Chi-Ha Kai (China)

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This page is about the medium tank Chi-Ha Kai (China). For other variants, see Chi-Ha (Family).
␗Chi-Ha Kai
GarageImage Chi-Ha Kai (China).jpg
␗Chi-Ha Kai
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The Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai (九七式中戦車 改「チハ」) is a World War II Japanese medium tank that was an upgrade to the original Type 97 Chi-Ha. The Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai ("improved") or Shinhōtō Chi-Ha ("new turret" Chi-Ha) was equipped with a Type 1 47 mm anti-tank gun and was often regarded as the best Japanese tank to have seen combat service during the Pacific War. Many Soviet-captured Japanese tanks were delivered to the Chinese People's Liberation Army. By 1949, the People's Liberation Army had 349 tanks, including Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai tanks. The Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai tanks were also instrumental in the official formation of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's first tank brigade. On December 1, 1945, Gao Ke of the Northeast People's Autonomous Army (later renamed the Northeast Democratic Alliance Army) captured two Japanese Type 97 modified (Chi-Ha Kai) medium tanks from the Japanese "918" repair factory in Shenyang. They were designated as No. 101 and No. 102, respectively. With these two tanks, the People's Army officially formed the first tank brigade, the Northeast Tank Brigade.

Introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision", the Chi-Ha Kai medium tank offers significant enhancements over the preceding Chi-Ha medium tank, particularly in anti-tank capabilities. Concerned by the conflicts taking place in Europe during late World War II, the Japanese were concerned that greater anti-tank capabilities on their current tanks would be required to resist the expected intervention of the Allies in Asia. The Chi-Ha Kai, armed with a high-velocity 47 mm gun, was the first Japanese medium tank designed with tank-to-tank combat in mind. This captured Japanese medium tank, as a versatile and fast medium tank, will undoubtedly strengthen the Chinese Army's ground forces capabilities in the early ranks.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull25 / 25 / 20
Turret32 / 25 / 25
Crew5 people
Visibility75 %

The Chi-Ha Kai has little to no armour against its common opponents like the Pz.II. It has only 25 mm of armour on the turret cheeks and the frontal plate, and 20-25 mm at the hull sides. Its thin armour might only, with some luck, bounce off some autocannon shells while angling, or block the low penetration shells from a distance. Unfortunately, when being hit and penetrated, the Chi-Ha Kai is usually destroyed with one or two shots. However, this tank has a fairly small frontal profile, making it harder to be hit. Also, for the guns lacking post-penetration damage, the Chi-Ha Kai has an acceptable survivability, as it has a total of 5 crews and they are fairly spaced out due to the long hull. The huge transmission system at the front of the tank can also serve as further protection for the crew members, at the price of making the tank immobile and thus vulnerable.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 25 mm (11-31°) Front plate
15-17 mm (62-80°) Front glacis
15 mm (37-59°) Lower glacis
25 mm (25-40°) Top
25 mm Bottom
15 mm (69°) Top
20 mm (5-57°)
12 mm
Turret 25 mm (9-10°) Turret front
30-35 mm Gun mantlet
25 mm (9-10°) 25 mm 10 mm
Cupola 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm 10 mm


  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 15 mm thick.


Speedforward / back
AB45 / 7 km/h
RB and SB40 / 6 km/h
Number of gears4 forward
1 back
Weight14.8 t
Engine power
AB324 hp
RB and SB170 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB21.9 hp/t
RB and SB11.5 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 45 7 14.8 263 324 17.77 21.89
Realistic 40 6 150 170 10.14 11.49

In general, this tank can get to pretty much anywhere an average medium tank can get to. The engine of the Chi-Ha Kai (China) is not powerful at all with its 170 hp power output, but luckily the tank itself only weighs 15 tons, therefore giving it an average power-to-weight ratio. The 40 km/h top speed is pretty useful as it reaches this speed easily. The turning ability is not ideal, as its tracks are long, narrow and close to each other, making it slow and sluggish in a turn.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB417 → 536 Sl icon.png
RB446 → 574 Sl icon.png
SB559 → 719 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications6 930 Rp icon.png
6 740 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost530 Ge icon.png
Crew training3 000 Sl icon.png
Experts10 000 Sl icon.png
Aces115 Ge icon.png
Research Aces160 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
30 / 40 / 40 % Sl icon.png
112 / 112 / 112 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
460 Rp icon.png
450 Sl icon.png
75 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
390 Rp icon.png
380 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
390 Rp icon.png
380 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
580 Rp icon.png
560 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
750 Rp icon.png
730 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
750 Rp icon.png
730 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
460 Rp icon.png
450 Sl icon.png
75 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
390 Rp icon.png
380 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement cn.png
Crew Replenishment
580 Rp icon.png
560 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
460 Rp icon.png
450 Sl icon.png
75 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
390 Rp icon.png
380 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
580 Rp icon.png
560 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
750 Rp icon.png
730 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png


