Chi-Ha Kai (China)

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-60% | 157 Tons of the best Soviet tanks
␗Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai
General characteristics
5 peopleCrew
75 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
25 / 25 / 12Hull
32 / 25 / 25Turret
15.0 tWeight
324 hp170 hpEngine power
22 hp/t11 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
44 km/h forward
6 km/h back
39 km/h forward
5 km/h back
47 mm Type 1 cannonMain weapon
104 roundsAmmunition
3.3 / 4.3 sReload
-15° / 20°Vertical guidance
3 000 roundsAmmunition
3.0 / 3.9 sReload
20 roundsBelt capacity
499 shots/minFire rate
4 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
2 100 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png410 / 531/390 / 505/280 / 363Repair
600 Sl icon.pngCrew training
2 100 Sl icon.pngExperts
40 Ge icon.pngAces
100 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
30 % Sl icon.png20 % Sl icon.png20 % Sl icon.png


The ␗Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai is a rank I Chinese light tank with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".

General info

Survivability and armour

The Chi-ha Kai has little to no armour against its common opponents like the Pz.II. It has only 25mm of armour on the turret cheeks and the frontal plate, and 20-25mm at the hull sides. Its thin armour might only, with some luck, bounce off some auto-cannon shells while angling, or block the low penetration shells from a distance. Unfortunately, when being hit and penetrated, the Chi-Ha 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 has an okay survivability, as it has a total of 5 crews and they are not too cramped together due to the long hull. The huge transmission system at the front of the tank can absorb a good amount of shells without hurting the crew members, at the price of making the tank immobile and vulnerable.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 44 6 15 263 324 17.53 21.6
Realistic 39 5 150 170 10 11.33

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 weights 15 tons, therefore giving it an average power-to-weight ratio of 11.33. 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.


Main armament

Main article: Type 1 (47 mm)
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 8.9 12.4 15.0 26.5 __.__ 4.30 3.80 3.50 __.__
Realistic 8.9 10.5 12.8 14.1 __.__

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.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
Type 1 APHE APHE 88 83 69 50 40 33
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
Type 1 APHE APHE 822 1.4 1.2 15 47° 60° 65°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks for the Chi-Ha Kai.
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

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. 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, it 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 thing this machine gun can do is to incapacitate the fully exposed crews on some vehicles, as even a bit of armour might block out the weak bullets.

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 maneuverability to flank the enemies when possible, while being careful and sneaky as it can be one-shotted 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.

Pros and cons


  • Good top speed
  • Impressive 15 degrees gun depression
  • Good penetration and damage
  • Great rate of fire
  • Has a stabiliser
  • Armour is slightly better than the previous Chi-Ha
  • Small profile


  • Weak armour
  • Sluggish in a turn
  • Shells drop a lot at long distances


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.

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.

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 honorably 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.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

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

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the tank;
  • other literature.

China light tanks
  ZBD86 · Type 62 · Type 63-I
American  ␗M8 LAC · ␗M3A3 Stuart · ␗M5A1 · ␗M24
Soviet  ␗T-26 · T-26 No.531 · ␗PT-76
Japanese  ␗Chi-Ha Kai