25 mm/60 Type 96 (25 mm)

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This page is about the Japanese naval cannon 25 mm/60 Type 96 (25 mm). For other uses, see Type 96 (Disambiguation).
The 25 mm/60 Type 96 on T-51b.


The Type 96 cannon is a 25 mm naval anti-aircraft automatic cannon that can be found on many WWII-era motor torpedo boats, sub-chasers, destroyers and light cruisers throughout the Japanese naval tech tree, in either single, double, or triple mounts.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Motor torpedo boats  Type T-14 (mod. 1) · Type T-38 · Type T-51a · Type T-51b
Gunboats  Chidori
Sub-chasers  Type K-3 No.1 · Type K-7 No.4 · Type K-8 No.13 late
Frigates  Syonan
Destroyers  IJN Akizuki · IJN Hatsuzuki · IJN Hayanami · IJN Kiyoshimo · IJN Nenohi · IJN Shimakaze · IJN Yugumo
Light cruisers  IJN Agano · IJN Isuzu · IJN Kuma · IJN Mikuma · IJN Sendai · IJN Suzuya · IJN Yubari
Heavy cruisers  IJN Aoba · IJN Furutaka · IJN Mogami · IJN Myoko · IJN Tone
Battleships  IJN Fuso · IJN Haruna · IJN Ise · IJN Kongo

General info

The Type 96 has a barrel diameter of 25 mm, a barrel length of 1.500 m, and weighs 115 kg. It has a magazine size of 15 rounds and a rate of fire of 261 rounds per minute.

Available ammunition

Depending on the vehicle, there are up to three belts available. Note that Default and Universal refer to the same belt, depending on the vehicle.

  • Default/Universal: HEF-T* · HEF · AP-T · HEI
  • 25 mm APT belt: AP-T · AP-T · AP-T · HEF
  • 25 mm HEIT belts: HEF-T* · HEI · HEI · HEI
Msg-info.png Not all belts listed are available on all vehicles equipped with this weapon.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
HEF-T* 2 2 2 2 2 2
HEI 2 2 2 2 2 2
HEF 2 2 2 2 2 2
AP-T 55 53 43 33 25 19
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
HEF-T* 900 0.24 0 0.1 8.5 79° 80° 81°
HEI 900 0.26 0 0.1 5.52 79° 80° 81°
HEF 900 0.25 0 0.1 23.93 79° 80° 81°
AP-T 900 0.28 - - - 47° 60° 65°

Comparison with analogues

The closest comparison with the Type 96 calibre and penetration performance-wise is the Oerlikon Mk.II (20 mm) and its derivatives. However, the Oerlikon Mk.II is notably superior with a rate of fire over 70% greater at 450 rounds/min, as well as belt size of 60 rounds, four times as great as the Type 96. It also has a explosive mass in its HE shells over twice as much as that of the Type 96. The German equivalent, MG C/38 (20 mm) in various mountings, takes this difference even further with an explosive mass over three times as large. However, unlike both of these, the Type 96 has access to a belt containing only HE rounds, the 25 mm HEIT belt.

Among destroyer and cruiser anti-aircraft armament, the Bofors L/60 Mark 1 (40 mm) and its derivatives are vastly superior, firing a much larger projectile and having a much longer effective range, as well as being able to continuously fire without needing to reload (so long as the gun doesn't overheat).

Usage in battles

On vessels with only a single installation, the low capacity of the magazine and relatively low explosive mass in the HE rounds can be a major disadvantage, as it can potentially take multiple reloads to finish off a single enemy, whereas similar weapons can destroy their target with ammunition left to spare. Despite its deficiencies single installations, on vessels with multiple installations such as the sub-chaser Syonan and the destroyer IJN Akizuki, their potential effectiveness begins to show. On these vessels, the Type 96 cannons can provide virtually continuous fire with their relatively quick reload, other guns firing as one reloads. Together, they also overcome their small explosive mass through sheer volume of fire, making quick work of any PT boats. As anti-aircraft weapons though, they leave much to be desired, with an effective range of only about 2.5 km.

The primary belt against aircraft and enemy boats should be the 25 mm HEIT belt, since it contains purely HE rounds. That being said, several 25 mm APT belts should be carried for the occasional armoured boat. On destroyers and cruisers, there is no advantage to using the 25 mm APT belt, since armoured targets will possess more armour than they can penetrate.