Main armament

Shoulder stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in one plane while moving
Ammunition104 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
4.3 → 3.3 s
Vertical guidance-15° / 20°
Main article: Type 1 (47 mm)

The Chi-Ha Kai is armed with a 47 mm Type 1 cannon with a maximum of 104 rounds. The 75 mm penetration at 100 m makes it easy to penetrate most of its opponents at its battle rating, and if penetrated, the damage is usually big enough to destroy a tank. The fast reload time (about 4 seconds) allows it to quickly fire the second shell if the first one missed or didn't penetrate. It has an amazing depression of 15 degrees and a vertical stabiliser that works when your tank is slower than 11 km/h, which are always the advantages. However the shells drop dramatically at long distances, making it hard to snipe the enemies far away.

47 mm Type 1 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 104 -15°/+20° ±180° Vertical 14.28 19.76 24.00 26.54 28.24 4.29 3.80 3.50 3.30
Realistic 8.92 10.50 12.75 14.10 15.00


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Type 1 APHE APHE 77 75 67 58 50 44
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Type 1 APHE APHE 808 1.49 1.2 9 22.4 47° 60° 65°

Ammo racks

rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
104 75 (+29) 71 (+33) 66 (+38) 54 (+50) (+95) (+103) Yes

Turret empty: 66 (+48)

Machine guns

Ammunition3 000 rounds
Belt capacity20 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
3.9 → 3.0 s
Fire rate499 shots/min
Ammunition1 000 rounds
Belt capacity20 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
3.9 → 3.0 s
Fire rate499 shots/min
Main article: Type 97 (7.7 mm)

The Chi-Ha Kai has a 7.7 mm Type 97 machine gun mounted on the left side of the hull, and another on the turret roof. While it has enough ammunition, this machine gun is just simply not good enough. The rate of fire is below average, the penetration is bad, one can only fire forward, and there are only about 25 bullets in each magazine, making it impossible to provide a continuous machine-gun fire. The one things these machine guns can do is to incapacitate the fully exposed crews on some vehicles, as even a bit of armour might block out the weak bullets. The roof mounted gun can ward off some low-flying strafing planes but it is still inferior comparing to other machine guns like the American M1919 or M2HB.

7.7 mm Type 97
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Hull 3,000 (20) 499 -8°/+10° ±15°
Pintle 1,000 (20) 499 ±20° -10°/+60°

Usage in battles

The Chi-Ha Kai is best used as a front line support vehicle. Although it has its down sides, a player who knows this tank well can utilise its interesting potentials. Stay close to your teammates, and try to use its manoeuvrability to flank the enemies when possible, while being careful and sneaky as it can be knocked out with a single shot by a lot of tanks.

For two types of terrains, there are two good tactics for the Chi-ha Kai. The first is commonly known as the hull-down position, best suited for hilly terrains. It requires you to find a slope/hill to cover up your hull, only exposing a small area of the turret and use the amazing gun depression to shoot the enemies. This way it is hard for the enemies to accurately hit your small turret while you lay behind the hill and fire comfortable shots at them.

The next tactic is better in the towns, involving the use of your stabiliser. Travel in the areas where the enemies are most likely to appear while looking around. If you see an enemy, move out of cover at about 10 km/h (the stabiliser will only work if the tank is slower than 11 km/h), quickly aim and shoot while keeping the tank moving. For the enemy it is very hard to keep his guns on you if you are moving, but for you, with the gun being stabilised, it is pretty much as accurate as firing stationary, making targeting the enemy much easier than vice-versa. The stabiliser will also surprise you in a close-quarter encounter as you will be ready to fire first while the enemy is still waiting for his gun to stop wobbling.

Enemies worth noting:

  • B1 bis / ter: the B1 can easily destroy the Chi-Ha when using both of its guns, but when angling only the 47 mm gun is available, meaning that the Chi-Ha can take some more hits. It is very hard to destroy the Char B1 from a distance, so get as close as possible with the ideal range being no more than 300 m. Aim at their flat hull side, turret side, hull cannon mount or the driving compartment (the near-vertical frontal armour right below the turret). Upon penetrating, the Chi-Ha's 47 mm APHE can knock out several crews, and your quick reload allows you to finish the rest off in time. However if the B1 has folded armour plates on their hull sides then it is a B1 ter, avoid shooting at its sides.

