The following is a list of equipment currently in service with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.


Camouflage patterns

NameUsed byNotesPeriod used
1st Airborne Brigade, JGSDF Air Defense Artillery GroupsAlso known as "Old Camo" or "Airborne Camo", it is the first camo scheme adopted by Japan after World War II. It is based on Hokkaido's wilderness (effective in Sasa veitchii field). +more The shades become distinguishable after wash, and the pattern itself doesn't match to the environment in mainland Japan, leading to the introduction of Type II camouflage. 1970s-1990s (still in limited use in 2014)
Currently used by the JGSDF, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan National Defense Academy cadets, and JASDF Air Rescue Wings Pararescuemen. Second domestically designed pattern. Made from 50% cotton/50% vinylon or 70% vinylon/30% cotton. The earlier model had anti-IR/flame-resistant fabric, but the latter lacks the feature. 1991-present
JGSDFDarker contrast on Type II Flecktarn camo to fit the color of winter plants. Used on JGSDF Type-2 Camouflage Cold Weather Field Parka and Trousers(防寒戦闘服外衣, 戦闘外被, or shortly 外被). 1991-present
Recently adopted by the JGSDFModified from pattern with a 50% cotton/50% vinylon or 70% vinylon/30% cotton fabric (depending on the year of contract/manufacturer) and other changes including a change in the front closure, a mandarin collar, Velcro cuffs and pocket lids, wider pen pockets, a loop inside the right chest pocket for ID card chain, two calf storage pockets, and knee pads in the trousers. The back pocket on the trousers has been eliminated. The belt (made from the same fabric) comes with a name tag, unlike the former Type II Combat Uniform/Type II Camouflaged Work Uniform. The Type III Combat Uniform/Type III Camouflaged Work Uniform(戦闘服3型・迷彩作業服3型, or shortly 戦闘服)has the same pattern as the Type II camouflage. Each soldier receives two sets of the Type III Work Uniform after enlisting, and after the boot camp each soldier receives two sets of Type III Combat Uniform, Airborne Uniform or Tank Uniform, depending on where the soldier belongs to. The Combat Uniform and Camouflaged Work Uniform are identical to each other, except for the product tag. Commercial version of the item (100% polyester version, cotton/poli version etc. ) is no longer authorized to be used, including the vinylon/cotton fabric version. The use of commercial combat cap in vinylon/cotton fabric is authorized. The commercial versions have slightly different shades. 2007-present
JGSDF Desert camouflageJGSDF International Peace Cooperation Activities Training Unit, JGSDF Central Readiness ForceAdopted by the JGSDF for Middle Eastern deployments. This camo is a desert version of the JGSDF's flecktarn pattern. The first unit using this particular camouflage was the Central Readiness Force during the 4th DAPE (Deployment Air Force for Counter-Piracy Operation) in the Gulf of Aden. June 2010-present

