Type 89

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Rooikat 105 PACK
Type 89
General characteristics
4 peopleCrew
88 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
35 / 15 / 15Hull
35 / 20 / 15Turret
26.5 tWeight
1 145 hp600 hpEngine power
43 hp/t23 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
81 km/h forward
47 km/h back
73 km/h forward
42 km/h back
Type 79 ATGMRocket
4 roundsAmmunition
2 roundsBelt capacity
120 shots/minFire rate
0° / 12°Vertical guidance
35 mm Oerlikon KDE cannonMain weapon
255 roundsAmmunition
1.0 / 1.3 sReload
17 roundsBelt capacity
201 shots/minFire rate
-9° / 60°Vertical guidance
7.62 mm Type 74 machine gunCoaxial weapon
1 000 roundsAmmunition
8.0 / 10.4 sReload
250 roundsBelt capacity
500 shots/minFire rate
220 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
580 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png4 650 / 7 407/4 900 / 7 805/1 900 / 3 026Repair
170 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
580 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
2 100 Ge icon.pngAces
220 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
150 % Sl icon.png140 % Sl icon.png100 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage Type 89.jpg

The Type 89 is a rank VI Japanese light tank with a battle rating of 8.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic".

The full name is known as the Mitsubishi Type 89 infantry fighting vehicle (Japanese: 三菱89式装甲戦闘車 - Mitsubishi 89-shiki sōkō-sentō-sha), the Type 89 provides an autocannon weapon combined with an anti-tank guided missile for a diverse range of attack methods.

General info

Survivability and armour

While Type 89 armour consists out of Rolled Homogenous Armour, it is not any better than modern light tanks of other factions, which use double or even triple the amount of aluminium to give roughly the same amount of protection. This means that its sides and even angled turret will still be vulnerable to all autocannons and will "hull break" easily if hit into a weak spot. One such weak spot is the suspension, for example, hitting the back wheels of chassis with 105 mm chemical shell may annihilate entire tank. Any 120 mm and higher kinetic shells hitting the hull will also likely instantly hull break it.

Armour profile can be closely compared to Merkava Mk.1, it has a long hull with turret on the back, and the entirety of it is sloped as much as possible. This means that inaccurate frontal hull shot will likely bounce and tank should always face the opponent. Unfortunately, due to how big the turret is, the bounced shell might actually fly straight into it, and there aren't any special shields or additional armour for the turret crew on this tank.

Internal module placement is rather smart on paper, with driver and MG operator hiding on the right side of the tank, and main weapon crew hiding on the back along with ammunition, while the rest of the tank is one giant engine compartment, sealed off with 5 mm RHA screen. In reality, the means of protecting the crew and critical weak points are insufficient. Most notably, the driver isn't completely sealed away from tank's front and the turret.

Due to overall low thickness of armour Type 89 gets overmatched. Whenever the tank hull side is even slightly opened, it will get easily penetrated by big guns, the armour is not thin enough to not trigger APHE fuses and even if it's a slow 19 mm fuse it will trigger off hitting engine and RHA screen, then cause violent explosion next to ammo rack, aside from extreme likelyhood of a hullbreak. Pure AP shells even of a small caliber autocannon will fly straight through the entire engine compartment, likely hitting the turret crew or ammo rack in the very back of the tank. It is also possible to lose entire tank crew to a single coaxial autocannon spray from the right side, as nothing is protecting the driver there.

The one time when when sealed compartment truly works is when Type 89 drives around the town, or hides from snipers behind buildings, and someone suddenly shoots engine compartment into direction opposite from the crew, then enemy APHE may simply get stuck there, doing reduced damage to the turret crew. This does not make situation any better, though, as without team help or very unlikely ATGM counterattack Type 89 will still get repeatedly set on fire until it explodes.

Recommendations: Keep your opponents in front of you, if you can't - at least keep them on your left. Avoid being shot directly by 120+ mm shells. Do not needlessly taunt enemy SPAA. In close quarters be extremely aggressive and destroy enemy weapon or gunner as soon as possible. Otherwise try to scout enemy and hope to fire first or that there is a sniper to cover your back.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 81 47 26.5 930 1,145 35.09 43.21
Realistic 73 42 531 600 20.04 22.64


Main armament

The Type 89 is outfitted with the following:

  • 1 x 35 mm Oerlikon KDE autocannon
  • 4 x Type 79 ATGMs

Both of weapons are listed as "main armament" and should be treated equally. The gun covers the tank close quarter battles, while ATGM covers the unexpected and medium to long range encounters.

