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Type 97 Te-Ke

Infantry Support / Reconnaissance Tankette [ 1937 ]

The Type 97 suffered from being undergunned and had very little armor protection to speak of.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/14/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Developed from an early Imperial Japanese Army request for a light tank in 1937, the Type 97 Te-Ke was simply outmatched against Allied armor. The system suffered from an undergunned main armament and light protection for the crew, relegating it to limited reconnaissance and infantry support duty and the occasional supply tow assignment. The system would prove moderately useful in the early years of Pacific domination, but that would soon change with America's involvement in the Second World War.

The Type 97 was a two-main light tank. Power was derived from a single Ikega-brand 4-cyliner engine of diesel type generating 65bhp. The system could achieve a maximum speed of up to 26 miles per hour in pristine road conditions and reach outwards of 155 miles. Armament consisted of a single 37mm cannon mounted in the turret. Original Type 97 Te-Ke designs were seen with the engine mounted forwards in the hull with the driver whilst the turret and commander were set back. Later production models addressed this by moving the turret closer to the driver and relocating the engine to the rear.

The Type 97 Te-Ke was utilized throughout the Pacific Theater and saw extensive action in China. Despite its widespread involvement, the system was far from ideal in the ever-changing frontlines where heavy armament and armor were becoming the keys to a tank's survival.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Imperial Japan national flag graphic
Imperial Japan


Tokyo Motor Industries - Japan
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of modern Japan Imperial Japan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Infantry Support
Support allied ground forces through weapons, inherent capabilities, and / or onboard systems.
Engage armored vehicles of similar form and function.
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.

12.1 ft
3.68 m
5.9 ft
1.8 m
5.8 ft
1.77 m
10,472 lb
4,750 kg
5.2 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Type 97 Te-Ke production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Ikega 4-cylinder diesel developing 65 horsepower to a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
26.1 mph
(42.0 kph)
155.3 mi
(250.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Type 97 Te-Ke production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 37mm Main Gun.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank cannon armament

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Not Available.

TYpe 97 Te-Ke - Base Series Designation

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