* See also: Asia A-M

Other equipment

Type 66 helmetLargely replaced by the Type 88 helmet. Like the American M1 helmet upon which it was based, it is made of iron alloy. +more
Type 88 HelmetJapanese version of Kevlar PASGT helmet, replacing Type 66 helmet.
Combat Underwear Type 2Khaki flame-resistant T-shirt, mainly used for ceremonial purposes.
Miscellaneous clothing.
Cold-Weather Combat Uniform Inner (Under)A long-sleeved shirt and matching pants, made from thin synthetic fabric.
Cold-Weather Combat Uniform Inner (Outer)Acryl sweater and matching pants, comes with a buttoned collar which is worn folded.
Work JacketIssued as personal item. Intended to be used in cold seasons over the work uniform. Consists of two chest pockets and two lower pockets (with flaps without closures).
Issued as a personal item.
Jungle boots with kevlar-like lining, the same model issued as a personal item is called ")"
Cold-Weather BootsCompatible with military issue cross-country skis
Stored as a weapon, instead of a personal belonging, introduced in 1992. Comes with ammo pouches. In some units, the and/or are issued .
Name tagsUnlike the rank/skill insignias (in a green shade of the current camo), usually the name tags are in the olive drab of the Type 65 Work Uniform. Since the army regulation doesn't mention the name tags, each unit has its own regulation for the tags. Therefore, the layout, length, font, letters (Japanese or Latin alphabet), placement, method of attachment (either sewing or using velcro) etc. vary. Some troops do not use name tags for winter jackets.
Tracksuits and running shoesRecruits are required to buy their own tracksuits and a pair of running shoes upon enlistment. Called the "ジャー戦 (Jaasen, literally jersey and combat uniform)", it is composed of a combat jacket, combat cap, trackpants and sneakers. This uniform code is often used in boot camp for jogging, eating in canteen or bathing.
部隊識別帽 (Baseball Cap)Many troops use baseball caps with the troop's logo instead of the issued combat cap. Since it is unofficially introduced, it is not provided by the Force. There are no standards for the cap, although, in many cases the cap has the soldier's family name on top of the left ear.
CAB Clothing Coolnice 2 Pack OD T-shirtsIssued to some troops during the 2011 Tohoku campaigns.
CarabinerMay be purchased individually, to attach it to the either right or left waist tab on the combat uniform to hang gloves or combat cap.
Shoulder pouchMay be purchased individually, since the combat uniform doesn't have shoulder pockets. There are various commercial versions. Some troops use the velcro version to attach unit patches, insignias etc.


Type I Combat Rations - Can-meshi (canned type ration packs) *Type II Combat Rations - Pack-meshi (boiled in bag type ration packs) *Survival Ration Pack - Emergency rations for aircrew, etc. Also used by ASDF & MSDF. +more *Training Rations - Commercial style perishable food/drink items used in exercises, on base, and when supplying civilians at PR events or during disaster relie. ) *MCW/LRP ration - Japanese produced equivalent of the American ration.

Infantry weapons

Standard issueStandard issueStandard issueStandard issueStandard issueStandard issue
H&K SFP9-MSemi-automatic pistol9×19mm ParabellumReplacement for the SIG P220 beginning in 2020. 323 pistols have been purchased. +more
Minebea P9Semi-automatic pistol9×19mm ParabellumMade under license by Minebea, designated the Minebea P9. Used with a leather holster or Safariland leg holster. Standard issue as of 1982.
Minebea 9mm Machine PistolSubmachine gun9×19mm ParabellumMade by Minebea. Introduced in 1999, it is the only domestically produced submachine gun of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. It is derived from the Uzi.
Howa Type 20Assault rifle5. 56×45mm NATOReplacement for the Type 89, beginning in 2020. A total of 3,283 rifles have been purchased.
Howa Type 89Assault rifle5. 56×45mm NATOService rifle, entered service in 1989. Derived from the ArmaLite AR-18.
Sumitomo MINIMI 5. 56mm Machine GunSquad automatic weapon5. 56×45mm NATOMade under license by Sumitomo, standard squad-level machine gun. Unique to the Sumitomo Minimi, the barrel has a heat shield.
NTK/Sumitomo Type 62 machine gunGeneral purpose machine gun7. 62×51mm NATOMade by Sumitomo. It has been largely superseded by the Minimi, but it is still used for infantry support as a medium machine gun, and in certain vehicle-mounted roles.
NTK/Sumitomo Type 74 In-vehicle machine gunIn-vehicle machine gun7. 62×51mm NATOFixed-mount variant of the Type 62 used specifically for armoured fighting vehicles.
Sumitomo M2 12. 7mm Heavy Machine GunHeavy machine gun. 50 BMG (12. 7x99mm)Copy of the M2 Browning made under license by Sumitomo.
M24 Sniper RifleSniper rifle7. 62×51mm NATOMade by Remington Arms. Introduced to the JSDF in 2002, it is used by snipers, the 1st Airborne Brigade and Special Forces Group.
Howa Type 96 40mm Automatic Grenade LauncherAutomatic grenade launcher40x46mmFirst entered service in 1996. It is a blow forward weapon, and used in both infantry and vehicle roles.
Type 06 rifle grenadeRifle grenade
Made by Daikin in 2006. A HEAT rifle grenade that can be attached to either the Howa Type 64 or Type 89.
M67 series fragmentation grenadeHand grenade
M18 Claymore mineDirectional fragmentation anti-personnel mine
Can be detonated either by tripwire or remote control.
Howa 84RRRecoilless rifle84x246mmMade under license by Howa, designated the 84 mm Recoilless Rifle.
Nissan110mm LAMDisposable anti-tank rocket launcher110mmMade under license by Nissan/IHI IHI Aerospace.
Special forcesSpecial forcesSpecial forcesSpecial forcesSpecial forcesSpecial forces
H&K USPSemi-automatic pistol9×19mm ParabellumOnly Japanese Special Forces Group.
H&K MP7Personal defense weaponHK 4. 6×30mmOnly Japanese Special Forces Group.
M4 carbineAssault rifle5. 56×45mm NATOOnly Japanese Special Forces Group.
FN SCARAssault rifle5. 56×45mm NATOOnly Japanese Special Forces Group.
Heckler & Koch G36Assault rifle5. 56×45mm NATOOnly Japanese Special Forces Group
Heckler & Koch HK416Assault rifle5. 56×45mm NATO
HK417Battle rifle7. 62×51mm NATO
M203 grenade launcherUnderbarrel grenade launcher40x46mm
M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon)Disposable anti-tank rocket launcher66mm
M32A1 Multiple Grenade LauncherRotary grenade launcher40x46mm

