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Ground Self Defense Forces conduct live fire drill

32 Comments

Japan's Ground Self Defense Forces on Saturday held a live-fire drill at their training grounds near Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The annual exercise, held since 1961, comes as the government moves to expand the role of the Self-Defense Forces and boost the defense budget.

About 3,300 GSDF personnel participated, using 36 tanks, amphibious vehicles and Osprey aircraft. Some 57 tons of live ammunition worth 800 million yen were used, the defense ministry said.

The exercise was based on the scenario that a remote Japanese island had been invaded.

The exercise is the biggest event staged by the Ground Self-Defense Forces each year. Members of the public, chosen by lottery, are usually invited to watch the drills, but because of the coronavirus, no spectators were invited.

© Japan Today

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32 Comments
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Beautiful photo

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” 

- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

@zhao ming

They didn't have tanks and bullets in the 5th Century BC !

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Ground Self Defense Forces conduct live fire drill

Nothing new in that.

I hear them booming away at their artillery range every 10 days or so.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

How will they transport these tank too an island

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

About 3,300 GSDF personnel participated, using 36 tanks, amphibious vehicles and Osprey aircraft. Some 57 tons of live ammunition worth 800 million yen were used, the defense ministry said.

I find it rather ironic that now that the JSDF has Osprey's the complaints and "protests" about their safety have all but disappeared.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

@Yubaru

Complaints and protests about the safety of Osprey's hasn't disappeared !

This article is reporting on a live fire drill and not reporting on the protest of Osprey's

Duh !

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

The war in the Ukrainian has exposed some serious issues with armour, it’s drones and mobile artillery that are needed, and a highly motivated defence force. But for anyone trying to attack Japan it’s the navy’s ships and airforce that matter. If the JGDF are involved that means no air superiority, no naval superiority. But it does look good, been to one of these days….pretty cool.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Yrral

How will they transport these tanks to an island

The same way they usually transport tanks !

To not too !

Twit !

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Come to Shizuoka home of Mount Fuji and live fire drills

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@Kyo wa heiwa dayo ne

@zhao ming

They didn't have tanks and bullets in the 5th Century BC !

You should read it (I did). TAoW is not about tanks, it is about strategy and warfare..

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

The Art of War remains the most influential strategy text in East Asian warfare and has influenced both Far Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy, lifestyles and beyond.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_War#Cultural_influence

Its influence is acknowledged up to today and most likely will be beyond that...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Tanks don't seem like the best technology to use for island defense or on heavily mountainous terrain.

Anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile and drone technology seems like a better use of technology resources.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Doesn’t make much sense, because a potential invasion will be outnumbering and not taking place with only equal or comparable forces. Preventing them from setting a foot on the islands is the task, not letting them all come and then trying to fight them with a few tanks and resisting personnel or civilians that in the future on average belong into their senior residence.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hear live drills around every two weeks in the mountains here. Sounds like an intense thunder storm.

all countries have armies, but flying dangerous Ofspreys at $50000 an hour, just one hour could buy an apartment for a solo mother and her child.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@blue

Yes i know !

Ive seen both versions of the translations.

Don't you see how ironic it is that a Taoist philosophy to end conflicts is being used by a commenter in relation to a live fire drill because of Chinese communist regional disputes on a Japanese news site ?

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

My point is the art of war is completely different now than it was in the 5th century BC .

Times are a bit more sophisticated now.

Think forwards not backwards

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

I am shocked to find out that they actually have live rounds!!! Till now I thought they only had wooden ones...

