Type 61

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This page is about the Japanese medium tank Type 61. For other variants, see Type 61 (Family).
Type 61
jp_type_61.png
GarageImage Type 61.jpg
ArtImage Type 61.png
Type 61
AB RB SB
6.3 6.7 6.7
Class:
Research:63 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:200 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Type 61 was the first Japanese service MBT of the JGSDF, developed on the ST-A series of prototypes to replace the ageing M4A3 (76) and M24 which on top of their age were too large for the average-sized Japanese crew member. While most of the components of the Type 61 were of American origin, the design and role of the tank were purely Japanese. While the tank was a serviceable Japanese equivalent of the M26 Pershing and Patton (M46/47/48) series, it was only introduced in 1961 with production only catching up in 1970, it started to show its age compared to the newer generation of tanks like the M60, T-62, and Leopard 1. The Type 61 remained in service until 2000 when it was finally completely replaced by the Type 74 MBT and the roll-in phase of the Type 90 MBT.

The Type 61 was introduced along with the initial Japanese Ground Forces tree in Update 1.65 "Way of the Samurai". It looks like a bizarre cross between the American M41 Walker Bulldog and Patton series (M46/47/48). It is very similar in its overall length and size to the M41 and the turret looks like the M60's with the same prominent commander's cupola on top of the turret housing a rangefinder. The Japanese Type 61 mimics the American M47 Patton in firepower and M41 Walker Bulldog in armour, it has the large, tall profile and fairly mobile medium tank characteristics of the M47 Patton, with the same decent 90 mm M36 (Type 61) cannon, but the armour protection qualities are more akin to those of the M41 Walker Bulldog.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull50 / 35 / 12
Turret40 / 60 / 35
Crew4 people
Visibility88 %

Armour Type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 45 mm (49-61°) Front glacis
50 mm (54°) Lower glaics
30 mm (30°) Top
35 mm Bottom
25 mm (13°) Top
20 mm (30°), 10 mm (59°) Bottom
12 mm
Turret 40 mm (4-78°) Turret front
80 mm (0-68°) Gun mantlet
40-60 mm (0-38°) 35 mm 18 mm
Cupola 31.7 mm 31.7 mm 31.7 mm 31.7 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.

Due to its weak armour nearly every tank is a serious threat to the Type 61, as well as a number of SPAA vehicles, however fast medium tanks such as the T-44, M46/M47 Patton or Panther II which can match its mobile are a painful to avoid, while anything with heavy armour (T29, T32, T34 and King Tigers) forces the reliance on the M431 shell HEATFS to punch through frontally, taking multiple shots to overcome.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB51 / 9 km/h
RB and SB46 / 9 km/h
Number of gears7 forward
2 back
Weight34.3 t
Engine power
AB1 240 hp
RB and SB650 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB36.2 hp/t
RB and SB19.0 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 51 9 34.3 1,007 1,240 29.36 36.15
Realistic 46 9 575 650 16.76 18.95

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB2 785 → 4 144 Sl icon.png
RB3 344 → 4 975 Sl icon.png
SB4 369 → 6 501 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications52 400 Rp icon.png
90 500 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 700 Ge icon.png
Crew training57 000 Sl icon.png
Experts200 000 Sl icon.png
Aces800 Ge icon.png
Research Aces520 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
120 / 180 / 200 % 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
175 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 900 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 900 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement jp.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_jp_M82_APCBC_ammo_pack
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_jp_M431_HEAT_ammo_pack
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods night vision device.png
NVD
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 900 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_us_M313_Smoke_ammo_pack
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 900 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods tank rangefinder.png
Rangefinder
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 900 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Rangefinder
Reduces the error and increases the maximum measurable distance of the rangefinder
Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.

Main armament

90 mm Type 61 cannon
Ammunition51 rounds
First-order22 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
9.7 → 7.5 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 13°
Main article: Type 61 (90 mm)
90 mm Type 61 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 51 -10°/+13° ±180° N/A 22.8 31.6 38.4 42.5 45.2 9.75 8.63 7.95 7.50
Realistic 14.3 16.8 20.4 22.6 24.0

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
M318A1 shot APBC 194 190 177 162 148 136
M82 shot APCBC 185 182 170 155 142 130
M431 shell HEATFS 320 320 320 320 320 320
M71 shell HE 20 20 18 17 15 14
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%
M318A1 shot APBC 914 10.98 - - - 47° 60° 65°
M82 shot APCBC 853 10.94 1.2 14 137.2 48° 63° 71°
M431 shell HEATFS 1,216 5.8 0.05 0.1 712.64 65° 72° 77°
M71 shell HE 823 10.55 0.2 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 Type 61
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
51 35 (+16) 23 (+28) 14 (+37) 11 (+40) (+50) No

Notes:

  • Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
  • Racks 3, 4 and 5 are first stage ammo racks. They total 22 shells and get filled first when loading up the tank.
  • These racks are also emptied early: the rack depletion order at full capacity is: 3 - 4 - 5 - 1 - 2.
  • Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will move ammo from racks 1 and 2 into racks 5 then 4 and 3. Firing will interrupt the restocking of the ready racks.
  • Floor racks empty: 23 (+28) shells.

