ST-A1

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RANK 4 FRANCE
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This page is about the Japanese medium tank ST-A1. For other variants, see Type 61 (Family).
jp_st_a1.png
GarageImage ST-A1.jpg
ArtImage ST-A1.png
ST-A1
AB RB SB
6.3 6.3 6.3
Class:
Research:63 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:210 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The ST-A1 (also known by STA-1) is a rank IV Japanese medium tank with a battle rating of 6.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced along with the initial Japanese Ground Forces tree in Update 1.65 "Way of the Samurai".

The ST-A1, similar to most Japanese tanks, is lightly armoured. Although the sloped upper glacis and the rounded turret are capable of bouncing off the occasional shot at BR 6.3, most enemies it faces will not have any problems in penetrating the armour. Combined with the tight placement of crew, modules, and ammo, the ST-A1 is easily taken out in a single shot. The ST-A1 can serve as a sniper or flanker (although it does not have the best speed), however, full utilization of the terrain is essential for survival - due to its powerful gun and low profile, the tank is able to fire off long-range shots without exposing itself. The excellent reverse speed should also be taken advantage of to quickly retreat into cover.

The ST-A1 bears the common Japanese post-war camouflage-schemes - green, bi-colour green and the white spotted winter camouflage, as well as the beige-grey-green and multi-colour camouflage patterns that are purchasable with Golden Eagles. The tank has a distinct silhouette with its rounded turret and long, low chassis, and carries the 90 mm M3A1 cannon found on the M46 Patton tank.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull45 / 35 / 20
Turret75 / 60 / 35
Crew4 people
Visibility96 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 75 mm (52°) Front glacis
75 mm (47°) Lower glacis
25 mm (45°) Top
25 mm Bottom
15 mm (15-44°) Top
15 mm Bottom
15 mm
Turret 75 mm (5-55°) Turret front
50 mm (8-65°) Gun mantlet
40 mm (16-32°) 25 mm (7-10°) 15 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 40 mm 15 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.

When facing the ST-A1, the left side of the turret holds the gunner and commander whereas the right side holds the ammunition. A well-placed shot into the turret will result in a catastrophic explosion or a possible double crew knock out with a solid shot. If unable to disable the gunner, the breech which is the largest thing in the turret will do as a target due to the repair time is close to one minute (or less depending on the crew skills) giving enough time for the attacker to reload and finish off the tank.

However, in arcade battles, if all of turret crew members knocked out, the "last stand" is very forgiving and the tank seems to soak up damage as if gunner is not even present in the turret. As long as the vehicle doesn't take full ammunition load and spends all of their pre-loaded ammunition, the turret can tank AP and HEAT shots while only likely to lose the gun breech. This makes the tank extremely hard to destroy from a distance, especially from the left side as long as the hull is not hit. Caution must be taken with the turret to avoid being shot directly with APHE or HESH. Close range combat with multiple tanks should be avoided.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB50 / 20 km/h
RB and SB45 / 18 km/h
Number of gears7 forward
2 back
Weight34.0 t
Engine power
AB954 hp
RB and SB500 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB28.1 hp/t
RB and SB14.7 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 50 20 34 775 954 22.79 28.06
Realistic 45 18 442 500 13 14.71

Its offroad speed is about (AB/RB) 40/33 km/h forward and -18/-15 km/h backwards, and its top speed is 50/45 forward and -20/-17 backwards, reached by driving in one direction for a long time.

Suspension of ST-A1 allows it to stay on rather high hills, but without mobility upgrades it will still slide off them eventually. It also cannot rush steep hills even in Arcade mode, even at maximum speed, unless you researched everything (And even then it may slide back down at the last moment).

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 770 → 4 851 Sl icon.png
RB3 970 → 5 109 Sl icon.png
SB4 580 → 5 894 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications52 600 Rp icon.png
90 300 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 700 Ge icon.png
Crew training61 000 Sl icon.png
Experts210 000 Sl icon.png
Aces800 Ge icon.png
Research Aces520 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
110 / 170 / 180 % Sl icon.png
172 / 172 / 172 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 700 Sl icon.png
210 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 800 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 800 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement jp.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 700 Sl icon.png
210 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_us_M82_APCBC_ammo_pack
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_us_M304_APCR_ammo_pack
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_us_M332_APCR_ammo_pack
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 700 Sl icon.png
210 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 700 Sl icon.png
210 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_us_T108_HEAT_ammo_pack
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 800 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 800 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_us_M313_Smoke_ammo_pack
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 800 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Main armament

Ammunition40 rounds
First-order11 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
9.7 → 7.5 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 13°
Main article: M3A1 (90 mm)
90 mm M3A1 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 40 -10°/+13° ±180° N/A 22.85 31.62 38.40 42.47 45.18 9.75 8.63 7.95 7.50
Realistic 14.28 16.80 20.40 22.56 24.00

While gun performs at an acceptable level at its battle rating, the module "Adjustment of fire" should be the first module upgraded as well as the available ammunition upgrades. The base ammunition is solely armour-piercing and low quality at that, so it is unsuited to fight other tanks from long range, unlocking other shells will provide the tank operator harder hitting shells.