Pros and cons


  • Relatively quick reload
  • HEIT belt contains only HE


  • Small magazine size, 15 rounds
  • Slow rate of fire
  • Small explosive mass, low damage output
  • Lacking AA capabilities due to low effective range


Beginning in 1935, Japan began to search for a replacement for the 40 mm/62 "HI" Type 91 anti-aircraft cannon, a Japanese-built Vickers QF 2-pounder "pom-pom" cannons. Eventually, the search led Japanese weapons engineers to France where the 25 mm Hotchkiss gun was selected, with a small order being placed for testing in Japan. These French-made units, designated Type 94 and Type 95, would be at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, with the production variant, Type 96, entering mass production in Japan the same year.

The Type 96 had a barrel diameter of 25 mm (1 inch), a barrel length of 1.5 m (60 calibre), weighed 115 kg, and fired rounds with a muzzle velocity of 900 m/s. A rate of fire of 260 rounds per minute was possible, though the rate of fire was most commonly set around 220 rounds per minute, lower in elevated positions as the position interfered with spent cartridge ejection. The Type 96 was fed by a box magazine with a capacity of 15 rounds, with high explosive, high explosive incendiary, armour-piercing, and tracer rounds available. The Japanese made several modifications to the original French design, incorporating a Rheinmetall flash suppressor design, substituting forged metal components with cast metal, and using stainless steel components for use on submarines. The Type 96 was gas-operated and had an air-cooled, monobloc barrel. The barrel was replaceable, although change-outs were difficult.

The Type 96 could be mounted in single, double, and triple mounts, typically operated by three, seven, and nine crew members, respectively. The single, double, and triple mounts weighed 785 kg, 1,100 kg, and 1,800 kg, respectively. All mountings were manually laid (though some triple mounts on certain ships received electric drive systems), and ammunition was carried to the gun by the crew and manually hand loaded. The Type 96 most commonly did not have a gun shield.

Entering service in 1936, the Type 96 was very widely used throughout the Imperial Japanese Navy, mounted on almost all ships during WWII. Some guns were even used in the anti-tank role, thought its use in this role is questionable. The Japanese considered the Type 96 to be an excellent anti-aircraft cannon; however, compared to its Allied contemporaries, the Type 96 was rather lacklustre. The small magazine size of only 15 rounds meant frequent reloads which lowered its effective rate of fire to around 120 rounds per minute. The gun was also manually traversed and often couldn't be trained quickly enough to track enemy aircraft. In total, around 33,000 Type 96 guns were produced.



See also

External links

Japan naval cannons
20 mm  JM61 · Type 98
25 mm  25 mm/60 Type 96
37 mm  Type 4 · Type 11 pattern 1922
40 mm  40 mm/62 Vickers
57 mm  Type 97
75 mm  Type 88 AA
76 mm  3-inch/40 Type 41 · 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type · 8 cm/60 Type 98
100 mm  100/65 mm Type 98 mod A
120 mm  120 mm/45 3rd Year Type · 120 mm/45 10th year type
127 mm  5 inch/40 Type 89 · 127 mm/50 3rd Year Type
140 mm  140 mm/50 3rd Year Type
152 mm  6-inch/45 Type 41 · 15 cm/50 Type 41
155 mm  155 mm/60 3rd Year Type
200 mm  20 cm 3rd year type No.1
203 mm  20 cm/45 Type 41 · 20 cm/50 3rd year type No.2
356 mm  36 cm/45 Type 41
410 mm  410 mm/45 Type 3
20 mm  20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mk.II (USA/Britain)
40 mm  Bofors L/60 Mark 1 (USA) · Bofors L/60 Mark 2 (USA) · Bofors L/60 Mark 3 (USA)
47 mm  3 pdr QF Hotchkiss (Britain)
76 mm  3-inch Mark 10 (USA) · 3 inch Mk.33 (USA) · 3-inch Mk.34 (USA)
120 mm  4,7-inch/40 Armstrong (Britain)
127 mm  5 inch/38 Mk.12 (USA)
305 mm  12-inch/45 Vickers (Britain) · 12-inch/50 Vickers (Britain)