|This page is about the Japanese medium tank ST-A2. For other variants, see Type 61 (Family).|
The ST-A2 was the 2nd prototype towards the Type 61, starting to resemble the tank more and more with the main difference over the ST-A1 being the design of the hull. Offering the same engine, overall weight, and cannon, other than design differences, the ST-A2 is a very similar vehicle.
It was introduced along with the initial Japanese Ground Forces tree in Update 1.65 "Way of the Samurai". It is more of a sidegrade to the ST-A1, which takes sniping duty as its main work while neglecting most of the other roles. One can treat them as the same tank, but they have some minor quality of life differences.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, turret hatches)
- Cast homogeneous armour (turret, cupola, front roof section)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 45 mm (62°) Upper glacis
50 mm (54°) Lower glacis
30 mm (57°) Track overhang
| 30 mm (42°) Top
35 mm Bottom
| 10 mm (43°) Top
20 mm (21°) Bottom
20 mm (2°) Track overhang
| 30 mm (15°) Front roof section |
5 mm Engine vents
|Turret|| 75 mm (spherical) Turret front
35-75 mm (spherical) Gun mantlet
35 mm (54°) Roof glacis
60 mm Turret ring
| 60 mm (spherical) Front
35 mm (spherical) Front
60 mm Turret ring
| 35 mm (3°)
25 mm (19-90°) Turret overhang
|18 mm (0-8°)|
|Cupola|| 35 mm (cylindrical) Commander cupola - top
60 mm (cylindrical) Commander cupola - base
35 mm (cylindrical) Loader cupola
|18 mm (2°)|
- Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
Armour on the ST-A2 is about the same as ST-A1, but there are some differences to its weaknesses.
For instance, the hull is now raised to engine deck level and slope goes all the way up the turret, resulting in turret being well above engine deck. The frontal armour is even more angled now, with effective thickness of about 90-100 mm, but it now also connected to engine deck, and in connection spot it's about 80 mm effective thickness like before. Most of tanks can still penetrate entire armour with no issues, so overall on tank's own BR it changes only rear gun depression and ability of certain tanks to just explode the tank with HE when it's hulldown.
Since hull is raised higher, there is less chances that enemy APHE will hit driver optics on accident or will be stopped by transmission and won't destroy the tank. Also, gunner's head is now above gun breech, so random shrapnel has a chance of hitting him, if enemy shell explodes above it, resulting in complete crew knock-out, unlike with ST-A1.
For the turret, the commander cupolas was raised a bit and the pintle-mounted machine gun was removed. Overall it makes it harder to destroy tank with HE, but nothing more. However, the turret neck is no longer a weak spot for SPAA to exploit, but tank can still be destroyed by SPAA firing at MG port because their shells still cause spalling or explode and hit ammo rack despite it being rotated away from the weak spot. Still, it will definitely take them longer to deal with the tank that way.
Ammo rack in back of the turret is now facing turret and is much narrower a target, so the gun breech shields it entirely. Because of that, as long as the ST-A2 fires off first two rounds in first-stage rack, the chances of tank exploding due to ammo rack being hit through the turret is reduced. It came at a price, though, as it is now even easier to shoot the tank from the side or back. The block outside of turret's back isn't even modeled, so if HESH hits back of the turret, it's going to explode the entire tank.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The mobility of the ST-A2 is the same as predecessor, as well as their effective off-road and top speed - about (AB/RB) 40/33 km/h forward and -18/-15 km/h backwards off-road, with top speed being 50/45 forward and -20/-17 backwards.
Modifications and economy
The gun and the ammunition themselves are the same as the ones on ST-A1.
As with ST-A1, one must unlock APHE as the very first module and then try to get aim adjustment as soon as possible, leveling it same way as the predecessor, as otherwise it is very hard to defeat opposing tanks and earn research points on this tank.
Due to turret being elevated above engine deck, the gun can now depress enough to fire at tanks behind it, no matter how low their profile is, as long as they stay on even ground.
|90 mm M3A1||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy
| Screen hold
| Explosive mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|40||12 (+28)||10 (+30)||1 (+39)||No|
- Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
- Racks 2* and 3* are first stage ammo racks. They total 11 shells.
- These racks get filled first when loading up the tank and are also emptied first.
- The depletion order at full capacity is: 2 - 3 - 1.
- Rack 1 depletes from rear to front.
|Which ones||Default magnification||Maximum magnification|
|Main Gun optics||x8||x16|
|Comparable optics||JPz 4-5|
ST-A2 optics are identical to ST-A1. As usual, the user should exploit the superior magnification to target out enemy weaknesses or to snipe unsuspecting opponents from afar.
The 12.7 mm M2HB machine gun was removed, so ST-A2 only has a coaxial 7.62 mm M1919A4 in its turret. It still can be used to damage open-top SPGs, but fighting light tanks with it is not possible. Planes are also harder to engage with it.