Its auto cannon is an Oerlikon KDE autocannon, which is similar to KDA variant used by the Gepard, the Type 87, and the Chieftain Marksman and is widely considered to be one of the most effective guns in regards to damage output and reliability. This is due to their moderate calibre and rate of fire: 35mm is the largest of the small autocannons which allows it to have a much higher rate of fire than any 40 mm or 57 mm system.

Even medium tanks are not safe from stock APHE, as their belly armour is very weak. Shoot at the suspension wheels to set off the shell early. The method is not 100% reliable and does not show hit camera after penetration.

The difference between them is that KDE cannon fires slower than KDA, but it uses tank-specific ammunition instead, which makes it behave differently - for example, API-T will explode after penetration regardless of armour thickness (because planes have no armour), while APHE will explode only if it penetrates about 9 to 15 mm equivalent of Rolled Homogenous Armour, like with any normal tank shells. However, it generally does slightly more damage, if it does explode. Due to this, KDE shells also have tendency to penetrate modules like thin radiators and sometimes even engines, instead of just exploding upon hitting it, when attacking light tanks.

It is very important to remember, that even 3-5 direct APHE hits to a cannon barrel can neutralize almost any medium tank Type 89 can face, and should anything impenetrable suddenly attack, one can just fire at their gun.

This allows the Type 89 to easily deal with any lightly armoured vehicle in the game. It also has access to APDS ammunition, which allows it to deal with MBTs from the side, though this is usually not advised. It is also advisable to avoid attacking tanks like M3 Bradley from long range with a gun without APDS ammunition, as this light tank mostly specializes on annihilating other light tanks, has APDS from the get-go and it's hull can block almost any weak long range shots.

Tank still can use conventional HE instead of HEI-T to attack helicopters, if it must. Remember to use laser rangefinder to target them quicker.

Whenever you see, that your gun can't deal with enemy target, or someone caught you off guard, you can launch ATGM. They are located on sides of a turret and can be launched on move at any speed as with hybrid medium tanks. Due to their placement, they only really arrive at crosshair location if target was about 500m away, so practice close range aim in test drive.

The Type 79 ATGM has around 700 mm flat penetration at any range and has a high velocity, making it one of the better ATGMs in-game, similar to MILAN 2 of Warrior, though it falls short of the HOT series. This ATGM lets you deal with most tanks from the front, but be sure to avoid hitting NATO NERA composite armour, as these composite armours will likely reduce damage done to minimal or none at all. Try to remove ERA with your gun, as it may reduce damage taken by hostile tank and force you to use both missiles.

Since you have two ATGMs mounted to the outside of your vehicle at once (with four total), you can immediately fire another missile after first one. Firing second missile will cut off the first one, so only do this if you are sure it's on correct course. Keep in mind, that you can only reload missiles after both of them were fired, and it takes 30 seconds, which is arguably the longest ATGM reload time in the game.

Machine guns

Main article: Type 74 (7.62 mm)

Type 74 machine gun isn't doing anything special on this tank, as Type 89 can "scout" tanks directly without making any noise, but it can be sometimes used together with main gun when fighting other ATGM tanks or helicopters, as to add a chance of survival against ATGM.

Usage in battles

Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).

Mozdok Arcade map example for type 89. Red line is path of type 89 trying to get to sniper spot with his buddies. Yellow is representing sector in which type 89 is trying to keep enemy sniper down. Since snipers do not particularly like being hit by ATGM, they will most likely duck back into cover, unless their turret is resistant to it.

Type 89 is in a very weird spot for a light tank - on one hand it's relatively fast compared to average medium tank and has more combat ready weapons than average light tank, but it also isn't fast enough to get where it needs to be, before enemy sniper tanks entrench in their hull-down spots. The armour of the tank is also quite lacking.

Traversing in open maps should be done with sniper positions in mind - something a Japan tree player should already know well by rank VI. Avoid being seen, while you are travelling, and if you cannot - ensure that range between you and hostile snipers aren't exceeding 1.5 km. This allows you to use your ATGM's as a deterrent mechanism, as you can launch them without stopping. Autocannons can only deter tanks as light as yours, and tanks like M3 Bradley will deflect APHE at long range, especially if they have high ground, and they know it, so only use missiles on them if you don't have APDS.

For example, on Mozdok single cap maps there is no cover whatsoever for light tank to strive, Arcade Battle mode Mozdok maps in particular are extremely deadly for Type 89, so in worst case scenario, main goal would be protecting your sniper group, as they try to reach their sniper spot by driving along with your party, scouting sniper positions with binoculars, and, as soon as anything that looks like a turret pokes out, launching a missile at them, to make them think twice.