Progression goes as follows:

Stock
  • Able to fight light tanks and some medium tanks within about 500 m. Without upgrades, the main gun tends to miss a lot and even if you hit the target the round may ricochet. Attacking heavy tanks is really not recommended with the default ammunition due to the poor quality and low damage.
APHE and adjustment of fire
  • Able to fight heavy tanks of your own battle rating like the IS-2 or Tiger II (P) by firing at their frontal turret weak spot at relatively close range and snipe certain medium tanks, although anything of higher battle rating like Centurion Mk 3 should not be attacked directly due to their protective armour. Many of tanks will still bounce your long-range shots, because APHE flies at a high angle since 700 m, and in up-tier, the rounds will not affect any of the heavy tanks. However, you can take flanking snipe routes and use your high-level zoom to snipe them from great distance into their sides where the armour is weaker and with APHE, unlike normal AP, will definitely destroy their entire tank for you as long as it penetrates.
APCR and elevation mechanism
  • Many will be puzzled by a tank which carries into battle two different APCR rounds. Though the M304 and M332 rounds have different masses, they effectively do the same amount of damage. The larger M304 is a blunt force shell and due to its weight, the main gun must be angled up to ensure the heavy shell reaches its target. Unfortunately, with the higher angle of attaching, the shell does lose some penetration power. The M332, on the other hand, is a smaller mass round, however, it can be fired more like a rifle round almost level at the target. This smaller round impacts its targets at a higher velocity breaching heavily armoured tanks from longer distances with a minimal chance of ricochet. With the smaller mass comes smaller damage, but because of this, the M304 and M332 are doing roughly the same damage. It may still one-shot cramped-quarter tanks if you shoot straight through the middle of them or aim for the crew specifically. Most of enemy heavy SPG and some up-tier superheavies will still ignore your shots and attempt to one-shot you back so you will find yourself constantly using both APHE and APCR, trying to adapt to your current enemy.
HEAT-FS
  • With M348 unlocked, you can now simply destroy T-44 by firing at the left of their tank (right for you if head-on) and IS-2 by firing straight at the middle of their hull. You also can destroy all the enemy SPG and heavy tanks which were bullying you this entire time from any range, for example, you can destroy Jagdtiger with two shots by crew knockout, destroy T32E1 which is normally a pain to hit into hull weak spot with APHE even with X16 zoom, and, if playing AB, you can now destroy superior Leopard I without any issues. It's worth remembering though, that certain rare tanks like Centurion Mk.5 AVRE and T95 are highly resistant to HEAT or just damage in general, requiring you to aim very well or retreat, and HEAT often explodes if touches anything on it's flight path, so kinetic shells are still required.

At all progression stages it is important to remember that your engine deck blocks your gun from depressing to -10 degrees and any tank with low profile can exploit this weakness, if they have to.

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
M318 shot APBC 175 173 161 147 135 123
M82 shot APCBC 185 182 170 155 142 130
M304 shot APCR 287 281 259 234 211 191
M332 shot APCR 291 286 264 240 217 197
M348 shell HEATFS 305 305 305 305 305 305
M71 shell HE 13 13 13 13 13 13
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
M318 shot APBC 853 10.98 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°
M82 shot APCBC 853 10.94 1.2 14 137.2 48° 63° 71°
M304 shot APCR 1,021 7.62 N/A N/A N/A 66° 70° 72°
M332 shot APCR 1,165 5.7 N/A N/A N/A 66° 70° 72°
M348 shell HEATFS 853 6.5 0.05 0.1 926.17 65° 72° 77°
M71 shell HE 823 10.55 0 0.1 925 79° 80° 81°
Smoke shell characteristics
Ammunition Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Screen radius
(m)
Screen deploy time
(s)
Screen hold time
(s)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
M313 821 10.7 13 5 20 50

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the ST-A1
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
40 39 (+1) 30 (+10) (+39) No

Machine guns

Ammunition660 rounds
Belt capacity200 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate577 shots/min
Vertical guidance-5° / 90°
Horizontal guidance-30° / 30°
Ammunition4 500 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate500 shots/min

The machine guns of ST-A1 can be used to destroy super light SPG like M56 and 12 mm MG is capable of destroying AUBL/74 and similar vehicles. They also can be used to fire at planes, though the damage is minimal.

Despite of them being useful, it's better to rely on your main gun first, as light vehicles at BR of 6.3 are capable of dishing out unexpected fatal damage and they should be destroyed the very moment you spot them.

