 automatic grenade launcher, the vehicle was referred to as Type A and when when fitted with an M2 Browning, the vehicle was referred to as Type B. The Howa Type 93 AGL is curiously chambered in 40x56, instead of the NATO standard of 40x53, meaning that it is incompatible with NATO standard high-velocity grenades, however, the internals of the GK20J HEDP grenade fired by the Type 96 and those of the American M430A1 HEDP, which can penetrate up to 76mm of armor, are nearly identical, meaning that GK20J should also be able to penetrate somewhere in the ballpark of 75~mm, which is more than Rh202 APDS. The Type 93 WAPC still serves to this day, however, it is soon to be replaced by the Patria AMV XP.

Place In War Thunder:

Automatic grenade launchers as a vehicle’s main weapon is an understandably controversial topic when it comes to their possible implementation into the game, however, it must be noted that this is largely due to one main factor: misunderstandings and lack of knowledge of the penetration capabilities of HEDP grenades. These misunderstandings combined with a poor muzzle velocity makes many people assume that a vehicle equipped only with an automatic grenade launcher would have to be placed at an uncomfortably low BR to be effective. Fortunately, this really isn’t the case. GK20J HEDP can penetrate around 75~mm of armor. Pair this with a quick wheeled platform that has a lot of empty space and what you get is essentially an autocannon carrier that just needs to get closer to its target. And even if you don’t get closer you have zero distance-based penetration drop off. There is no reason why vehicles equipped solely with AGLs would not be able to perform at suitable BRs in War Thunder. Playstyle would be rather unique, however, not completely unfamiliar. The Type 96 WAPC (A) would essentially like any other wheeled autocannon carrier. The main difference, again, is the required distance from your target to actually cause damage being much MUCH smaller, almost right on top of them, essentially promoting an incredibly suicidal playstyle. That being said, once you do get within range, you will not struggle to penetrate foe you may face, with your 75~mm of pen at 350rpm. Since this vehicle is in widespread service with the JSDF, it is only fitting that it see placement in the tech tree. Potentially filling the 6.7 - 7.7 gap in the light tank line. Since it would be slightly worse than the BTR-80A, an initial BR of 7.0 would be adequate.

Specifications:

Armament: 40mm Howa Type 96 AGL

Dimensions: 6.84m, 2.48m, 1.85m (L,W,H)

Weight: 14606kg

Armor: Proof against small arms fire and artillery splinters

Crew: 3

Ammunition: HEDP

Speed: 100kph

Horsepower: 360hp

Pictures:

3/4th View:

Rear View:

Multiple Type As:

Crew Close-Up:

GK20J and M430A1 HEDP Comparison:

Spoiler

Sources:

https://weaponsystems.net/system/1085-Type+96

http://pewpewpew.work/japan/type96agl/type96agl.htm

https://aobamil.sakura.ne.jp/Photo/96WAPC/96WAPC2.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_96_Armored_Personnel_Carrier

https://en.topwar.ru/112299-bronetransporter-tip-96-yaponiya.html

https://www.nationaldefensecorp.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/M430A1HedpHv.pdf

3 Likes

+1 perhaps with Type 01 LMAT gunner at some point

11 Likes

While I would like to see this as well, I’m suggesting this vehicle specifically without it so it can potentially help fill the 6.7 to 7.7 gap in the Japanese light line. I am of the opinion that 76mm of pen easily makes this vehicle capable of doing so, even with the poor velocity.

Edit: Also, if any mods are around, the name in the previously suggested vehicle section is incorrect. It’s Type 96, not Type 93.

1 Like

Maybe we can see both versions with and one without Type 01? either way i think it could be fun enough if put at a proper BR +1

3 Likes

Absolutely. Japan needs everything it can get and the Type 96 with the LMAT could help expand Japan’s Rank VI area.

I think it could work. It may take some balancing over time, but I think we could add more vehicles like this overall. Regarding the LMAT, absolutely yes. Just as long as the Snail fixes FnF missiles…

1 Like

No, it’s not “more effective than I think” - it is pretty much useless in WT - weapons with 76mm penetration belong at 3.0

Highly disagree, especially since Gaijin has been introducing more and more dedicated autocannon carriers as of late. This thing actually has more pen than the RCV (P) , which is at 7.7.

I mean this vehicle would be hilariously ineffective at higher BRs, but may actually be somewhat OP at lower BRs. I wouldn’t be surprised if this became a notorious vehicle like the R3

I just don’t see how a vehicle moving at 100+kph shooting rounds with 76mm of penetration at 240rpm with zero distance-based penetration drop off would be “hilariously ineffective” or, at the very least, any worse than the RCV (P), which has 66mm. Even considering its muzzle velocity, I don’t see how a vehicle with good mobility and adequate pen wouldn’t have a place in the mobility-based meta of the mid to high tiers. Thank you for the comment regardless though.

Your source specifies “steel” and not RHA. Penetration against RHA would be significantly less. It also doesn’t take into account angle of impact, which would also significantly reduce the penetration of a shaped charge.

Steel and RHA are very commonly used interchangeably. As proof that such is what’s happening here, here’s a page discussing 40mm grenades from the Department of Defense
Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Budget Estimates. Doesn’t get more definitive than that.

Spoiler

With regards to the angle of impact, I don’t see how that’s an issue? If you’re up close, you’re gonna be aiming for flat surfaces anyway, just like any other autocannon carrier. Of course angle is going to affect penetration.

I said at at higher BRs. And I do want this vehicle in the game :)

1 Like

When you said “higher BRs” I assumed you were speaking in reference to my suggested BR of 7.0~. I apologize if I misunderstood.

1 Like

Nah, I didn’t even see ur suggested BR lol. I meant like 9.0 and above

1 Like

Type 96 40 AGG (40mm automatic grenade gun, synonymous with AGL) uses 40x56 ammunition, not NATO 40x53, so the M430A1 and MK285 cannot be used.
Howa Machinery’s official product page (written in Japanese)

You are correct. I have amended this. It appears most western sources got this confused as well. I’m almost certain that it doesn’t change much when it comes to penetration though since the internals of both the GK20J (What I believe the Japanese HEDP round to be designated. May be incorrect.) and the M430A1 are pretty much identical, including the size of the cone, so I still maintain that this vehicle can work in-game.

Spoiler

I don’t know much about the structure and estimated performance of GK20J and M430A1, so I don’t know, but as you said, GK20J is the domestic HEDP “96式40mm対人対軽装甲てき弾(Type96 40mm anti personnel and light armored grenade)” for Type 96 AGL.
The Ground Self-Defense Force artillery ammunition common specifications document states “GK20J Type96 40mm anti personnel and light armored grenade”.
陸上自衛隊 火砲弾薬共通仕様書

1 Like