Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon


Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022

The Japanese anti-aircraft gun Type 98 was named after its year of creation, the Japanese year 2598. Development started in 1935 and lasted until 1938 when it was issued to the Japanese Imperial Army. It was in use from 1938 until the end of the Second World War when Japan capitulated on the 2nd of September in 1945. The anti-aircraft gun Type 98 was first used during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol (11 May – 16 September 1939), between Soviet Mongolian forces and the Japanese Imperial Army. The gun was developed and manufactured by the Kokura Army Arsenal factory in Kokura City.

Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022
Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022
Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022
Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022
Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022
Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022

The Type 98 AA cannon was a light anti-aircraft gun with a caliber of 20 mm. The gun was standard set up on a split trail gun carriage, which had removable wheels. Removing the wheels made the gun more accurate. The Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon in the photos is placed in an anti-aircraft mount. A trained crew could set up the gun within 3 minutes. It could be fired from the wheeled carriage but unfixed it lost accuray when fired. It was the most commonly used AA gun used by the Japanese Imperial Army. The gun is based on the French 13,2 mm Hotchkiss M1929 machine gun which was built under license by Japan.

Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022
Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022
Type 98 – Japanese 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon – photo 2022

Technical Specifications

The light anti aircraft gun weighed 373 kilograms and the 20 mm barrel was 1,4 meters long. It fired 20 mm projectiles, 142 mm long. The Type 98 had an elevation between -5 to +85 degrees and a traverse of 360 degrees. The Type 98 anti-aircraft gun fired a maximum of 300 rounds per minute but 120 rounds per minute was more practical. It had a max range of 5,5 kilometers horizontal and 3,5 km ceiling height and was fed by a 20 round box magazine.

Two types of ammo were available. A Type 100 armor piercing round and a Type 100 high explosive round. Besides the split trail carriage it could be used on the flatbed of a truck or halftrack and was installed in the Type 98 Ta-Se anti-aircraft tank and it was redesigned into a anti-tank rifle.

There is a twin barrel version of the Type 98 anti-aircraft cannon, this Type 4 – Japanese 20 mm Twin light Anti-Aircraft Cannon was produced 500 times during the war. The Type 98 20 mm Light Anti-Aircraft Cannon was produced around 2500 times.


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