12.7 mm M2HB
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 660 (200) 577 -5°/+90° ±30°
7.62 mm M1919A4
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 4,500 (250) 500 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

As the ST-A1 is Japan's first tank for a new era of tank development, it shows the same gameplay issues as the Chi-Ha. The weak armor, the slow to mediocre turret rotation speed, quite a long hull and high drop-rate of shells.

But its not just all negatives, the mobility is good for what it is, has adequate gun depression and the ST-A1 even comes with HEAT like the Chi-Ha, this time in the form of M348 HEAT-FS researchable as tier IV modification.

Other than the similarities to the Chi-Ha, the ST-A has its own factors good and bad which should be kept in mind when playing. From the very good reverse speed, great zoom factor, the additional .50 cal as roof mount and many shell options to large ammo racks that are bound to be set off, the elevated engine deck not allowing to shoot behind the tank.

Gameplay

The plan is simple and similar to the Chi-Ha & other early Japanese medium tanks, you want to stay either near or behind your allies and not rush forward, you can't take much damage, but you can deliver a punch. Pre-aim the turret and guide the enemy tanks into the sights as the rotation speed isn't of the fastest.

The further you are from your enemy the better for the inadequate armor, The ST-A comes with an amazing zoom factor and allows for clear sniping, but do keep in mind the shell drop-off are rather high.

Before you have your hands on the HEAT-FS, the safest bet is to exploit the flanks of the enemy, especially when starting with only AP, frontal penetrations won't happen reliable with the tanks the ST-A faces, try aiming for ammo racks, put a solid round into cramped crew members while trying to get the M82 shot and back up into cover or behind corners as the crew reloads the shell.

After unlocking the M82 APHE, placing shots is less important, once it penetrates, it's most likely to blow up good. It will come at the cost of the extra penetration, but when aiming for the sides, extra penetration isn't required. It's still a good idea to bring some AP shells with the tank just in-case you have to fight in a frontal engagement and the APHE fails to penetrate.

With the HEAT-FS finally unlocked, you can fully make use of the punches you can deal and the zoom you have, help your allies out with the toughest of enemies and simply frontally penetrate them.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Vehicle body is thin and low = small front profile
  • Adequate gun depression of -10°
  • 90 mm gun that allows for combat against contemporary medium tanks
  • .50 cal machine gun allows for AA defence
  • Good speed, OK mobility
  • Very good reverse speed
  • Access to HEAT-FS shells
  • Has x16 zoom as maximum with competition generally using x8 at best

Cons:

  • Elevated engine deck prevents rear gun depression
  • Large ammo rack all over the turret, especially left side (Aiming right side), if you take more than 29 shells and don't spend the "first stage" rack fast
  • Inadequate hull raw armour of 75 mm at the front, relies on slopes and bounces for resistance against shots
  • Even more inadequate turret armour of around 40-75 mm overall
  • Gun sub-par against the heavy tanks like the Tiger II
  • Miserable accuracy without modifications; even short range shots are quite difficult
  • High drop-rate of shells make long-range engagements difficult
  • 15 mm of armour on top of the turret and engine deck make it easy to penetrate for Strafing Air and Artillery

History

Once Japan acknowledged defeat in World War II, its military institutions had to be reformed with new systems and production methods. The country was prohibited from having an official military, and was instead permitted to create a paramilitary national police force. During this time they used American tanks lent to them by the US. Later, as the Korean war intensified, the United States allowed Japan to have its own defense force in the face of increased tensions. By the mid 50's, it became clear that the Self-Defense Force required their own tank development to fit the terrain of the country. New lightweight Japanese tanks were planned to be compact and maneuverable, making them able to be transported cross-country through mountainous terrain. The vehicles borrowed from the main armament of the American 90mm caliber gun, familiar and favoured by War Thunder players as the main armament of the American M46 and M47 tanks.

To fulfill the military's requirements, tank designers offered several promising projects, the first of which was the ST-A1. The tank ended up quite compact, with a height of only 2.2 meters. This allowed it to have excellent cover abilities, with a cast turret and traditional Japanese tank layout: the engine installed behind the transmission. Two finished vehicles of this model were built. Despite the fact that the ST-A1 series did not continue, it was a starting point for the future of Japanese tank development.

- From Devblog

Media

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


Japan medium tanks
Type 97  Chi-Ha · Chi-Ha Kai · Chi-Ha Kai TD · Chi-Ha Short Gun
Type 1  Chi-He · Chi-He (5th Regiment) · Ho-I
Type 3  Chi-Nu · Chi-Nu II
Type 4  Chi-To · Chi-To Late
Type 5  Chi-Ri II
Type 61 MBT  ST-A1* · ST-A2* · ST-A3* · Type 61
Type 74 MBT  ST-B1* · Type 74 · Type 74 (F) · Type 74 (G)
Type 90 MBT  Type 90 · Type 90 (B)
USA  ▅M4A3 (76) W · ▅M47
  *ST-X is prototype stage for said MBT