Type2 Ke-To

keto

The Type 2 Ke-To was an improvement over the existing Type 98 Ke-Ni Light Tank. It is little known because only 29 units were produced and it was not used in combat against Allied troops. Visually it was similar to the Ke-Ni, but the turret was larger (visibly taller if compared side by side, but similarly shaped) to accommodate a more powerful main gun.

Since the Ke-Ni (of which at least 100 were produced) that the Ke-To itself is based on saw little if any combat, the Ke-To is rarer still as a variant of a largely unknown tank. Neither tank was able to effectively replace the ever-popular (but long since obsolete) Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank in the field.

The Type 2 Ke-To, being based on the Type 98 Ke-Ni, used the same engine and bell crank suspension. However, the gun turret was enlarged and the main armament was changed to the more powerful Type 1 37 mm gun, with a high muzzle velocity of 810 m/s. This is the same armament given to the Type 2 (same year designation 1942) Ka-Mi amphibious tank.

Notable, among other improvements to the general performance of the vehicle over the Ha-Go are the sloped sides leading up to the turret and a dramatically lower profile of the Ke-To at 1.8 meters versus 2.8 meters on the older Ha-Go.

29 units were completed by the end of the war, but as the war continued to go badly for Japan toward the end, shipping heavy vehicles like tanks from the home islands became more dangerous and difficult, and as a result they were not shipped from Japan or used in combat in the Pacific. Several other late war designs met a similar fate and were left for “home island defense.”

In Games: With over two dozen production models built, it is neither a “paper” nor prototype tank, and as a production tank deserves inclusion in games where possible. Unless the strictest of historical scenarios are followed, the Ke-To and Type 98 Ke-Ni are decent Japanese light tanks, though not as instantly recognizable as the Type 95 Ha-Go. As a light tank its specs {most importantly its low and compact profile) are far more competitive than the venerable and extremely vulnerable and upright Ha-Go.

Additionally, it is an easy choice for developers who have already modeled the Type 98 Ke-Ni since the visible changes are only in the turret and gun.

Specifications:
Weight: 7.20 tons
Length: 4.11 meters
Width: 2.12 meters
Height: 1.82 meters
Crew: 3
Armor: 6 – 16 mm
Main armament: Type 1 37 mm gun
Secondary armament: 7.7 mm machine gun
Engine: Mitsubishi Type 100 air-cooled diesel 130 hp (97 kW)
Suspension: Bell crank
Operational range: 186 kilometers
Speed: 50 km/h

The Ke-To as seen in World of Tanks (as an upgraded turret/gun variant of  the base Ke-Ni)

ke-to

Ke-to2

 

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