New GSDF NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle on Display at the GSDF Chemical School in Saitama

New GSDF NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle on Display at the GSDF Chemical School in Saitama (Source: TV Asahi)

TV Asahi has a short news video up on its site introducing the GSDF’s new NBC reconnaissance vehicle (click the link to view). Three of these vehicles were brought into service in March 2012. They are designed to enter a suspected contamination zone and detect the presence of NBC materials. This new vehicle, on display at the GSDF’s Chemical School in Saitama, comes equipped with rubber gloves that allow the crew to collect samples without leaving the safety of the vehicle.

Rubber gloves in the NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle

Rubber gloves in the NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle (Source: TV Asahi)

At a cost of around ¥700,000,000 per vehicle, the rather simple solution to sampling contaminated material seems a little out of place, but sometimes simplicity is best. Once contamination has been determined, the data is passed back to local commanders and the Ministry of Defense for decision-makers to act upon.

The vehicle combines the functions of the older Chemical Protection Vehicle (B-Variant), brought into service in 1999, which was based upon the frame of the Type-82 Command Communication Vehicle, and the Biological Reconnaissance Vehicle, based on the chassis of the Type-73 3.5-ton Truck. The Chemical Protection Vehicle saw considerable use in the exclusion zone around the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant in the past year.

Around 50 vehicles will be put into service with the Central Nuclear Biological Chemical Weapon Defense Unit, which has been a key unit in the response to the Fukushima nuclear accident, and part of which will be charged with first-response to NBC attack in the capital.


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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 147 post(s) on New Pacific Institute