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Japan's Type 97 Te-Ke


A decision was made by the Imperial Japanese Army to standardized on diesel engines for their tanks.

Riveted construction and a rear mounted engine. The driver sat on the left of the commander. Interior was lined with heat absorbing asbestos sheets. Sometimes a 7.7mm MG was shipped instead of 37mm gun.

The turret had a hinged access door at the rear for the commander.


Hino Motor Company developed a prototype in 1936 that used the Ikegi diesel engine and a Type 94 37 mm gun. After unsatisfactory trials a new prototype was built in November 1937 which had the engine towards the rear.


Type Type 97 replaced the Type 94 on Hino's production line in 1939.

  • Type 97 Te-Ke: 1937-


Used in all fronts. Initially designed for reconnaissance they were often employed as infantry support. In some instances they were used for observation posts. Also used as an ammunition carrier that could tow an ammunition trailer. A company was anywhere from 10 to 17 vehicles.


  Type 97 Te Ke
Crew Commander/gunner, driver
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 4.2 tons, 4.67 tons, 4.7 tons
4,750 kg
9,900 lb, 10,469 lb
Length 12', 12.17', 12' 1"
3.68 m
Height 5.83', 5' 9.5", 5' 10"
1.77 m
Width 5' 11", 6.25'
1.8 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Main 37 mm
37 mm Type 94
37 mm OR 7.7 mm MG
MG 7.7 mm
Side arms  
Main 96
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 4 - 16
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Ikega air-cooled
Cylinders 4
Net HP 65 @ 2,300 rpm
Fuel type Diesel
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 25 mph, 26 mph, 28 mph
42 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 155 miles, 250 km
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth 2' 6"
Trench crossing 5' 3", 5' 7"
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side 2 bogies with 2 wheels each
Return rollers each side 2
Track length  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  


  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  3. Japanese Tanks 1939-45, Steven J. Zaloga, 2007
  4. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site