M42 (China)

From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
VTOL | Rank 6 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
This page is about the SPAA M42 (China). For other versions, see M42 (Family). For other uses, see M42 (Disambiguation).
GarageImage M42 (China).jpg
5.0 4.0 4.0
Research:18 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:47 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game


The ␗M42 Duster(known as the M42防空砲車 in ROCA service) is the SPAA of ROCA and ROCMC since 1958 as the replacement of M19 GMC. Due to its inferior performance by the 1960s where supersonic jet were commonplace, these vehicles were usually used as a fire-support vehicle instead thanks to its devastating dual 40 mm autocannon; although domestic 20 mm autocannon and imported SAMs have replace them by 1980s, they are still sometimes used during exercises as fire-support vehicle by ROCMC in recent years.

Introduced in Update 1.95 "Northern Wind" alongside with the Chinese ground tech-tree.The Chinese M42 Duster is identical to the US version. Compared to other SPAA vehicles (like the Phòng không T-34, Wirbelwind, Multiple Gun Motor Carriage M16, etc.), the M42 is typically regarded as one of the less effective SPAAs, due to its very exposed crew and mediocre rate of fire of 120 rounds per minute.

If used as a light tank, the M42 does not have the armour to stand up directly to many of the other vehicles which it will face on the battlefield, especially against tanks which may fire high-explosive shells. The Duster will fare better against machine gun fire and potentially against some of the lighter autocannon fire which it may encounter, though not for long. Due to the M42's lightweight nature, it is best to stay around cover to help shield the Duster. It is also essential to only expose the vehicle when necessary to get a shot. If discovered, it is best to have a contingency location to which to fall back and regroup.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull12 / 12 / 12
Turret12 / 8 / 8
Crew6 people
Visibility109 %

Armour may as well be non-existent on the M42. Built off the chassis of the M41 Walker Bulldog, the SPAA can be penetrated by anything in the game, except for those few tanks armed with only machine guns, of course. In this tank, speed is your armour. A stationary Duster is a scrapped Duster unless you're firing on an aircraft, in which you should stop behind some cover.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 12.7 mm (33°) Front glacis
25.7 mm (39°) Bottom glacis
12.7 mm 12.7 mm Top
19 mm Bottom
12.7 mm
Turret 12.7 mm 8 mm 8 mm N/A


  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 15 mm thick.


Speedforward / back
AB79 / 21 km/h
RB and SB73 / 19 km/h
Number of gears4 forward
2 back
Weight22.5 t
Engine power
AB954 hp
RB and SB500 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB42.4 hp/t
RB and SB22.2 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 79 21 22.5 710 954 31.56 42.4
Realistic 73 19 442 500 19.64 22.22

This tank can go about 72 km/h forwards and -20 km/h backwards. Either way, it's fast. Being built with neutral steering and lighter than the M41A1. It should take no difficulty to get out of a situation in a pinch.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 222 → 1 686 Sl icon.png
RB961 → 1 326 Sl icon.png
SB1 413 → 1 949 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications19 910 Rp icon.png
32 700 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost980 Ge icon.png
Crew training13 000 Sl icon.png
Experts47 000 Sl icon.png
Aces330 Ge icon.png
Research Aces280 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
70 / 90 / 140 % Sl icon.png
136 / 136 / 136 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
990 Rp icon.png
1 600 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
1 700 Rp icon.png
2 800 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
1 600 Rp icon.png
2 600 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
1 600 Rp icon.png
2 600 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
990 Rp icon.png
1 600 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement cn.png
Crew Replenishment
1 700 Rp icon.png
2 800 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
990 Rp icon.png
1 600 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
990 Rp icon.png
1 600 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
1 700 Rp icon.png
2 800 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
1 600 Rp icon.png
2 600 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods night vision device.png
1 600 Rp icon.png
2 600 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png


Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.