In case if you actually managed to get next to enemy position, rather than your own sniper spot, you can either attempt to immediately destroy them in melee battle with autocannon, which is reasonable if enemy tanks are lightly armoured, like Centauro (attack only from the flank, from right side to avoid machine gun damage), or scout enemies around you to help your snipers, while you reload your ATGM in case if enemy got something heavily armoured as well, while waiting for opening.

It's needless to mention, that type 89 doesn't have radar and should not fight combat helicopters if they are attacking from 4 kilometers away, however if helicopter at about 3 km away isn't moving much, you can use laser rangefinder and HE-I shells to cause damage to it. If you see a combat helicopter carrying dumbfire rockets and 40 mm grenade launcher, it is sometimes better to hide and let it pass or turn away, then shoot it in the back, as otherwise it will just unload the entire arsenal onto you, resulting in hull-break.

In urban enviroment Type 89 is at the same time more powerful and weaker, as it's capable of destroying most tanks in 3 shots when they don't expect your attack, but it also can take only that much punishment frontally. Sometimes hostile tanks will intercept your tank only to set your engine compartment on fire - something that can buy you enough time to destroy them. The only real gripe is the attitude of chassis, which make you incapable of turning while moving forward until you hit gear 2, which makes you incapable of continuing assault, once you were stopped so use reverse or neutral steering for turning around and slight repositioning.

For the most part, as long as your reaction is good enough to fire first when enemy tank appears around the corner, you should be able to win. It is required to learn how to launch ATGM at 200 m ranges in town, as they don't exactly hit the mark before flying for 500 m. After it became second nature for you, launch it as soon as you see, that you failed to hit new enemy tank by breaching their side armour and their turret starts to appear in your vision - you won't have much longer until they respond.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire Airstrike
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism Laser rangefinder NVD
IV Transmission Engine Smoke grenade Artillery Support Improved optics DM23

Pros and cons


  • Has 2 ATGM loaded at the same time and can fire them in quick succession
  • Unlike other IFV and non-hybrid ATGM carriers, can fire ATGM on move and at any speed
  • Type 79 ATGM is hard to dodge and have high penetration power of 700 - can breach ERA and weak NERA
  • Potent ammunition for autocannon - able to take out enemy tanks with one or two well-aimed penetrating hits:
    • Second strongest APHE shell on an infantry fighting vehicle
    • With APDS shells, can fight most medium tanks
    • High explosive round can be used to one-shot low flying aircraft
  • Can very efficiently exchange speed to manoeuvrability at gears 2 and 3
  • Neutral steering
  • Good reverse speed, turns better in reverse than forward
  • Has thermal sight


  • Weak armour - has hull break, can't completely negate damage, like the Warrior with add-on composite shields, can lose entire crew to a single 23 mm API-T and even APDS shot from the right side
  • Low ammo count for the main gun and only 4 ATGM
  • Due to placement of ATGM launchers on turret, firing them in close combat is awkward and may result in a non-fatal hit
  • Unlike type 60 ATM, ATGM only reloads after you fired both of loaded missiles, forcing you to waste ammunition, on top of having only four ATGMs
  • ATGM reload takes 30 seconds, which is three times slower than any other light tank and specialized ATGM carrier
  • Unfavorable matchmaking compared to other infantry fighting vehicles like the M3 Bradley
  • Driver is not able to handle first forward gear turning of the tank, resulting in abysmal forward first-gear turning speed. The problem can be avoided by manually shifting the transmission to gear 2 or driving forward until driver does it himself, but IFV will stutter in close combat


At the beginning of the 1980s, the JSDF wanted to replace its outdated Type 60 and Type 73 APCs with more modern IFVs, similar to the American Bradley and the German Marder. The JSDF drew up a set of requirements and tasked the Mitsubishi company with developing a suitable replacement.

In 1984, funding was approved to build four different prototypes, all of which underwent testing until 1986. By 1989, one prototype design was selected and was adopted within the armed forces under the designation of Type 89.

Initially, the JSDF estimated the need for about 300 Type 89s to be built. However, the end of the Cold War in the 1990s combined with a limited budget prevented a rapid mass-production of Type 89 to take place. In fact, production was proceeding at a very low rate, with just over 50 vehicles entering service with the JSDF by 1999.

Although production of Type 89 was discontinued in 2004, the vehicle is still in service with the JSDF today. As of 2016, a total of 68 vehicles were present in the JSDF’s inventory from the initially planned 300.

- From Devblog


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as 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 light tanks
Rank I  I-Go Ko · Ha-Go · Ha-Go Commander · Ke-Ni · Ka-Mi
Rank VI  Type 89
American  ▅M24 · ▅M41A1