Artillery and missile systems

Type 96 Heavy mortar (RT 120mm Mortar)Heavy mortar120mmBuilt under license with the ordnance by Howa. Total of 462 purchased from 1990-2017. +more
L16 81mm MortarMortar81mmBuilt under license with the ordnance by Howa.
Hirtenberger M6C-210 (60mm mortar)Light mortar60mm
FH-70 Towed HowitzerHowitzer155 mmBuilt under license with the ordnance by Japan Steel Works. Total of 480 built as of 2008.
Anti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileAnti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileAnti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileAnti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileAnti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileAnti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank Missile
Type 01 Light Anti-Tank MissileAnti-tank guided missile140mmBuilt by Kawasaki.
Middle range Multi-Purpose Missile System (Chū-MPMS)Anti-tank/landing-craft missile140mmBuilt by Kawasaki.
Type 96 Multi-Purpose Missile SystemAnti-tank/landing-craft missile160mmBuilt by Kawasaki.
Type 87 Anti-Tank MissileLaser guided anti-tank missile110mmBuilt by Kawasaki.
Type 79 Anti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileHeavy anti-tank/landing-craft guided missile153mmBuilt by Kawasaki.
Surface-to-air missileSurface-to-air missileSurface-to-air missileSurface-to-air missileSurface-to-air missileSurface-to-air missile
Type 91 Portable Surface-to-Air MissileMan portable surface-to-air missile80mmBuilt by Toshiba.
FIM-92A StingerMan-portable air-defense system70mm
Type 03 Medium-Range Surface-to-Air MissileSurface-to-air missile320mmBuilt by Mitsubishi/Toshiba.
Improved-HAWKSurface-to-air missile370mmMade under license by Mitsubishi/Toshiba.
Type 93 Short-Range Surface-to-Air MissileSurface-to-air missile80mmBuilt by Toshiba.
Type 11 Short-Range Surface-to-Air MissileSurface-to-air missile160mmBuilt by Toshiba.
Type 81 Short-Range Surface-to-Air MissileSurface-to-air missile160mmBuilt by Toshiba.
Surface-to-Ship MissileSurface-to-Ship MissileSurface-to-Ship MissileSurface-to-Ship MissileSurface-to-Ship MissileSurface-to-Ship Missile
Type 12 Surface-to-Ship MissileAnti-ship missile350mmBuilt by Mitsubishi.
Type 88 Surface-to-Ship MissileAnti-ship missile350mmBuilt by Mitsubishi.


