9 December 2016
ST-A2: One Step Closer to the Goal
The ST-A2 is an experimental medium Japanese tank, one of the first vehicles developed by Japan after the war. The ST-A2 became the next technological step on the path to restoring Japan’s military industry. War Thunder players are about to have the opportunity to test its mettle in real battle conditions.
The ST-A2 is an experimental medium Japanese tank, one of the first vehicles developed by Japan after the war. When the question of the need to develop new military vehicles came to the fore, Japanese experts with previous experience from the war got to work. The ST-A1 was the first step, and was intended to lack the main drawbacks of the American vehicles in service with the Japan Self-Defense Forces, more specifically their weight, size and their controls, unsuitable to Japanese tankers for physiological reasons. The development of ST-A1 began in 1954 and was ready by December 1956. The next stage on the path to the series-produced Type 61 was the new ST-A2, put into development in 1956.
The ST-A2 medium tank was finished by February 1957, and differed from the ST-A1 in a range of characteristics. The vehicle was made 20 centimetres taller and half a metre shorter in length. This reduction in length also allowed for a reduced number of lower track rollers and supporting wheels. The new vehicle had an altered turret shape which had been made longer, and its rear contained a compartment for a radio. With the aim of increasing the tank’s survivability, the upper frontal hull received characteristic side angles which increased the chance of a ricochet off the hull. The ST-A2’s tracks were also redesigned and equipped with more advanced cleats designed to raise the vehicle’s mobility and road characteristics. Other than this, its composition remained identical to that of the ST-A1. The diesel engine was housed in the rear of the hull, while the transmission remained in the front. The armament on this Japanese tank was American through and through. The 90mm M3A1 cannon was borrowed from the M46 tank, and it was accompanied by two different calibre Browning machine guns.
Only two experimental prototypes of the ST-A2 were built. They underwent testing, but were never accepted into service.
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In the game, the ST-A2 will make a worthy competitor for the Pattons, the Soviet T-44s and the British Centurions. After all, the 90mm cannon will take care of all of them with ease! It has impressive armour penetration and a high rate of fire – what else could it need? Perhaps the impressive elevation angles of -9 to +19? Overall, it can safely be said that players driving this vehicle will have no serious issues destroying enemy tanks. The tank itself has good armour, which reaches a very acceptable 75mm thickness at the front, and the side angles on the upper frontal section raise the practical chances of a ricochet with rounds other than HEAT. In addition, thanks to its relatively low weight and 500 horsepower diesel engine, the ST-A2 has good mobility. Its reduced hull length in comparison to its predecessor, the ST-A1, positively affects the vehicle’s turning speed. It’s also worth mentioning the tank’s low profile, which is only a few dozen centimetres higher than the profile of the squat T-44.
On the whole, the ST-A2 is an excellent vehicle for driving in rough terrain. An experienced player who chooses a good route can deal crushing strikes to the enemy by opening fire from the most unexpected positions.
The ST-A2 medium tank will take its place in the upper ranks of the Japanese ground vehicle tech tree. The creation of this tank was the next step on the road to creating the first series-produced Japanese tank, the Type 61, and we’re one step closer to Japanese tanks appearing on the battlefields of War Thunder.
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