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

The war in the Ukrainian has exposed some serious issues with armour,

The problems you see are mostly restricted to old Soviet designs, which persist in modern Russian armor. Number one, Russian engineers have never been able to develop a composite armor similar to that used on the best western tanks. They still cast their turrets from steel, then layer what is called "reactive armor" or "explosive armor", basically explosive charges on the outside of the turret designed to disrupt the shaped charges and long rod penetrator rounds used by western anti tank weapons. It is not enough. Western anti tank rounds can easily defeat this armor. The second problem is their auto loaders. US, German and Japanese tanks have four man crews and their guns are hand loaded. The shells are stored at the back of the turret behind an armored bulkhead, usually made of titanium, with an armored door the loader opens with a knee operated switch to access the next round to load. If the ammo storage is hit, there is a blow off panel on top and the explosion only affect the ammo storage. The crew is safe behind the armored bulkhead. The only live round in the crew compartment is the one being loaded into the gun. Russian auto loaders have a carousel below the gun with 20-22 rounds. When the tank is hit that ammo detonates and blows the turret off and the engine is blown out the back.

The Turks are using an older version of the Leopard, the Leopard 2A4 with an older armor and none of the new protections from anti tank missiles found on the Leopard 2A5 and A6, or the M-1A2 with TUSK. Plus the Turks are using tanks in urban warfare without supporting infantry. The Leopard 2A4 was intended for high speed armored warfare in open plains, not urban warfare. The Leopard 2A6 reflects German experience in Afghanistan. The TUSK modifications of the Abrams series likewise reflect lessons of urban warfare in Iraq. The Russian tanks do not have any of the features the best western designs have for urban warfare. Last, because the Russian auto loaders are very slow and require the gun to be centered and the turret stationary while loading, western tanks like Abrams and Leopard 2 have three times the rate of fire as Russian tanks.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

How will they transport these tank too an island.

They won't. Those are for defending the Japanese mainland. Even the US Marines have recently divested themselves of all of their armor and much of their conventional artillery. They are going lighter with the idea of being able to set up rocket artillery like HIMARS, anti ship and anti aircraft missile batteries very quickly on small islands in coordination with naval forces, participate in a naval battle, then leave as fast as they arrived. The ships used will be smaller, the units limited to 75-85 persons and the missile launching equipment will be robotic. Such forces can also set up quickly on either side of a strait between islands to place a transiting enemy force in a very unpleasant cross fire of anti ship missiles, then as before leave rapidly after the battle before the enemy can mount a counter attack.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

My point is the art of war is completely different now than it was in the 5th century BC .

the Art of War and The Book of Five Rings are still valid now, just the suffering is not warriors, but civilians.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Never got to come up to mainland and do that...bummer.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Rodney

Miyamoto mushashi 5 rings i read long ago before i visited his grave near Kumamoto as a kendo student.

And a Tao temple member.

To reiterate - the art of war is completely different now.

Yes you can start a fire with two sticks- however these days people just use a lighter !

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

I saw this firepower demonstration a few years ago. It’s open big public viewing event, like an air show .

The motorbike recon guys had some mad skills, like shooting a target mid-jump. Not sure how applicable than one is in real combat, but it was impressive to watch.

To give you an idea just how powerful a tank gun is, it was raining heavily that day, and when the tanks fired, it would stop raining around the tank for a few seconds.

I believe the tank in the photo is a T-10? They demonstrated its gun stabilizer by placing a glass of wine on the muzzle, and rotating the body, then fired on targets while driving high-speed slaloms. There are few tanks in the world that can do that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

First on the field awaits the coming enemy, fresh for the fight; 

second to the field hastens to battle and arrives exhausted.” *

The Art of War, Sun Tzu

5 ( +6 / -1 )

 Even the US Marines have recently divested themselves of all of their armor and much of their conventional artillery. 

EABO concept… A lot of tank crews flat out quit the corps or went army, rather than be degraded, in their eyes, to LAR infantry or AAV crews.

Marines aren’t meant for long term occupations, and I see the logic in putting 200 Marines in an LCAC, over 1 Abrams tank. Besides, in any large scale engagement that requires tanks, I hate to say this, but the army can do it better.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Notwithstanding previous comments but…When a handheld weapon can defeat a tank and hundreds of tanks have been in the Ukraine then spending 100s of millions of yen on live fire drills is a colossal waste of money.

