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Type 3 Ka-Chi
Type 3 Ka-Chi
Place of origin  Empire of Japan
Production history
Designed 1942-1943
Weight 28.25 tons (with pontoons)
Length 10.3 meters (with pontoons)
Width 3 meters
Height 3.82 meters
Crew 5-7

Armor 10-50 mm
1x 47 mm Type 1 gun
2× 7.7 mm Type 97 machine gun
Engine Mitsubishi Type 100 air cooled
V-12 diesel
240 hp (179 kW)
Suspension Bell crank
320 kilometers
Speed 32 km/h

The Special Type 3 Launch Ka-Chi (特三式内火艇 カチ Toku-san-shiki uchibitei Ka-Chi?) was an amphibious medium tank developed by the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II. The Type 3 Ka-Chi was based on an extensively modified Imperial Japanese Army Type 1 Chi-He tank and was a larger and more capable version of the earlier Type 2 Ka-Mi amphibious tank.[1]

History and development

The success of the Type 2 Ka-Mi design pleased the planners in the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, and it was determined that a larger version with stronger armor and armament would be useful in future amphibious warfare operations as well as special forces missions. Type 3 Ka-Chi was developed in 1943, and the first units entered service in late 1943-1944.

However, only 19 Type 3 Ka-Chi's were built from 1943 to 1945. The main priorities of the Navy were in warship and aircraft production, and lacking in any definite plans for additional amphibious operations, production of the Type 3 Ka-Chi remained a very low priority.


The Type 3 Ka-Chi was based a heavily modified version of the chassis of the Army's Type 1 Chi-He medium tank, and thus featured considerably better armored protection and firepower than the earlier Type 2 Ka-Mi. It had smooth sides that faired into front and rear flotation pontoons. The front pontoon had a curved 'bow' shape and both pontoons could be jettisoned from inside the tank once the tank had landed. However, in practice, the pontoons were usually retained, as they provided some marginal additional protection against enemy fire.

The main gun of Type 3 Ka-Chi was the Type 1 47 mm gun with barrel length of 2.250 meters (L/48), EL angle of fire by −15 to +20 degrees, AZ angle of fire of 20 degrees, muzzle velocity by 810 m/s and penetration of 55 mm/100 m, 30 mm/1,000 m. This was also the same 47 mm gun used on the Army's Type 97-kai Shinhoto. Secondary armament was a coaxial Type 97 light machine gun and a hull mounted weapon of the same type. The gun turret was designed with an extended circular cupola to keep the hatch above water. The Type 3 Ka-Chi also had a distinctive large snorkel behind the turret for aerating the diesel engine more efficiently and keeping the exhaust free of water.[2]

The vehicle required a crew of seven, one of whom (as with the Type 2 Ka-Chi) served as on-board mechanic.

Combat record

The Type 3 Ka-Chi was produced in very limited numbers, but proved useful due to its capacity to be submarine launched, which enabled it to accommodate the increasingly difficult task of daytime reinforcement isolated for island garrisons in the South Pacific and in Southeast Asia

Type 3 Ka-Chi was first encountered by Allied forces at the Battle of Kwajalein in 1944.[2]


  • Foss, Christopher (2003). Great Book of Tanks: The World's Most Important Tanks from World War I to the Present Day. Zenith Press. ISBN 0-7603-1475-6. 
  • Zaloga, Steven J. (2007). Japanese Tanks 1939-45. Osprey. ISBN 978-1-8460-3091-8. 

External links


  1. Zaolga, Japanese Tanks 1939-45
  2. 2.0 2.1 [1] Japanese Armored Vehicles of the Second World War

See also

  • DD tank - World War II British tank floatation system.
  • T-38 - World War II, Soviet amphibious light tank.

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