Main armament

Ammunition480 rounds
Belt capacity8 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
0.6 → 0.5 s
Fire rate120 shots/min
Vertical guidance-3° / 85°

The M42 Duster is armed with two 40 mm anti-aircraft guns. They have a decent rate of fire and you will seldom have to stop and wait for a reload - more likely, you'll have to wait for the gun barrel to cool down. Against aircraft, these guns are deadly. A shot or two will be more than enough to shoot down an enemy. They are also quite deadly against lightly armoured vehicles, such as enemy SPAAs or light tanks such as the Spähpanzer Ru 251 or M41 Walker Bulldog, and you can penetrate the side of Panthers, too. However, they require direct hits. Against the Soviet heavy or British medium tanks you are likely to encounter, however these guns will do nothing for you. You will rarely get an opportunity to use the Bofors on another tank, as they simply lack the penetration to do so - 72 mm doesn't get you very far at Rank IV. If you can get the guns to hit, you should have no trouble knocking aircraft out of the sky.

Since the reload speed is so fast, it is very easy to switch between belts even in combat, so taking a mix of anti-air and anti-armour rounds for a more specialised use instead of a multi-purpose belt is probably a better idea.

40 mm Dual Automatic Gun M2 (x2) Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 480 (8) 120 -3°/+85° ±180° N/A 35.22 48.75 59.20 65.47 69.65 0.65 0.58 0.53 0.50
Realistic 23.80 28.00 34.00 37.60 40.00


  • Default: AP-T · FI-T* - These work fine, a hit on an aircraft means instant disassembly for it and still is able to hurt ground vehicles, especially if it is side into the side of a enemy tank.
  • Mk.II: FI-T* - These mean bad news for aircraft, what should be used for AA work.
  • M81A1: AP-T - These are the worst belts against airplanes. However, they are able to hurt ground vehicles especially if shot into the side of an enemy tank. If you plan on penetrating tanks, load this and flank, since side shots are almost a necessity.

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
Mk.II FI-T* 9 8 7 6 5 4
M81A1 AP-T 72 69 58 46 37 29
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Mk.II FI-T* 874 0.83 0.1 0.1 63 79° 80° 81°
M81A1 AP-T 875 0.88 - - - 47° 60° 65°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M42 (China)
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
60 30 (+30) (+56) (+58) Yes


  • Ammunition is modeled as 60 clips of 8 rounds.
  • The visual discrepancy concerns the total number of rounds: 232 rounds are modeled (58 clips of 4 rounds) but you can pack 480 rounds (60 clips of 8 rounds).

Usage in battles

This tank has no armour, but a lot of speed and guns that do nothing against anything with actual armour. Refrain from attacking enemies that can take a hit from you, unless you like getting "Hit +10SL +5RP". You can roam around the battlefield with your insane speed and act as a scout. Ironically, shooting enemies you know will bounce, you have a reason for it because it makes them show up on the mini-map for all players to see, although it will also expose you. However, you could stay with your teammates and shoot down planes that will be harassing them - they will see you, with your open-top and exposed crew, and think of you as an easy target. They know the danger of the Bofors guns but for some pilots that is a gamble, they are willing to take. A good way to lure planes toward you is the act like you don't see them - shoot off at some distant (ground) target, at which the plane will notice you are "distracted" and dive to attack you, where you can show them the error of their ways in the form of the 40 mm Bofors cannon.

Pros and cons


  • 40 mm cannons are devastating to planes
  • AP rounds able to penetrate roughly 60 mm can be used against some tanks' side armour it could face, like the M4, Chi-Ri II or Panther A/D
  • Unsynchronized firing helps improve overall fire rate
  • Outside from default belts, the other belt options are made of a single type of shell that can be relied on
  • Relatively fast vehicle with good mobility due to the M41A1 light tank basis
  • Fast turret traverse rate helps track aircraft


  • Despite 40 mm cannons and the unsynchronized firing, the overall fire rate is still lower than its contemporaries
  • 40 mm AP rounds are not the best AP rounds to use overall due to relatively low penetration; cannot penetrate all-round protected heavy tanks like the IS-2 or Tiger H1/E
  • Open turret allows aerial attacks and machine guns to decimate the exposed crew
  • Very thin armour hull, can be penetrated by .50 cal found on the M4
  • Is hull-breakable
  • Careless driving can damage the vehicle
  • Ammo can be used up rather quickly due to the dual-gun firing, prolonged combat can find the ammo stowage run empty
  • Easily ammo-racked due to racks scattered all around the turret, aerial autocannons could set it off if hit


Thrive in calamity...

