Type 97 navy (7.7 mm)

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The Type 97 aircraft machine gun was the standard fixed light machine gun on aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. This weapon was not related to the Type 97 heavy tank machine gun used by the Imperial Japanese Army.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
A6M2  A6M2 · ▃A6M2 · ␗A6M2 · A6M2 mod. 11 · A6M2-N
A6M3  A6M3 · A6M3 mod. 22 · A6M3 mod. 22Ko
A6M5  A6M5 · A6M5 Ko · A6M5 otsu
F1M  F1M2
J2M  J2M2
N1K  N1K1 · N1K1-Ja
Twin-engine fighters  J1N1
Bombers  B6N1 Model 11 · D3A1 · D4Y1 · D4Y2 · D4Y3 Ko · G5N1 (Defensive)

General info

The Navy Type 97 aircraft machine gun is the IJN's standard issue machine gun, similar to Army Type 89 machine gun, being a licensed copy of the Vickers E machine gun, but unlike the Army machine gun which got rechambered in Japanese .303 (7.7 mm), it kept the British .303 (7.7 mm) and are not interchangeable. These guns have a lower rate of fire than other rifle-calibre machine guns making them very suitable for synchronization, have decent ballistics, and have low jamming probability when upgraded. However, the total damage output of these guns is rather low, and you'll have to deal with poor belts and lackluster rounds.

Available ammunition

Default: T / AP / Ball / AP / IAI / I

Universal: T / AP / IAI / AP

Tracers: T / T/ T/ AP

Stealth: I / AP / AP / AP / IAI

Stealth is a great choice because your enemy won't see you coming and have the most damage potential, and these guns are always mounted in the nose and are easy to aim. Stealth won't often light fires, but its AP rounds will get to work and sooner or later hit the pilot or snap off a wing.

Comparison with analogues

Not many weapons rival the poor firepower of this gun, but some reserve machine guns like the Mle 33 or MAC 1934 are worse. German rifle-calibres will always outperform it and often set fires, while British machine guns are very similar in performance. The American Browning jams very quickly, so keep that in mind, as you are still superior to other nations in terms of the rifle-calibre machine guns.

  • MAC 1934: Bad firepower compared to the Type 97's, but excellent rate of fire
  • Browning/Swedish Browning: Better firepower, however it is quick to jam
  • MG 15/17/81: Better firepower, belts, rate of fire, and performance
  • ShKAS: Jam very quickly, poor accuracy

Usage in battles

These guns suffer from stock belts, however no other belt option has too much of a difference. These guns rely less on getting shots in but rather on chipping away at the most vital parts of the plane. The opponents you will face with these guns are almost always unarmoured biplanes or early monoplanes. However, early bombers will brush off these bullets easily, you may empty your entire ammo stowage before destroying a single bomber. One excellent tactic is aiming for the wings or engines, but most importantly, pilots. You need to remember that at higher BRs, these guns do little, so don't rely on them for anything when you have cannons available to use, though they can be used to knock out ground targets while saving your precious cannon ammunition.

Pros and cons


  • Mounted in the nose, unlike British and some German counterparts
  • Good turret firepower at lower BR
  • Good ammo count
  • Won't jam too quickly


  • Low damage output
  • Bad Belts
  • Wont do anything to bombers
  • No incendiary potential


Examine the history of the creation and combat usage of the weapon in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the weapon and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Weapon-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />.


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 article about the variant of the cannon/machine gun;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the weapon;
  • other literature.

Aircraft machine guns
7.62 mm  Browning · M134 Minigun
12.7 mm  M2 Browning · M3 Browning
7.62 mm  MG3
7.92 mm  MG 15 · MG 17 · MG 81
12.7 mm  FN M3P
13 mm  MG 131
7.62 mm  DA · GShG-7.62 · PV-1 · ShKAS
12.7 mm  A-12.7 · Berezin UB · YaK-B
7.62 mm  L8A1
7.7 mm  Browning · Vickers E · Vickers K
7.7 mm  Te-1 · Type 89 · Type 89 'special' · Type 92 · Type 97 navy
7.92 mm  Type 1 · Type 98
12.7 mm  Ho-103 · Ho-104
13 mm  Type 2
13.2 mm  Type 3
7.7 mm  Breda-SAFAT · Lewis
7.92 mm  FN Browning
12.7 mm  Breda-SAFAT · FN M3M · Scotti
7.5 mm  Darne 1933 · Fabrique Nationale Mle 38 · FN Browning · MAC 1934 · MAC 1934T · Mle 33 · Mle 1923
7.62 mm  PKA
7.7 mm  FN-Browning M.36 No.3
8 mm  Ksp m/22 · Ksp m/22 Fh · Ksp m/22 Fv · Ksp m/22-37 R
12.7 mm  Akan m/39A · Akan m/40 · Akan m/45 · LKk/42
13.2 mm  Akan m/39 · Akan m/39A