Type K-8 (1944)
The Type K-8 / No.13 Class, Kusentei (1944) is a rank II Japanese sub-chaser with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.89 "Imperial Navy".
Survivability and armour
The Type K-8 / No.13 Class, Kusentei (1944)'s primary characteristic is her exceptional survivability for the BR. With a crew count of 80 she's got nearly the double of the second-best vessel, and nearly 7 times the crew count of any US vessel in this BR. She's also the only ship within her BR to have 7 hull sections, at least one more than all the other ships. Overall this gives her an outstanding ability to survive even a focused gun fire from multiple boats.
That said though - she has some weak points to her survivability. First of all, she has one of the thinnest armour layers, making it impossible to deflect even the lowest calibre guns at nearly any range. Secondly her primary gun is fully exposed, leading to it being often disabled under enemy fire. And lastly her ammunition storage is exposed fully over the water level, directly under the primary gun, making for a significant chances of ammo-racking the ship.
With the top speed of 33km/h she's a relatively large, lumbering target. It's not helped by an average rudder turning speed of 4.85s. Overall it's an attractive target for a torpedo attacks and a long-range gunnery fire.
Ship's primary armament is a single 8cm Type 3 cannon. It's firing up to 20 shots/minute of Type 0 HE shells that are relatively potent, with 480g of TNT, being able to one-shot individual hull sections on most boats she'll encounter, but struggling with larger units like submarine chasers.
Gun was originally designed as a high-elevation one, historically being often mounted on a larger ships for an anti-aircraft duty. As a result her horizontal guidance is ±180° and vertical -7°/+75°, covering most of the field around the ship, with exception of the deadzone behind the conning tower, although the gun can still engage airborne targets by firing above it. Targetting speed is slow, just 9.4°/s, however it's sufficient to engage targets bar fast attack boats in an extremely short range where machine guns engage them anyway.
Same as the predecessors Type K-3 and Type K-7, this boat is equipped with three single mounting 25 mm Type 96 autocannons, which make for a very potent secondary weapons. The HE type rounds this gun fires have no trouble knocking out PT boats and even larger support vessels, sometimes even with one magazine all together. Alternatively AP racks can be used for handling armoured boats with a penetration of up to 37mm at 1000m range, which is more than enough to penetrate even hardened armor gun shield of German boats.
Two of the cannons are placed on a platform in front of the smoke funnel, while the third one is located right behind the primary cannon, in a super-firing position. Additionally due to the HE these cannons can engage targets at range and still do damage. This cannon can also cause critical damage to aircraft with only a single hit.
- Universal belts: good balance between firepower and tracer contents, useful for newcomers to the Japanese 25 mm autocannon.
- APT belts: Full of AP shells, it's recommended to take a few belts of AP in case you meet a Russian armoured river boat.
- HEI belts: Trades tracer rounds for extra firepower, they're more efficient than Universal belts at knocking out PT boats and aircraft at the expense of price. Universal belts are free, while APT and HEI belts cost 5 each.
Note that the autocannon in a front mount has significantly decreased guidance arc. While for the two guns on the platform amidship have horizontal guidance of ±180°, the front one has only -90°/+40°, which means that the guns have a relatively narrow arc where majority of the secondary guns can fire.
Unlike predecessors, this boat have separate anti-aircraft armament which consists from twin Type 93 (13.2 mm) machine guns on a single mount at the rear of the ship. It has a notable advantage in vertical guidance over the Type 96 automatic cannons, being able to aim at targets up to +80° vs +65° for the Type 96. Also having nearly double the fire rate further increases its chances of landing successful shots at the enemy.
Usage in battles
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Pros and cons
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