The M42 "Duster" self-propelled anti-aircraft gun began its service in the ROC army in the second Taiwan Strait crisis (the Artillery Battle of August 23rd, 1958). In order to prevent the CCP from invading the Republic of China by force, the United States assisted Taiwan with a wide-range of military equipment including the TM-61 "Matador" surface-to-surface missiles, the M42 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns, and the M55 self-propelled howitzers. After receiving the M42 SPAAG, the ROC armed forces assigned it to the divisional Air Defense Battalion units and the Marine Corps for low-altitude air defense tasks.

...Perish in soft living

In 1998, the 205 arsenal of the ROC Joint Logistics Command developed the T82 twin 20 mm Air Defense Cannon. At the same time, the Army purchased the Avengers Air Defense Missile System from the United States to construct a new air defense system. Thus, the outdated M42 SPAAGs started to retire from service. However, due to the insufficient number of the Army's field air defense missiles, some of the M42 SPAAGs in the air defense battalion of the Army's Artillery Group were still in service along the "Jaeger" anti-aircraft missile system until around 2012. By 2012, all M42 SPAAGs in the Army were replaced by T82T towed Air Defense Cannons. However, the Marine Corps units stationed on the outer islands such as Matsu kept using M42 SPAAG as infantry support vehicle until at least 2017.

(Thrive in calamity and perish in soft living 生於憂患,死於安樂 is a Chinese saying.)



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;
  • other literature.

U.S. Army Ordnance Department/Corps*
Light tanks  T18E2 · M24 (Designed in collaboration with Cadillac)
M3 Stuart  M3 · M3A1 Stuart · M3A1 (USMC)
M5 Stuart  M5A1
Medium tanks  M3 Lee
M4 Sherman  M4 · M4A1 · M4A2 · M4A3 (105) · Calliope
  M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (76) W
M26 Pershing  T20 · T25 · M26 · M26E1 · M26 T99
Patton Series  M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47
Prototypes  T54E1 · T95E1
Heavy tanks  M103
M4 Jumbo  M4A3E2 · Cobra King · M4A3E2 (76) W
M6 Heavy  M6A1 · M6A2E1 · T1E1
M26 Pershing  T26E1-1 · T26E5
Prototypes  T14
T29  T29 · T30 · T34
T-32  T32 · T32E1
Tank destroyers  M3 GMC · M10 GMC · M56
M36 GMC  M36 GMC · M36B2
Prototypes  T28 · T95
Production  M19 MGMC · M42
Export/Captured  ␗M8 HMC · SU-57
Stuart  Stuart I · Stuart III · ␗M3A3 Stuart · ␗M3A3 (1st PTG) · ▄M3A3 · ▄M3A3 Stuart · ▃Stuart VI (5th CAD) · ␗M5A1
Lee/Grant  ▂M3 Medium · ▃Grant I · Grant I
M4 Sherman  Sherman II · ▄M4A1 · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ▀M4 748 (a) · ▂M4A2 · ▄M4A3 (105) · ▅M4A3 (76) W · ▄M4A3E2
  ␗M4A4 · ␗M4A4 (1st PTG) · ▄Sherman V · ▄M4A4 · ▄Sherman I Composito
M26 Pershing  M26 "D.C.Ariete" · M26A1
M47 Patton  mKPz M47 G · ▅M47
M10 GMC  ␗M10 GMC · ▄M10 GMC
M36 GMC  ␗M36 GMC · M36B1 · ▅M36 · ▄M36B2
M19 MGMC  ▅M19A1
M42 MGMC  ▅M42 · ␗M42
  *The Ordnance Department was renamed to the Ordnance Corps after the Army Reorganization Act of 1950.

China anti-aircraft vehicles
Radar SPAAG  PGZ09
Gun and Missile SPAAG  PGZ04A
Other  ZSD63/PG87 · WZ305
Germany  ␗Sd.Kfz.222
North Vietnam  Phòng không T-34
USA  CCKW 353 (M45) · ␗M42
USSR  Tor-M1