Armoured vehiclesArmoured vehiclesArmoured vehiclesArmoured vehiclesArmoured vehicles
Type 10Main battle tank103Built by Mitsubishi, current MBT in Japanese service.
Type 90Main battle tank341Built by Mitsubishi until 2009. +more Replaced by the Type 10.
Type 74Main battle tank560Built by Mitsubishi until 1988. Replaced by the Type 90.
Mitsubishi Type 89 IFVInfantry fighting vehicle68
Type 73 Armored Personnel CarrierArmoured personnel carrier338Built by Mitsubishi
Type 96 Wheeled Armored Personnel CarrierArmoured personnel carrier365built by Komatsu
Type 16Wheeled tank destroyer142Built by Mitsubishi
Type 82 Command and Communication VehicleCommand and communication vehicle231Built by Komatsu. Similar in role to the American M1130 Commander's Vehicle.
Type 87 ARVReconnaissance vehicle111built by Komatsu
Chemical Reconnaissance VehicleChemical reconnaissance vehicle47Built by Komatsu
NBC Reconnaissance VehicleChemical, biological, radiological and nuclear reconnaissance vehicle17 (33 on order)Built by Komatsu
Komatsu LAVArmored car1,818Built until 2019.
Bushmaster Protected Mobility VehicleInfantry mobility vehicle8Built by Thales Australia
Type 92 Mine Clearance VehicleMine clearance vehicle - equipped with a mine-clearing line charge systemBuilt by Nissan Motor Aerospace division (pre-2000)/IHI Aerospace Co. , Ltd. /Hitachi
Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV7A1 RAM/RS)Armoured personnel carrier58Imported from BAE Systems.
Self propelled artillerySelf propelled artillerySelf propelled artillerySelf propelled artillerySelf propelled artillery
M270 MLRSMultiple rocket launcher99Built under license with the ordnance by IHI AEROSPACE
Type 19 155 mm Wheeled Self-propelled HowitzerSelf-propelled artillery7+5 prototypeBuilt by Japan Steel Works
Type 99 155 mm Self-propelled HowitzerSelf-propelled artillery111Built by Mitsubishi/Japan Steel Works
M110 Self-propelled HowitzerSelf-propelled artillery91Built under license with the ordnance by Japan Steel Works and Komatsu
Type 96 120 mm Self-propelled MortarSelf-propelled mortar24Nicknamed the Gottohanma (God hammer). Built by Hitachi/Howa
Type 87 self-propelled anti-aircraft gunSelf-propelled anti-aircraft gun52Built by Mitsubishi
Type 99 Artillery Support VehicleAmmunition resupply vehicleBuilt by Hitachi
Type 87 Artillery Support VehicleAmmunition resupply vehicleBuilt by Hitachi
Armoured recovery/engineering vehicleArmoured recovery/engineering vehicleArmoured recovery/engineering vehicleArmoured recovery/engineering vehicleArmoured recovery/engineering vehicle
Type 11 Armoured Recovery VehicleArmoured recovery vehicle2Built by Mitsubishi
Type 90 Armoured Recovery VehicleArmoured recovery vehicle≈30Built by Mitsubishi
Type 78 Armoured Recovery VehicleArmoured recovery vehicle≈50Built by Mitsubishi
Type 91 Armoured Vehicle-launched BridgeArmoured vehicle-launched bridge22Built by Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi Type 73 Light TruckOff-road vehicleBuilt by Mitsubishi. Production ceased in 1997.
Toyota Type 73 Medium TruckFour-wheel drive truckBuilt by Toyota. Used specifically for transport purposes.
Isuzu Type 73 Heavy TruckHeavy truckBuilt by Isuzu.
Mitsubishi Fuso Type 74 Extra Large TruckHeavy truckBuilt by Mitsubishi Fuso (formerly Mitsubishi Motors)
Mitsubishi Fuso Type 73 Semi-trailer TruckSemi-trailer truckBuilt by Mitsubishi Fuso (formerly Mitsubishi Motors)
Toyota High Mobility VehicleFour-wheel drive sport utility vehicle3,000Built by Toyota. Production ceased in 2001.
Honda XL250Reconnaissance motorcycleBuilt by Honda. Production ceased in 1992.


