The TK-X prototype main battle tank, also referred as the Type 10, is the latest Japanese development. This new lightweight MBT weights significantly less than other modern battle tanks. It is lighter than the current Japanese Type 90 main battle tank. Vehicle was designed to be lighter in order to comply with the Japanese road laws. The new MBT can be transported on standard commercial trailers. Developing this tank heavy emphasis was placed on C4I capabilities, as well as increased protection, firepower and mobility. Development of the TK-X began in early 2000s, however some sub-systems were developed in late 1990s. Vehicle was first publicly revealed in 2008. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the main contractor of the TK-X. Currently it is probably the most advanced main battle tank in the world. The TK-X might enter service with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces after a couple of years. It will replace the Type 74 and Type 90 MBTs.
The TK-X tank is armed with a 120-mm smoothbore gun, developed by Japan Steel Works. This company also license-produces the Rheinmetall 120-mm / L44 gun for the Type 90 MBT. The TK-X is fitted with an autoloader, located in the turret bustle. It's automatic loading system is more advanced than on it's predecessor. The TK-X main battle tank will fire a newly developed armor-piercing ammunition. It is compatible with all standard 120-mm NATO ammunition.
Secondary armament consists of coaxially mounted 7.62-mm machine gun and a roof mounted remotely controlled 12.7-mm machine gun.
The TK-X tank was designed with asymmetric warfare in mind. A great emphasis was placed on protection against RPG rounds. Vehicle has a sloped modular ceramic composite armor similar to the Leopard 2A5. Side profile is similar to the Leclerc. Damaged armor modules can be easily replaced in field conditions. Add-on armor can also be removed to reduce combat weight to 40 tonnes for ease of transportation. This main battle tank is also completed with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. It's smoke grenade launchers are coupled to laser warning receivers.
Advanced fire control system enables vehicle to engage stationary and moving targets. Other features of the TK-X include digital battlefield management system and navigation system for rapid coordination and increased situational awareness.
The TK-X has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.
Vehicle is powered by a diesel engine, developing 1 200 hp. Light weight and a powerful engine give an impressive power to weight ration of 27 hp/ton. The TK-X main battle tank is fitted with a state-of-the-art semi-active hydropneumatic suspension. The tank can "sit", "stand", "kneel" or to "lean" in any direction. This feature gives a number of advantages.