With the HMV Hayate and Type 73 Small Utility Vehicle fitted with little armour and having poor defence capabilities, in 1997 the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) began development of a new high mobility light armoured transportation vehicle. Capable of accommodating 4 personnel, the JGSDF Light Armoured Vehicle is fitted with a 160bhp liquid cooled 4-cycle 4-cylinder diesel engine, allowing it to reach top speeds of 100km/h. Weighing just 4.5 tons, it is able to be carried by a CH-47J helicopter or C-130H transport aircraft for emergency air-drops. The gun mount on the roof can be fitted with a 5.56mm MINIMI machine gun or Light Anti-Tank Guided Missile. Vehicles deployed to Iraq were fitted with reinforced bulletproof windshields, with some vehicles fitted with wire cutters and a rotational armoured cover around the gun mount for extra protection.
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