The JGSDF operates 497 fixed-wing and rotary aircraft as of 2014.

Fixed-wing aircraftFixed-wing aircraftFixed-wing aircraftFixed-wing aircraftFixed-wing aircraftFixed-wing aircraft
Bell Boeing V-22 OspreyV/STOL military transport aircraftCV-22B17 on order
Beechcraft Super King AirUtility and liaisonLR-27One lost on 15 May 2017. +more
Mitsubishi MU-2Utility and liaisonLR-12
Rotary-wing aircraftRotary-wing aircraftRotary-wing aircraftRotary-wing aircraftRotary-wing aircraftRotary-wing aircraft
Boeing AH-64 ApacheAttack helicopterAH-64DJP1213 built by Fuji. One crashed on 5 February 2018.
Bell AH-1 CobraAttack helicopterAH-1S88Built by Fuji.
Kawasaki OH-1OH-1132Up to 112 on order. Replacing the OH-6D fleet.
OH-6DScout helicopterOH-6D106Built by Kawasaki. Being slowly replaced by the Kawasaki OH-1.
Boeing CH-47 ChinookTransport helicopterCH-47JCH-47JA58Built by Kawasaki
UH-60 Black HawkTransport helicopterUH-60JA34Most built by Mitsubishi
Bell UH-1Utility helicopterUH-1HUH-1J153Built by Fuji. To be replaced by a version of the Bell 412 EPI.
Enstrom 480Trainer helicopterTH-480B128 on order.
Eurocopter EC 225VIP helicopterEC 225LP3Replacing the AS332L
Fuji FFOS and Fuji FFRSRecon unmanned aerial vehicleSmall helicopter unmanned aerial vehicle. Primarily used as a forward reconnaissance platform for field artillery.
Boeing Insitu ScanEagleRecon unmanned aerial vehicle1Delivered by Insitu Pacific
Yamaha R-MAXRecon unmanned aerial vehicleSmall helicopter unmanned aerial vehicle
Honeywell RQ-16 T-HawkSurveillance unmanned aerial vehicleApparently in service in some numbers with the Central Readiness Force. Used primarily for hazardous area reconnaissance (e. g. radiation survey).

Historic, retired or reserve equipment

Small arms

Howa Type 64Battle rifle7. +more62×51mm NATOStandard issue until it was replaced by the Howa Type 89 in 1989. It was also used as a sniper rifle, until it was replaced by the M24 in 2002.
M1 GarandBattle rifle. 30-06 SpringfieldStandard issue until it was replaced by the Type 64 in 1964.
M1 carbineCarbine. 30 CarbineAcquired through the Military Assistance Program.
M1A1 ThompsonSubmachine gun. 45 ACPUsed in the GSDF until the 1970s
M3 submachine gunSubmachine gun. 45 ACPStill used in limited numbers by vehicle crews.
M1903 SpringfieldBolt-action rifle. 30-06 Springfield
M1918 Browning Automatic RifleLight machine gun. 30-06 Springfield
M1919 Browning machine gunMedium machine gun. 30-06 Springfield
M2 flamethrowerFlamethrowerNapalm/gasoline tanks
New Nambu M66Submachine gun9×19mm ParabellumPrototype only
M1911 pistolPistol. 45 ACP
Colt Detective SpecialRevolver. 38 Special
Mk 2 grenadeGrenadeEx-US Army stock
M26 grenadeGrenadeEx-US Army stock
MK3 grenadeGrenadeEx-US Army stock
M31 HEAT rifle grenadeRifle grenade66mmUsed on the Howa Type 64 and M1 Garand.

Personal equipment

+more_Army_M-1943_Uniform'>U. S. Army M-1943 UniformUniformJapanese produced variants of 1950 & 1951 patterns
M-1956 Load-Carrying EquipmentUniformJapanese-produced
All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying EquipmentUniformJapanese-produced
M1 and M1905E1 bayonetsBayonetJapanese-produced
M4 bayonetBayonetJapanese-produced
M5 bayonetBayonetJapanese-produced
D-rations/Tropical BarsRations
M-1942 mess kitMess kit
T-10 parachuteParachuteProduced under licence by Fuji Sangyo Co. Ltd. (Fujikura Parachute)
G-11 Cargo ParachuteParachuteProduced under licence by Fujikura Parachute
G-12 Cargo ParachuteParachuteProduced under licence by Fuji Sangyo Co. Ltd.

