Light AA Mk I
The Tank, Light AA Mk I is a rank I British self-propelled anti-aircraft gun with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X".
This tank makes for a good entry-level anti-aircraft vehicle; good speed, manoeuvrability and a devastating short to medium range AA weapon. This vehicle should be used in the rear echelon of an assault, watching the skies for incoming bogies. However, the real ace is that the guns trade accuracy for sheer volume of fire, filling the skies with a hailstorm of bullets that can discourage bandits from lining up on an attack run. However, anything beyond effective range won't be struck down effectively.
Survivability and armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 14 mm Front plate
14 mm (0-73°) Upper glacis
14 mm (22-69°) Lower glacis
|14 mm|| 14 mm (0-52°) Upper
4 mm (53-75°) Lower
|Turret||14 mm (0-64°) Turret front||14 mm||14 mm||N/A|
The Light AA Mk I has very little armour. Most of the hull has 14 mm of armour, which is sufficient only against rifle-calibre rounds. However, the gunner is exposed to machine gun fire, and being that there are only 2 crew members, if he dies, the entire vehicle is destroyed. This means even enemy machine guns can kill you if they hit your gunner. You may be able to somewhat protect the gunner by aiming upwards with the machine guns, but this is not reliable. In any case, the Light AA Mk I is vulnerable to any vehicle in the game.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Light AA Mk I is decently quick and manoeuvrable, and its small size allows it to fit into areas many other vehicles cannot. It can easily get around the map, and can quickly take cover from aircraft or other tanks when necessary. However, it is too light to drive through many obstacles easily, such as walls and small trees, and its suspension is too bouncy to allow it to fire with much accuracy while moving.
Modifications and economy
|7.92 mm BESA (x4)||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Mode||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal||Stabilizer||Stock||Upgraded||Full||Expert||Aced||Stock||Full||Expert||Aced|
The four BESA machine guns the Light AA Mk I is armed with can be devastating to open-topped vehicles thanks to their high rate of fire, but they are completely ineffective against anything with armour. They are also less effective and less accurate over distance against planes than the cannons or heavy machine guns most other anti-aircraft vehicles are armed with, although a well-placed burst will still tear apart the biplanes you are likely to face. Each belt is large enough to enable sustained fire, allowing you to compensate for your poor accuracy through sheer volume of bullets.
- Default: Ball · T · IT - The worst option, due to the highest quantity of poorly damaging ball and tracer rounds.
- Universal: AP · T · IT · Ball - Better than default, but still has regular tracers and ball rounds which hurt damage output.
- API-T: IT · IT · AP · T - Contains a lot of incendiary tracer rounds, which have a higher chance of starting fires in aircraft. Once a fire is started, it is likely to destroy the plane, making this belt very effective.
- AP-T: AP · AP · IT · T - AP rounds are still ineffective against armour, despite the name, but deal more damage to aircraft components. With good aim, this belt can tear wings off and destroy engines.
|Ammunition||Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Fuse delay|| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|16||4 (+12)||4 (+12)||4 (+12)||4 (+12)||Yes|
- The ammunition is divided into 16 belts of 225 bullets.
- However, ammunition is modeled as 50 boxes, grouped in 4 racks (rack 1: 12 boxes, rack 2: 13, rack 3: 13 and rack 4: 12)
- Racks 1, 2 & 3 will disappear only if you have 4 belts left.
- If you pack 16, 12 or 8 belts the 4 racks will be displayed as full.
- Racks will successively disappear if you pack 16 belts and shoot them until depletion.
- Pack the maximum amount of ammo to go into battle as you are a SPAA.
|Light AA Mk I Optics|
|Which ones||Default magnification||Maximum magnification|
|Main Gun optics||x2.1||x3.7|
|Comparable optics||M13 MGMC|
Usage in battles
The Light AA Mk I is a very vulnerable vehicle, so commanders should be careful not to expose themselves to enemy fire. Take care to find a position where you will not be seen by enemy ground vehicles, and watch the sky. Due to the low velocity of the machine guns, the Light AA Mk I should not open fire until the enemy plane is very close, probably within 1 km. If you begin to fire while the enemy plane is out of range, they will likely change course and stay away from your position. Also be wary if there is more than one enemy plane up, as you can easily be strafed to death by machine gun fire. Once you have a good shot on the enemy plane, the 4 machine guns are capable of dealing more damage than one might expect. You can down most aircraft quite quickly, although twin-engine fighters and bombers will take longer to destroy.
Pros and cons
- 4 BESA machine guns have a high ammo load and a good rate of fire
- 4 machine guns means that you have a high hit probability
- Can be used against low tier SPAA and open-top tank destroyers, however, it is best suited to strictly SPAA duties
- Small and mobile
- Cannot defend itself from ground attacks, as none of its belts can penetrate tanks
- Damage output is nowhere near comparable to SPAA armed with 20 mm autocannons at this tier
- The gunner is exposed to machine gun fire from above and the front
- The armour will not protect you from 12.7 mm rounds and above
- Vulnerable to artillery
The machine-gun armed Mark VI light tank formed the bulk of British tank strength in 1939. They were intended for colonial duties and reconnaissance but would see front-line combat as late as the British defeats in Java in early 1942. In 1940 they were in use in the light tank squadrons of armoured regiments and the main body of the divisional cavalry regiments. They carried a .50 calibre or 15 mm machine gun as the main armament. They were also used in the early war as command vehicles for armoured units.
As they were withdrawn from service, some Mark VI's were converted to anti-aircraft vehicles, raising the superstructure and replacing the turret. In practice the commander also being the gunner was ineffective. British armoured regiments and tank battalions were supposed to have 4-8 of these vehicles each in mid-1942. By mid-1943 they were taken out of service, replaced for this purpose by the significantly more versatile 20 mm-armed Crusader AA Mk II tank.
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|Tribal-class||HMS Eskimo · HMCS Haida|
|Light Tank Mk VI||Light AA Mk I|
|Light Tank Mk VII||Tetrarch I|
|Light Tank Mk VIII||Alecto I|
|Tank, Infantry, Valentine||Valentine I · Valentine IX · Valentine XI · Archer|
|Vickers MBT||Vickers Mk.1 · Vickers Mk.3 · Vickers Mk.7**|
|Export||▂МК-IX "Valentine" · Vickers Mk.E*|
|See also||Vickers-Armstrongs Aircraft Limited|
|***Previously Armstrong Whitworth|
|*Previously Vickers Limited|
|**Vickers Defence Systems|
|****Built for Japan|
|Britain anti-aircraft vehicles|
|Crusader AA||Crusader AA Mk I · Crusader AA Mk II|
|Wheeled||Staghound AA · AEC AA|
|Radar SPAAG||Chieftain Marksman|
|Missile SPAA||Stormer HVM|
|Other||Light AA Mk I · Falcon|
|South Africa||Ystervark · Bosvark · ZA-35|