On other hand, its trajectory is similar to its APHE and HEAT-FS shells up to 760 m, so you can use it to check your aim in RB, if necessary.
|7.62 mm M1919A4|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
As the ST-A is Japan's first tank project for a new era of tank development, it shows the same gameplay issues as the Chi-Ha. The weak armour, the slow to mediocre turret rotation speed, quite a long hull and high drop-rate of shells.
But its not just all negatives, the mobility is good for what it is, has adequate gun depression and the ST-A even comes with HEAT like the Chi-Ha, this time in the form of M348 HEATFS researchable as tier IV modification.
Other than the similarities to the Chi-Ha, the ST-A2 has its own factors good and bad which should be kept in mind when playing. From the very good reverse speed, great zoom factor and many shell options, the ST-A2 also has an angled front plate unlike the ST-A1, which does place the turret higher, allowing it to shoot over the engine, at the cost of having a higher profile. Also unlike the ST-A1, the .50 has been removed from the ST-A2 which will make it harder to deal with lighter vehicles and planes.
The plan is simple and similar to the Chi-Ha & other early Japanese medium tanks, you want to stay either near or behind your allies and not rush forward, you can't take much damage, but you can deliver a punch. Pre-aim the turret and guide the enemy tanks into the sights as the rotation speed isn't of the fastest.
The further you are from your enemy the better for the inadequate armour, The ST-A comes with an amazing zoom factor and allows for clear sniping, but do keep in mind the shell drop-off are rather high.
Before you have your hands on the HEATFS, the safest bet is to exploit the flanks of the enemy, especially when starting with only AP, frontal penetrations won't happen reliable with the tanks the ST-A faces, try aiming for ammo racks, put a solid round into cramped crew members while trying to get the M82 shot and back up into cover or behind corners as the crew reloads the shell.
After unlocking the M82 APHE, placing shots is less important, once it penetrates, it's most likely to blow up good. It will come at the cost of the extra penetration, but when aiming for the sides, extra penetration isn't required. It's still a good idea to bring some AP shells with the tank just in-case you have to fight in a frontal engagement and the APHE fails to penetrate.
With the HEATFS finally unlocked, you can fully make use of the punches you can deal and the zoom you have, help your allies out with the toughest of enemies and simply frontally penetrate them.
Pros and cons
- Overall better sniper qualities than ST-A1 (but they only really matter in RB)
- Can defend itself against other tanks in case of a rear flank, unlike ST-A1
- Harder to hit ammo rack in turret from the front, and overall better protection against autocannons, HEAT and pure AP in turret
- Harder to be destroyed by HE shot to the turret, can technically tank some attacker's plane assault with its front
- Harder to destroy by poorly aimed shot in down-tier
- Worse against light tanks than predecessor due to lack of 12.7 mm MG
- Still can be destroyed in one shot by nearly anything on battlefield via crew knockout, as long as they have APHE or HESH
- Raised turret still cannot use certain hull down spots, but raises tank's profile
- Hull weak spot is even more relevant now
The ST-A2 is an experimental medium Japanese tank, one of the first vehicles developed by Japan after the war. When the question of the need to develop new military vehicles came to the fore, Japanese experts with previous experience from the war got to work. The ST-A1 was the first step, and was intended to lack the main drawbacks of the American vehicles in service with the Japan Self-Defense Forces, more specifically their weight, size and their controls, unsuitable to Japanese tankers for physiological reasons. The development of ST-A1 began in 1954 and was ready by December 1956. The next stage on the path to the series-produced Type 61 was the new ST-A2, put into development in 1956.
The ST-A2 medium tank was finished by February 1957, and differed from the ST-A1 in a range of characteristics. The vehicle was made 20 centimetres taller and half a metre shorter in length. This reduction in length also allowed for a reduced number of lower track rollers and supporting wheels. The new vehicle had an altered turret shape which had been made longer, and its rear contained a compartment for a radio. With the aim of increasing the tank's survivability, the upper frontal hull received characteristic side angles which increased the chance of a ricochet off the hull. The ST-A2's tracks were also redesigned and equipped with more advanced cleats designed to raise the vehicle's mobility and road characteristics. Other than this, its composition remained identical to that of the ST-A1. The diesel engine was housed in the rear of the hull, while the transmission remained in the front. The armament on this Japanese tank was American through and through. The 90 mm M3A1 cannon was borrowed from the M46 tank, and it was accompanied by two different calibre Browning machine guns.
Only two experimental prototypes of the ST-A2 were built. They underwent testing, but were never accepted into service.
- From Devblog
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
|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-B1* · Type 74 (C) · Type 74 (E) · Type 74 (F) · Type 74 (G)|
|Type 90 MBT||Type 90 · Type 90 (B)|
|Type 10 MBT||TKX* · Type 10|
|USA||▅M4A3 (76) W · ▅M47|
|*ST-X is prototype stage for said MBT|