The Japanese Ministry of Defense’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency’s Ground Systems Research Center is holding a virtual open day, as a third wave of COVID-19 infections in Japan has made the Research Center’s usual open day held at its Sagamihara proving grounds unfeasible.
Like an actual open day, the open day mini-site will only be available for a limited time. While available only in Japanese, the page’s simplicity makes it easy for non-Japanese speakers to use in-browser translators to read and use the page. The virtual open day features a variety of vehicles equipped with technologies developed by the GSRC, with both prototypes currently undergoing active development and the prototypes of yesteryear on “display”.
Demonstration videos of the prototypes are provided in place of in person demonstrations, such as a demonstration of the Lightweight Combat Vehicle’s wheel hub motor system. The system’s torque splitting capabilities provide a significant boost to the vehicle’s agility, as demonstrated by the prototype’s ability to rapidly turn in place.
Another exhibit are two unmanned engineering vehicles specialized for CBRN response. Both vehicles use satellite communications to facilitate remote control, with a video of the user interface of one vehicle carrying out excavation at JGSDF Camp Katsuta, while being controlled from the GSRC Sagamihara facility 140 kilometers (87 miles) away.
Some demonstrations that require more room than would normally be available can be seen as well, such as an acceleration comparison between the GSRC’s tracked hybrid propulsion demonstrator vehicle and the Type 87 Armored Personnel Vehicle it’s derived from.
The Type 10 Hitomaru tank’s active hydropneumatic suspension is also demonstrated, with the GSRC’s prototype going through the full degrees of movement available to it.
The open day site also features a quiz corner, with two questions about the GSRC and its facilities, as well as three questions about the GSRC’s research into air cooled wheel hub motors, active protection systems and lightweight military bridges respectively.
Last but not least, photographs of last year’s open day are provided for a look for what would normally be held, including behind the scenes photographs of preparations for the open day.
Certainly, it’s not quite the same as a normal open day, but as with all the online expos and open days held this year, it is more accessible to anyone who normally would not be able to visit in person.