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Type 97 81mm

Imperial Japan (1937)
Picture of Type 97 81mm Infantry Mortar

The Type 97 81mm infantry mortar served the Japanese Army throughout World War 2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Type 97 81mm Infantry Mortar.  Entry last updated on 2/17/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Imperial Japanese Army made use of various lobbed ordnance weapon systems throughout World War 2 in their conquest of the Pacific. Chief among these became the unique grenade dischargers that were more akin to miniature personal mortar systems firing a lesser projectile. However, like all modern armies of the time, the IJA also placed value on more conventional mortar designs and these appeared in two popular calibers - 81mm and 90mm.

The Type 97 (or Model 97) was an 81mm mortar was not unlike the American M1 system in design, scope and operation. It consisted of three major components to include the firing tube, base plate and an adjustable bipod assembly. A crank handle at the neck of the bipod allowed for elevation changes by the crew. The base plate was heavy and rectangular in shape and the 81mm projectile rounds were small enough to cup in two hands when handling. The crew adjusted all facets of the projectile's launch based on terrain and windage. Operation was via dropping the active 81mm shell down the firing tube to which the shell struck a waiting firing pin and ignited the projectile's propellant charge. This forced the projectile out of the firing tube and towards the calculated arc destination.

The Type 97 81mm mortar held an effective range out to 3,062 yards, firing at a muzzle velocity equal to 643 feet per second. The crew could elevate the firing tube from +45 to +85 degrees for attacking targets closer to the firing point. The system, as a whole, weighed in at 148lbs and required multiple crew for transport, this breaking down into several pieces. The primary 81mm projectile in use with the Type 97 was the Model 100 High-Explosive (HE) shell weighing just over 7lbs.

The Type 97 81mm mortar entered service with the IJA in 1937 and was kept operational through to the end of the war in August of 1945. The weapon saw considerable actions across the Pacific and Southeast Asia, wherever the IJA was active.

Any available statistics for the Type 97 81mm Infantry Mortar are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering initial year of service, country-of-origin and manufacture(s) involved in bringing the weapon to market. Other qualities showcased are related to physical values such as the internal action, available calibers / chamberings, weight and lengths. Global operators are also presented in A-to-Z format as are any model variants available to the series.
Supported Mission Types:
Frontline Issuance
Special Forces
Close Quarters Battle
Sniper
Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter
Suppressed/Silenced
Area Effect/Suppression
Indirect Fire
Airspace Denial
Anti-Material
Attachment Weapon
Aircraft-Mounted
Vehicle-Mounted
Antique/Collectors
Prototype/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: Imperial Japan
Service Year: 1937
Manufacturer(s): State Factories - Imperial Japan
Classification Type: Infantry Mortar
Global Operators:
Imperial Japan
Structural - Internal Design, Dimensions, and Weights:

Operation
ACTION


System
Manual; Firing Pin at Base


Operation
CALIBER(S)


(Model / Chambering Dependent)
81mm


Operation
FEED


(Model / Chambering Dependent)
Single-Shot; Reusable Firing Tube


Structural
WEIGHT


Pounds (Unloaded)
147.71 lb


Kilograms (Unloaded)
67.00 kg


Ranged
Sights


Arrangement
Adjustable Elevation Mechanism

Operating Performance (Typical):
Performance
MUZZLE
VELOCITY



Feet-per-Second
643 ft/sec


Meters-per-Second
196 m/sec


Performance
RANGE


Feet
9,186 ft


Meters
2,800 m


Yards
3,062 yd

Variants: Series Model Variants
• Type 97 - Base Series Designation