Artillery and missile systems

M2 mortarmortar60mm
M1 mortarmortar81mm
M2 mortarmortar107mm
M1A1 howitzerHowitzer75mm
M2A1 howitzerHowitzer105mm
M2 howitzerHowitzer155mm
M1 howitzerHowitzer155mm
M2 howitzerHowitzer203mm
Anti-aircraft gunAnti-aircraft gunAnti-aircraft gunAnti-aircraft gunAnti-aircraft gun
L-90 35mm Anti-Aircraft Twin CannonAutocannon35mm
Bofors 40 mm gunAutocannon40mm
M51 75 mm Anti-Aircraft GunAnti-aircraft gun75mm
M1 90 mm Anti-Aircraft GunAnti-aircraft gun90mm
Anti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileAnti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileAnti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileAnti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank MissileAnti-Landing craft and Anti-Tank Missile
Type 64 Anti-Tank MissileMCLOS wire-guided anti-tank missile120mm
Surface-to-air missileSurface-to-air missileSurface-to-air missileSurface-to-air missileSurface-to-air missile
MIM-3 Long-Range Surface-to-Air MissileSurface-to-Air Missile370mm


Armoured vehicles
Type 61Main battle tank
M41 Walker BulldogLight tank
M24 ChaffeeLight tank
M4 ShermanMedium tank
Type 60 Armoured Personnel CarrierArmoured personnel carrier
M20Reconnaissance vehicle
M8 GreyhoundReconnaissance vehicle
Self propelled artillerySelf propelled artillerySelf propelled artillerySelf propelled artillery
Type 60 106 mm Self-propelled Recoilless gunTank destroyer
Type 60 107 mm Self-propelled mortarSelf propelled mortar
Type 60 81 mm Self-propelled mortarSelf propelled mortar
Type 74 105 mm Self-propelled howitzerSelf-propelled howitzer
M52A1 self-propelled howitzerSelf-propelled howitzer
M44A1 self-propelled howitzerSelf-propelled howitzer
Type 75 130 mm Multiple Surface-to-Surface RocketMultiple rocket launcher
Type 67 Model 30 Rocket ArtilleryMultiple rocket launcher
M42 40 mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft GunSelf-propelled anti-aircraft weapon
M19 Gun Motor Carriage SPAASelf-propelled anti-aircraft weapon
M8 TractorArtillery tractor
M5 TractorArtillery tractor
M4 TractorArtillery tractor
Type 73 Artillery Support VehicleAmmunition resupply vehicle
Armoured recovery/engineering vehicleArmoured recovery/engineering vehicleArmoured recovery/engineering vehicleArmoured recovery/engineering vehicle
Armoured recovery vehicle
M32 Tank Recovery VehicleArmoured recovery vehicle
Armoured vehicle-launched bridge
Mitsubishi Jeep J-seriesOff-road vehicle
Toyota BQ/FQ10・15/HQ15 seriesTruck
Dodge WC seriesFour-wheel drive truck
Isuzu TS/TW seriesFour-wheel drive truck
GMC CCKWSix-wheel drive truck
M25 Tank TransporterSemi-trailer truck


Kawasaki KAQ-1Target drone
Kawasaki KAT-1Trainer aircraft
Beechcraft/Fuji T-34 Mentor (Model B45)Trainer aircraft
Fuji LM-1 NikkoMilitary communications aircraft
Fuji TL-1Trainer aircraft
Mitsubishi (Sikorsky) H-19CUtility helicopterBuilt on license
Kawasaki (Hughes) TH-55JUtility and trainer helicopterBuilt on license
Kawasaki KH-4Utility helicopter
Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Hughes) OH-6Light Observation HelicopterBuilt on license