|Place of origin||New Greater Empire|
|In service||259 - Present|
|Used by||New Greater Empire|
|Designer||Imperial Military Design Bureau|
|Designed||252 - 258|
|Produced||258 - 302|
|Crew||3 (Driver, Gunner, Commander)|
|Armour||Composite carbo nanotube-reinforced nanocrystal titanium plating with anti-laser polymer coating|
|Chin-mounted twin 25mm autocannon|
|40mm grenade launcher (right)|
Dual 12.7mm machine gun (left)
Pintle-mounted machine gun
|Engine||Kawazaki AKB48 Gas Turbine|
|Payload capacity||200 kg|
|Speed||90 km/h (flat ground)|
The Type-58, officially the Type-58 All-Terrain Bipedal Combat Platform, is an Imperial third-generation combat walker produced by Mitsuhishi since 258. It is in use with the Imperial Army and other Imperial security forces, as well as some foreign operators. Refurbishment has enabled many to remain in service for decades, and the Type-58 remains one of the main combat walkers used by the Imperial Army. The success of the rugged and versatile Type-58 platform has led to the development of its successor, the Type-95 walker. Production of the Type-58 ended in 302.
Standing at 8.6 metres tall, the Type-58 utilises a robust and highly sophisticated gyro-stabiliser system that keeps the walker steady while traversing any terrain, including steep slopes and deep craters. The bipedal propulsion system allows the Type-58 to achieve a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour on flat, open terrain, though the main utility of the legged design is to enable to walker to surmount obstacles that wheeled or tracked vehicles may be unable to cross. Reportedly, the Type-58 is even capable of leaping when in combat, though sources on this ability are rare. The Type-58 is powered by a light gas turbine engine located in the rear of the walker's head. In addition, the walker is also capable of carrying up to 200 kilograms of cargo.
Capable of being controlled by a driver and a weapons operator, a vehicle commander is usually added to the vehicle crew for a crew of three personnel. During high-intensity combat situations, a fourth hatch gunner may also be attached. The crew module is protected by all-round composite carbon-nanotube reinforced nanocrystal titanium plating on the walker's head module. Most vehicles have anti-laser polymer coating applied prior the combat situations.
The primary armament of the Type-58 is a pair of 25mm autocannons mounted on the walker's "chin". Two weapons hardpoints are available on both sides of the crew module, which may mount a wide variety of weapons options. The typical infantry support loadout is a 12.7mm machine gun on the right side and a 40mm rotary grenade launcher on the left side. In addition, a pintle mount on the crew hatch may mount another weapon, such as heavy machine guns or grenade launchers.
Development of the Type-58 began as a result of the introduction of the Type-47 walker, the Empire's second-generation combat walker design. Itself developed to address the firepower shortcomings of the earlier Type-32 walker, the Type-47 was an open-top vehicle equipped with a 110mm smoothbore gun and coaxial 20mm automatic cannons. However, the Type-47's shortcomings were numerous. The lack of a suitably powerful engine and the weight of the main weapons and ammunition made the walker slow and clumsy, and armour and crew protection was sacrificed to enable the bipedal design to carry the main gun. The only protection afforded to the two-man crew was a front glacis that could deflect up to 20mm rounds. Though the vehicle was useful in pacification and anti-insurgent efforts, many Imperial Army commanders derided the vehicle and questioned its usefulness in an open war.
In 249, a team at the Imperial Military Design Bureau led by Lieutenant-Colonel Ono Mizuho was commissioned to develop a new powerplant to enable an upgrade to the Type-47, with a stretch goal of introducing a fully-enclosed crew compartment and increasing the top speed to at least 50 km/h. By 251, the Kawazaki AKB48 Gas Turbine was the leading contender, and was selected for the Type-47 upgrade program. It was around mid-251 when Major Kishimoto Yumeno presented several findings from the Yucheng War of Independence to the Imperial High Council, contending that most frontline commanders were not using walkers as high-speed flanking elements to engage enemy armour, as had been the previous walker doctrine. Rather, bipedal walkers were more useful as high-speed reconnaissance units or in the infantry support role, as they were too visible and under-armoured to survive sustained counterattack from tanks. A proposal was thus made for the Type-47 upgrade program to be abandoned, and instead to use the new Kawazaki engine as the drive for a new infantry support and reconnaissance walker.
Despite much resistance from certain elements of the Imperial Army, after some deliberation the proposal was approved and Lieutenant-Colonel Ono's team began design of a new infantry support walker that would improve on both the Type-32 and Type-47. The first prototype of the Type-58 was produced in 256 and featured automatic cannons, a grenade launcher, machine guns, and a guided missile launcher. Featuring a fully-enclosed and moderately armoured crew compartment, the Type-58 also featured improved gyroscopes that improved stability on rough terrain. Of particular note was the Kawazaki turbine engine, which enabled it to reach up to 75 km/h at full load during trials. Impressing the Imperial Army General Staff, the Type-58 was approved for production after some modifications which led to the removal of the guided missile launcher, leading to an increase of the top speed to 90 km/h. Mitsuhishi eventually won the contract for production, with the stipulation that the Kawazaki turbine engine be used.
The first batch of 500 Type-58 walkers was delivered in 257, and were unveiled during the Imperial Reunification Day parade in 258. Since then, over 820,000 more walkers have been produced by Mitsuhishi and its subsidiaries.
In 298, the Imperial Army announced that it would no longer purchase additional Type-58s, having begun plans for large-scale procurement and deployment of the derivative, fifth-generation Type-95 walker to eventually supplant the Type-58. Mitsuhishi closed the Type-58 assembly lines in Shichigatsu of 302, though continues to produce spare parts.
The Type-58 Ki variant is a logistics vehicle with two powerful pneumatic arms mounted on both weapons hardpoints, along with reinforced legs and counterweights to enable the vehicle to lift heavy loads. The Type-58 Ki is one of a myriad of loadlifter vehicles operated by combat engineer units to clear obstacles and erect field emplacements, amongst other uses. Found in civilian use as well, the Type-58 Ki is commonly seen at spaceport facilities.