The Type 96 was most notable for its ability to be mounted in single, dual, or triple gun mounts. Although it was technically designed to be used as an anti-aircraft gun, the Type 96 had a gun elevation range from -10 to 85 degrees meaning that it could just as well engage ground targets and with great success it was oftentimes used in this role.
It fired 25 mm shells fed into the gun from 15 round each cartridges inserted into the top of the gun. This feature later proved to be a great disadvantage to the weapon as its predicted maximum rate of fire was diminished significantly to only 130 rounds per minute. The reason being the crew constantly being required to stop and reload each gun on the mount if a double or triple mount was used.
The total weight of the Type 96 was around 785 kilograms each gun with a triple mount weighing as much as 1,800 kilograms. Its total length was meanwhile was 1.5 meters. The vertical range of the gun 5,400 meters with the muzzle velocity being 900 meters per second.
During the war, numerous different variants were designed and subsequently used by Japan. The first of these was the Model 2 which was designed to be used on Naval vessels in either double or triple mounts. The Model 3 was designed to fulfill the same purposes except for single mounts. The Model 4 was similar to both except that it was used aboard submarines, with single mounts having the ability to be lowered and stored into the vessel rather than remain on the exterior.
The Model 4 Mk I however could not be moved into the vessel even if it was fitted onto a single mount. The Model 6 was used on land and was fitted with dual metal wheels for transport. The Model 8 was identical but had several minor improvements made to the system.
The Type 96 was first developed in 1935 after Japanese military leaders had viewed the French Hotchkiss 25 mm AA gun and decided to build upon it for the replacement to earlier weapons. After it was put into service, the Type 96 quickly became the standard AA gun of the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army during the war. It was used everywhere from warships to airfields. In total, around 33,000 examples were built.