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Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack)

Interceptor

Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack)

Interceptor

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Mitsubishi J2M series Raiden became Japan's first dedicated interceptor of World War 2 when introduced in 1942.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Imperial Japan
YEAR: 1942
MANUFACTURER(S): Mitsubishi - Japan
PRODUCTION: 621
OPERATORS: Imperial Japan; Indonesia
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden (Jack) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 32.64 feet (9.95 meters)
WIDTH: 35.50 feet (10.82 meters)
HEIGHT: 12.96 feet (3.95 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 5,423 pounds (2,460 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 8,697 pounds (3,945 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cylinder 2-row radial piston engine developing 1,820 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 370 miles-per-hour (595 kilometers-per-hour; 321 knots)
RANGE: 656 miles (1,055 kilometers; 570 nautical miles)
CEILING: 38,386 feet (11,700 meters; 7.27 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,838 feet-per-minute (1,170 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD:
4 x 20mm Type 99-2 cannons in wings

OPTIONAL:
2 x 132 lb (60 kg) conventional drop bombs OR 2 x jettisonable fuel drop tanks
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• J2M1 - Prototype Model Designation; fitted with Mitsubishi MK4C Kasei 13 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine of 1,400 horsepower; 2 x 7.7mm Type 97 machine guns in fuselage and 2 x 20mm Type 99 Model II cannons in wings.
• J2M1 Model 11 - Similar to J2M1; fitted with Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cylinder radial piston engine of 1,820 horsepower.
• J2M3 Model 21 - Fitted with Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a engine; 2 x 20mm Type 99 Model II cannons in wings and 2 x 20mm Type 99 Model I cannons in wings.
• J2M3a Model 21A - Fitted with Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a engine; 4 x 20mm Type 99 Model II cannons in wings.
• J2M4 Model 32 - Prototype Model; fitted with Mitsubishi MK4R-C Kasei 23c engine of 1,820 horsepower; 2 x 20mm Type 99 Model I cannons at oblique angle in fuselage and 2 x 20mm Type 99 Model 2 cannons in wings.
• J2M5 Model 33 - Fitted with turbocharged Mitsubishi MK4U-A Kasei26a series engine of 1,820 horsepower; short range; improved performance model; 2 x 20mm Type 99 cannons in fuselage and 2 x Type 99 Model II cannons in wings.
• J2M5a Model 33a - 4 x 20mm Type 99 Model II cannons in wings.
• J2M6 Model 31 - Based on the J2M3 model; redesigned cockpit and canopy.
• J2M6a Model 31A - Based on the J2M3a model; redesigned cockpit and canopy; single example produced.
• J2M7 Model 23A - Proposed Model based on the J2M3; fitted with Kasei 26a series engine.
• J2M7a Model 23A - Proposed Model based on the J2M3a; fitted with Kasei 26a series engine.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack) Interceptor.  Entry last updated on 5/5/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The J2M Raiden (translating to "Thunderbolt" and codenamed "Jack" by the Allies) was primarily used as a local defense fighter / interceptor by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). The aircraft was developed to combat the growing threat of high-flying American bombers - primarily the new Boeing B-29 "Superfortresses" being used during daylight raids over Japan. The J2M's design was attributed to Jiro Horikoshi, famous engineer of the fabled A6M "Zero" IJN fighter aircraft that provided near-complete air dominance for the Empire during the early years of the war. Introduced in December of 1942, the Raiden fought on well into 1945 (the final year of World War 2) where it was eventually retired from service in August with the fall of the Japanese Empire itself.

Design of the J2M was traditional, with the cockpit seated in the middle of the stubby fuselage, a single vertical fin at rear and the powerplant up hled up front. Wings were rounded monoplanes and low-mounted just forward and under the cockpit seating area, which had accommodations for a single pilot. The engine was of a Mitsubishi design, an MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cylinder 2-row radial piston engine, developing 1,800 horsepower.

As an interceptor, the J2M design centered around a powerful armament array. This consisted of 4 x 20mm Type 99-2 cannons in the wings. Fuel drop tanks could added for increased range at the expense of weight and performance. By all accounts, the Raiden offered up poor visibility for the pilot but made up for it in performance, firepower and rate of climb - factors vital in the success of any interceptor of the time. Production of the Raiden totaled some 621 aircraft and covered six variants from J2M1 through J2M6.

Initially, the service models of the J2M were plagued by engine issues that limited the reach of the aircraft, delaying outright production by up to a year or more. Some J2M's fought on in the Battle of Philippine Sea but were mostly relegated to homeland defense as the war progressed. Their use became increasingly light as the Americans would adapt to nighttime bombing raids, effectively rendering further development of the J2M's a moot point.




MEDIA









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 Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (370mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
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  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden (Jack)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
621
621

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
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
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
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