Pros and cons


  • Improved sloped armour compared to the reserve vehicles
  • Quite fast (up to 44 km/h), allowing it to get to certain spots in time
  • Lovely climbing ability combined with the amazing -15 degrees gun depression, it is great at mountain combat
  • Has a vertical stabiliser which most tanks don't have, allowing the Chi-Ha Kai to get the first shot off
  • Decent cannon can frontally penetrate common targets like M3 Lee and T-70
  • Great turning ability in low gear
  • Five-man crew with some space between the driving & fighting compartment improves survivability from previous models


  • Its penetration may be underpowered in an uptier, especially in frontal engagements against a B1 bis or Matilda
  • The thin armour can be penetrated by 20 mm cannons or .50 cal HMGs up close
  • Bad turning while driving


PLA "Gongchen" Chi-Ha Kai

PLA's first tank

The Chi-Ha Kai was the first tank ever used by the Chinese PLA (People's Liberation Army), alongside with many other captured Japanese tanks. These Chi-ha tanks significantly assisted the PLA in attacking the KMT (Chinese Nationalist party), with the most famous battle being the Battle of Jinzhou involving the Gongchen tank.

Other than the Gongchen tank, lots of other Chi-ha Kai tanks were also used extensively by the PLA and the KMT, based on the photos of the victory parade in 1949.

PLA Chi-Ha Kais in Shenyang, 1948

The Gongchen

In September 1945, the Chinese Communist forces discovered two Chi-Ha tanks abandoned by the Japanese in Shenyang. There were some captured Japanese engineers among them. While the Chinese were trying to drive these tanks back to their area, the Japanese engineers eventually rebelled and sabotaged one of the Chi-ha tanks, leaving the Chinese with only one left, designated "102", which would later become the Gongchen tank.

Soon after the tank was safe, the Northeast Special Tank Brigade was established with 30 soldiers and the "102" Chi-Ha as the only tank. The soldiers called it the "Old man tank" since the model was old but still sturdy, respectable and it trained many tank drivers.

"Gongchen" Chi-Ha Kai, Bejing Military Museum

In October 1948, the battle of Jinzhou began. The Chinese had the "102" Chi-ha at the back of its line to bring up the rear. The heavy fire from the KMT blocked the Communist forces from advancing, and several of its tanks were also damaged early in the battle. The "102" Chi-ha changed its direction to avoid the KMT fire, crossed the trenches, ran over the barbed wires in front of it and led a charge with the infantries to the KMT's front line. It destroyed several of the KMT's fortresses to clear the way for more infantries. During the battle the tank did get damaged and could no longer drive. Under dangerous KMT fire, the driver Dong Laifu got out and repaired the tank in a hurry so it was again operational. Gradually the "102" Chi-ha went from staying at the back to being the leading tank, always the first to charge the KMT's positions.

After the battle, the "102" Chi-ha was renamed "Gongchen tank" (功臣號, meaning "Heroic tank") for its excellent performance in the battle. It also honourably led the victory parade at Tiananmen Square on 1st October 1949. Retired in 1959, the tank is now displayed in the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution in Beijing.



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (三菱重工業株式会社)
Light Tanks 
Type 95  Ha-Go · Ha-Go Commander
Medium Tanks 
Type 89  I-Go Ko
Type 97  Chi-Ha · Chi-Ha Kai
Type 1  Chi-He · Chi-He (5th Regiment)
Type 3  Chi-Nu · Chi-Nu II
Type 4  Chi-To · Chi-To Late
Type 5  Chi-Ri II
Chi-Ha Derived  Ho-Ro
Chi-He Derived  Ho-I
Chi-Ri Derived  Ho-Ri Prototype · Ho-Ri Production
Other  Na-To · Ro-Go Exp.
Captured  ␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai
Note  Most tank designs would be contracted by the Army Technical Bureau to Mitsubishi
See also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (Post-War)

China medium tanks
ZTZ59  Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1
ZTZ69  Type 69 · Type 69-IIa · T-69 II G
ZTZ88/96  ZTZ88A · ZTZ88B
  ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)
ZTZ99A  ZTZ99A · WZ1001(E) LCT
Export series  MBT2000 · VT-4A1
Other  Т-34-85 Gai · Object 122MT "MC"
Japan  ␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai
USA  ␗M4A4 · ␗M4A4 (1st PTG) · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ␗M48A1 · ␗M60A3 TTS
USSR  ␗T-34 (1943) · ␗Т-34-85 (S-53) · T-34-85 No.215 · Т-62 №545