Type 3 12 cm AA Gun

The Type 3 12 cm AA Gun was an anti-aircraft gun used in quantity by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.The Type 3 number was designated for the year the gun was accepted, 2603 in the Japanese imperial year calendar, or 1943 in the Gregorian calendar. It replaced the earlier Type 88 75 mm AA Gun in Japanese service.

Country Name Origin Year
Japan 1943
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Japan 1943 1945 View

In order to address the shortcomings of the Type 88 75 mm AA Gun, the Army Technical Bureau developed a larger version with superior range, designated the Type 3. It was one of the few weapons in the Japanese inventory capable of reaching the USAAF B-29 Superfortress bombers that were attacking cities and other targets in the Japanese home islands. However, despite its superior range and firepower, the Type 3 gun could not be produced in sufficient quantities to be truly effective, due to costs, lack of raw materials and damage to Japan’s industrial infrastructure by Allied air raids. Only 120 units were completed before production was discontinued, although the units produced continued to be used until the surrender of Japan.

Coming into service towards the end of the war, most the Type 3s were retained on the home islands as part of the bolstering of Japan's defenses against Allied air raids and against the perceived thread of Allied invasion. These guns were deployed to cover military targets around Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and the Yawata Steel Works in Kitakyushu. Overseas, they were deployed to guard the oil fields at Palembang in the Netherlands East Indies Units in Tokyo were credited with downing at least ten B-29 bombers.

Type Anti-aircraft gun
Place of origin  Empire of Japan
Service history
In service 1943-1945
Used by  Imperial Japanese Army
Wars World War II
Production history
Number built 120
Weight 19.8 tons
Barrel length 6.71 m (20 ft) L/56
Caliber 120 millimetres (4.7 in)
Barrels single
Elevation 8 to +90 degrees
Traverse 360 Degrees
Rate of fire 20 rpm
Muzzle velocity 853 m/s (2,800 ft/s)
Effective firing range 8.5 km against a target at 12,000 m.
Effective ceiling: 12,000 m (39,000 ft)
Maximum firing range 11.4 km against a target at 6,000 m.
Maximum ceiling: 20,000 m (66,000 ft)

End notes