Tank engine development eyed with Turkey

Kyodo

The government plans to embark on joint development of tank engines with Turkey under arms embargo rules eased in 2011, government sources said Saturday.

Turkey is showing interest in engine technology employed in the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Type 10 tank, according to the sources.

To realize joint engine development, Tokyo is considering forming a joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., which has developed the engine of the state-of-the-art tank, and the Turkish side, the sources said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to agree with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will visit Japan for three days from Monday, to strengthen bilateral cooperation in defense areas with the planned joint development of a tank engine in mind, according to the sources.

Deployment of Type 10 tanks has already started in Japan, with the GSDF planning to procure 66 by March 2015. The tanks boast high mobility including moving backward at a speed of 70 kph.

In 2011, when the Democratic Party of Japan was in power, then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda eased the rules on arms shipments to allow arms to be jointly developed and produced with other countries, on condition that they obtain Japan’s approval in advance when exporting the technology to a third party.

Under the eased rules, Japan and Britain reached an agreement last July on joint development of defense equipment and rules on arms technology transfer. Japan has long prohibited the export of weapons to communist states, countries subject to arms embargoes under U.N. resolutions, and countries involved in international conflicts.