Type 54 (12.7 mm)

From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


Type 54 12.7 mm heavy machine gun (54式高射机枪), aka Type 59 12.7 mm tank anti-aircraft machine gun (59式12.7毫米高射机枪) for armored vehicles, is the first domestic heavy machine gun for Mainland China as the reverse-engineered version of the famous DShK from Soviet Union. Aside from its intended use - anti-aircraft operations for infantry, it was also the most common pintle machine gun for PLAGF armored vehicles ranging from APC all the way to MBTs in 1990s, as well as supplementary weapons for early PLAN patrol vessels.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Light tanks  Type 62 · ▂Type 62 · ZTS63
Medium tanks 
Object 122  Object 122MT "MC"
T-34-85  Т-34-85 Gai
Type 59  Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1
Type 69  Type 69 · Type 69-IIa · T-69 II G
ZTZ88  ZTZ88A · ZTZ88B

General info

Gun characteristics
Mass 34 kg (gun)
Caliber 12.7x108 mm
Rate of fire 600
Overall length 1625 mm
Ammo feed fixed 50-round belt

Available ammunition

Default: API-T · IAI · API-T · AP-I(c)

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
IAI 3 3 3 3 2 2
API-T 29 27 20 13 9 6
AP-I(c) 34 32 24 17 12 8
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
IAI 860 0.04 0 0.25 3.23 47° 56° 65°
API-T 865 0.05 - - - 47° 56° 65°
AP-I(c) 850 0.05 - - - 47° 56° 65°

Comparison with analogues

M2HB - its long-time rival from United States and been used by ROCA since 1950s, while Type 54 has higher penetration thanks to its AP-I(c) and better RoF; M2HB always have the higher ammo count per magazine/box.

Usage in battles

Like its Soviet cousin, DShK, Type 54 was built to handling enemy aircrafts in most cases. While there were many occasions for infantries to utilize the gun i.e tripod mount, the only option for PLAGF vehicles are used as the pintle mount machine gun for various vehicles ranging from light tanks all the way to main battle tanks in early-1990s. It is always a good idea to have a .50 caliber-equivalent machine gun onboard as it can serve as a more economic way to take down light vehicles, aircrafts and even high-rank rotorcrafts at specific battle ratings; leave the cannon for more important and lethal targets, Type 54 can handle the rest.

But just like DShK, players would also have to be trigger-discipline as there are only 50 rounds per magazine. If the vehicle is in safe position from enemy gunfire while an aircraft/rotorcraft is coming for the vehicle, it will be a good idea to switch the reticle for secondary weapon (via multifunction menu or shortcut keys) as this will also enables the optical sight, making the aiming for pilot or engine easier.

Pros and cons


  • Fast traverse speed for its weight
  • Sufficient RoF
  • Sufficient penetration similar to M2HB, lethal to lightly-protected vehicles, aircrafts or even rotorcrafts


  • Rather sparse ammo count at only 50 rounds per magazine


Soon after the establishment of the People's Republic, the PLA was in dire for anti-aircraft machine guns due to the lack of heavy machine guns from different sources i.e. captured Japanese (which has none) and Nationalist weapons, this also hindered the combat efficiency of PVA during early days of Korean War due to the lack of more advanced autocannons and HMGs for air-defense operations. As such, Soviet Union supplied 36 division equivalent of military equipment with majority of them being anti-aircraft guns like 37 mm 61-K and 85 mm 52-K, as well as the long-desired DShK to fill the low-altitude gap of air-defense network. With the needs to expand the PLAGF and military capabilities, DShK was soon reverse-engineered by Chinese engineers in 1953, then with the help of Soviet engineers and their original blueprints for the gun. A year after the armistice, the domestic version was then named Type 54 with identical performance and options for tripods; soon after the intention to built domestic tanks based on T-34-85 and later Type 59, the Type 54 HMG were also selected as its anti-aircraft machine gun. The gun served with PLAGF since then and were used in combat alongside with its Soviet cousin, as well as aided weapons to Viet Cong during Vietnam War as one of the most lethal weapon to US or RVA UH-1 Huey helicopters; then during Sino-Vietnamese War where both side deployed Type 54 in different scenarios - suppression against infantry on tripod mount for VPA, while PLAGF armored corps utilized the pintle mounts to suppress VPA's infantry during town/fire position assaults.

Type 54 on vehicles were eventually replaced by the QJC88A since ZTZ96 series, while the QJZ85 and the very "light" QJZ89 at barely 26 kg even with tripod (DShK is already 33 kg itself with the tripod twice of its weight) replaced them in PLAGF infantry platoons. As of present, Type 54 is likely still being used by different countries or insurgents outside of Mainland China.


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

See also

Vehicular 12.7 mm heavy machine guns

  • DShK - its Soviet cousin
  • M2HB - American counterpart
  • QJC88A - the HMG that replaced Type 54 on vehicles

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

Tank machine guns
7.62 mm  M37 · M60D · M73 · M240 · M1919A4
12.7 mm  FN M3P · M2HB · M80 · M85
5.56 mm  MG4
7.62 mm  C6 · MG3A1
7.92 mm  MG13 Dreyse · MG34 · MG37(t) · MG42
12.7 mm  S.MG.50
7.62 mm  DT · PKMB · PKT · PKTM · RP-46 · SGMT
12.7 mm  DK · DShK · 6P49 · NSVT
14.5 mm  KPVT
7.62 mm  Browning MG4 · L3A1 · L8A1 · L8A2 · L37A1 · L37A2 · L94A1
7.7 mm  Vickers
7.92 mm  BESA
12.7 mm  L21A1
6.5 mm  Type 91
7.62 mm  Type 74
7.7 mm  Type 97
12.7 mm  Type 60 (B)
5.8 mm  QJT
7.62 mm  Type 55 · Type 59 · Type 86
12.7 mm  QJC88A · Type 54
14.5 mm  QJG02
7.62 mm  Beretta MG42/59 · FN MAG 60-40
8 mm  34/40M · Breda Mod. 38
13.2 mm  Breda Model 31
7.5 mm  AAT-52 · MAC 31
7.62 mm  A-A-F1N
8 mm  Hotchkiss Mle 1914
6.5 mm  ksp m/14-29
7.62 mm  ksp 39 C · ksp 58 · ksp 94
8 mm  ksp m/36 · ksp m/39B
12.7 mm  ksp 88