Machine guns

Ammunition600 rounds
Belt capacity200 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate575 shots/min
Vertical guidance-10° / 25°
Ammunition4 000 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate500 shots/min
12.7 mm M2HB
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 600 (200) 575 -10°/+25° ±180°
7.62 mm M1919A4
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 4,000 (250) 500 - -

Usage in battles

The Type 61 has excellent horizontal traverse and gun depression combined with a fairly mobile chassis, making it a good choice for progressing from turret down (be careful about the large cupola sticking up), to hull down and firing at the opposition before retreating back to turret down cover.

Its mobility is quite good at getting it to position, where it can ambush tanks early in the game or change position when required, particularly when disengaging when its position is discovered.

Its lack of armour and the decent but not overwhelmingly powerful gun means it is not a wonderful frontline tank to hold a defensive position when the opposition knows its position, as its armour is unlike to prevent any opposition rounds from penetrating and dealing damage, leaving the user to more often than not, rely on luck when engaging opposition frontally.

The biggest issue with the Type 61 is shot selection. You have to choose between the M431 shell HEATFS which will punch through most opposition tanks, but inflict little damage and the M318A1 AP and M82 shot APHE rounds for more damage, but which will struggle to penetrate opposing tanks frontally at times.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Fast turret rotation
  • Excellent gun depression
  • Good forward speed and mobility
  • Good acceleration
  • Great post-penetration damage on the M82 APCBC shell

Cons:

  • 90 mm Type 61 can struggle to overcome certain opposing tanks frontally without relying on M431 HEATFS shell
  • Very thin overall armour, any tank gun will make short work of the Type 61, and even certain SPAAs can give the tank trouble
  • The reverse speed -8 km/h can hinder the tank at times
  • Very tall profile with the cupola on top of the turret, makes using certain cover impossible

History

Development

With the subsequent events of the Japanese surrender in September 1945, the end of World War II, and the ensuing Allied occupation of Japan, the Japanese were ordered to lay down their military activities, essentially abolishing the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. For a short period past VE-Day, Japan was without a military with the exception of the Allied troops still occupying the country. This stance on a Japanese military was reversed with the advent of the Cold War and the much-closer Korean War in the early 1950s. With the departure of a majority of the Allied troops from Japan to Korea, there was a concern on the vulnerability of Japan without the aid of these nations. So in 1954, Japan formally organized the Defense Agency heading the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF). To jump-start the remilitarization of the JSDF, the United States gave Japan a handful of M4A3E8 Shermans and M24 Chaffees. However, in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) service, these tanks presented some problems. The problems the Sherman presented was that its interior was too large for an average Japanese stature, with drivers unable to even reach the foot pedals, and the M24 Chaffee was just plain outdated against Soviet armour. The Japanese were then given options to replace these tanks with the newer American M46 Patton and M47 Patton or develop their own tank. Given the price of buying the tanks and the tanks not suiting to their specifications, the Japanese opted to develop their own tank for the JGSDF.

The initial specifications for the development of their domestic tank design followed as 1) Small enough to be train-transported, 2) Not be heavier than 25 tons, and 3) an armament of 90 mm calibre. The job of designing the tank was given to Mitsubishi, the same company responsible for making the majority of Japanese tanks in World War II. The first specification was important to not only improve cross-country travel but because if it could be followed, the tanks can be transported via truck transports as well. The second specification was a dodgy one in that 25 tons did not allow for much armour to be placed, but it was hoped a new engine could supplement a weight increase to 35 tons by improving mobility. When the new engine got delayed, the weight was reduced back to 25 tons to retain mobility. The last specification of a 90 mm gun was due to the Japanese experience with a M36 tank destroyer, believing the 90 mm to be sufficient in the mountainous region of Japan and be the limit where Japanese physique could adequately service the gun. These specifications would lead to the first prototype being developed in 1956.

In December 1956, the first prototype labelled ST-A1 was produced. Testing and various changes led to the second prototype, ST-A2, to be produced in February 1957. Two more prototypes labelled ST-A3 and ST-A4 were completed in 1959 and 1960 that led to the final production design to be produced in 1961. This would be accepted into service as the Type 61 main battle tank, with deployment to start within the same year. The Type 61 was formally adopted in 1961, but the starting numbers were low as production only put out 10 Type 61 tanks in the span of 1961 to 1962. This only marginally increases up to 1966, with 250 tanks. Production continued until 1975 with 560 tanks produced.

Service

The first few Type 61 tanks were put into service of the JGSDF. Due to low production numbers, it was supplemented with the tanks America gave it. The time the Type 61 was deployed, it was already quite outdated in comparison to Soviet contenders such as the T-54/55 and T-62 tanks. In 1962, the successor of the Type 61 was already in the development process. Even when it was finished, which would be the Type 74, the Type 61 would stick around as supplement due to low production numbers as well, starting from 1980.

The Type 61 would start being retired in the 1990s, showing its obvious age in comparison with newer third-generation main battle tanks. The transition can be seen in that 400 Type 61 were still in service in 1990 to 190 tanks in 1995. In this time period, the Type 61 went through a modernization program to add infrared searchlights and smoke dischargers. Regardless, all were decommissioned by 2000, paving the way to the newer Japanese tank designs.

Media

Skins

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-B2* · Type 74 (C) · Type 74 (E) · Type 74 (F) · Type 74 (G)
Type 90 MBT  Type 90 · Type 90 (B)
Type 10 MBT  TKX (P)* · TKX* · Type 10
Other  Ka-Chi
USA  ▅M4A3 (76) W · ▅M47
  *Prototype