Maybe the SDF know this already though…

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

You can’t fight well without training hard.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

After seeing what happened to Russian tanks in the Ukraine. I wonder if tanks are effective anymore with the use of drones like the switch blade and other weapon systems that made Russian tanks burn like kindling.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Please do not provoke war. Asia have not forgotten WW2.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Please do not provoke war. Asia have not forgotten WW2.

Yes, china, Russia and NKorea, take note.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I believe the tank in the photo is a T-10? They demonstrated its gun stabilizer by placing a glass of wine on the muzzle, and rotating the body, then fired on targets while driving high-speed slaloms. There are few tanks in the world that can do that.

Yep, the new Type 10. Pretty much all modern western tanks now have gyrostabilized guns that can track and hit targets as the tank maneuvers over terrain. The capability goes back to the Korean War period when it was first tested but due to the cost involved was never actually incorporated into a tank until the M-1 and Leopard 2 were developed. Before that tanks had to come to a stop to shoot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After seeing what happened to Russian tanks in the Ukraine. I wonder if tanks are effective anymore with the use of drones like the switch blade and other weapon systems that made Russian tanks burn like kindling.

As I mentioned above, there are specific vulnerabilities common to Russian tank designs that modern western tank designs do not share. Russian engineers have never been able to develop a composite armor like Chobham. Their tanks are cast steel which the Rhinemetal 120 mm gun used by nearly every western tank can easily defeat. The Russians try to compensate for this by using explosive reactive armor (actually an Israeli idea first applied to older US Patton tanks with cast steel turrets). The idea is the explosives on the tanks sides disrupt shaped charges used by anti-tank missiles and the long rod penetrators used by tanks. In practice Russian explosive reactive armor is insufficient to defeat the best western anti tank weapons. The composite armors used on the American Abrams can take direct hits from the Russian 125mm tank gun and the armor will not be penetrated.

Russian tanks have auto loaders where western tanks have a fourth crew member to load the main gun. Western tanks store their ammo in a compartment at the rear of the turret with an armored bulkhead normally made of titanium between the crew compartment and the ammo storage. When the gun is loaded, the loader opens an armored door using a knee operated switch, lifts a round out of storage, closes the door and loads the round into the gun. This takes 4 seconds or less to do and can be done while the turret is turning and the gun being elevated or depressed to aim at the next target. The only time there is a live round in the crew compartment is while the gun is being loaded. If the ammo storage is hit, a blow off panel on top of the turret blows off and directs the explosion upward. The crew is not hurt and yes there have been several occasions of an M-1's ammo storage being hit in combat with no harm to the crew. Afterwards the ammo storage is designed for a quick field repair and the tank is returned to service.

Russian tanks have one less crew member and use an auto loader. The autoloader takes 7 seconds to load a round, during which the turret must be stationary and the gun held in a level position. The autoloader requires a carousel with 20-22 live rounds inside the turret with the crew. This is why you see the turrets of Russian tanks fly off when they are hit. Any hit to the crew compartment sets off the ammo, which promptly blows the turret off. Western tanks do not have this vulnerability. That autoloader also slows down how quickly the Russian tank can engage new targets. For seven long seconds the turret must be dead still while the gun loads while the crew of the Abrams, Leopard 2 or Japanese Type 90 is loading and aiming for the next target simultaneously in under 4 seconds. The Russian tank has to load the next round before it can rotate the turret and elevate the gun to engage the next target. The auto loader restricts how far the Russian gun can elevate or depress. Read what happened at the First Battle of Grozny to understand how fatal a flaw that is. Last, those autoloaders have about a 25% failure rate in use, something the manually loaded Rhinemetal gun is not burdened with. One last tidbit, the turrets of Russian tanks rotate slowly enough that if you are crossing in front at a speed of about 55kph or more inside 1000 meters from the tank, the turret literally cannot rotate fast enough to track you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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