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Rikugun Ki-202

Rocket-Powered Interceptor Proposal

Rikugun Ki-202

Rocket-Powered Interceptor Proposal


The Rikugun Ki-202 was a more evolved form of the earlier Mitsubishi Ki-200, itself a direct copy of the German Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket plane.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Imperial Japan
YEAR: 1945
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Rikugun Kokugijitsu Kenkyujo - Imperial Japan
OPERATORS: Imperial Japan

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Rikugun Ki-202 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 25.20 feet (7.68 meters)
WIDTH: 31.89 feet (9.72 meters)
HEIGHT: 9.02 feet (2.75 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 3,571 pounds (1,620 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 11,056 pounds (5,015 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Mitsubishi Toku Ro.3 liquid-fueled rocket motor developing 4,410 lb of thrust.
SPEED (MAX): 559 miles-per-hour (900 kilometers-per-hour; 486 knots)
RANGE: 25 miles (40 kilometers; 22 nautical miles)
CEILING: 39,370 feet (12,000 meters; 7.46 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 30,000 feet-per-minute (9,144 meters-per-minute)

2 x 30mm Ho 155-II cannons in wings
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon

Series Model Variants
• Ki-202 - Base Series Designation


Detailing the development and operational history of the Rikugun Ki-202 Rocket-Powered Interceptor Proposal.  Entry last updated on 1/21/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The alliance between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during World War 2 (1939-1945) allowed for the transfer of technology to occur between the two parties. Plans (for both aircraft and rocket engine), components and a complete example of the German Messerschmitt Me 163 "Komet" rocket-powered interceptor were loaded onto a pair of German U-boat submarines which set sail for the Japanese islands. When only one of these boats arrived in Japan, engineers were left with a technological puzzle to solve in getting their Me 163 into the air. With some ingenuity, the Me 163 was finally completed and taken aloft - only to crash on its maiden flight, this sole example becoming a total loss.

Mitsubishi headed development, and was to manage license manufacturing, of the J8M "Sharp Sword" for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). It would also carry the designation of "Ki-200" for the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and both were based largely on the Me 163B production model. A first flight of the J8M was had on July 7th, 1945 and seven were completed before the end of the war which was to come that August. The product very closely mimicked the form and function of the original German design.

During the waning months of the war - by which point American Boeing B-29 "Superfortresses" were bombing Japanese cities with near impunity - the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) partnered with the concern of Rikugun for an off-shoot of the Ki-200 to help bolster Japanese air defenses but provide far better endurance than the 7.5 minutes of flying time witnessed in the German design. A dimensionally larger airframe to carry additional fuel stores was drawn up and power was to come from a Mitsubishi "Toku" Ro.3 liquid-fueled rocket motor offering 4,410lb of thrust. Estimated performance included a maximum speed of 560 miles per hour, an endurance of 10.5 minutes. a service ceiling of 39,470 feet and a rate-of-climb of 2,430 feet per minute. The aircraft could see 20,000 feet of altitude in as little as 2.5 minutes. Designated Ki-202 "Shusui-Kai" ( "Sharp Sword, Improved"), the name showcasing its direct evolution from the earlier Ki-200 design.

Dimensions included a length of 7.7 meters, a wingspan of 9.7 meters and a height of 2.75 meters. Empty weight was 3,570lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 11,055lb. Outwardly, the Ki-202 resembled the Me 163 in certain areas but drawings indicated a longer, sleeker appearance with slender fuselage lines. The wing mainplanes were appropriately swept back and a single vertical tail rudder was featured (no horizontal tailplanes were used). The pilot sat under a framed canopy at the nose of the aircraft, views to the rear restricted by the raised fuselage spine.

Like the German model, the Ki-202 would take off under its own (rocket) power and jettison its wheeled dolly upon clearing the ground. Landing would involve the pilot gliding his aircraft down and contacting the ground on a spring-loaded belly-mounted skid aided by a tailwheel. In this way, the aircraft could be reused once refueled, rearmed and placed back atop its wheeled dolly.

Proposed armament, intended to counter the advanced and well-defended B-29 bomber, was 2 x 30mm Ho-155-II series cannons. These guns were to be mounted in the wing roots and gave a good response to the large targets they would be charged with brining down.

The war ended much too quickly for Mitsubishi to make any notable progress on prototypes. The aircraft ended its days in the planning stages and nothing more, its impact left to the imagination.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (559mph).

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Rikugun Ki-202's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (0)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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