Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack)


Imperial Japan | 1942

"The Mitsubishi J2M series Raiden became Japan's first dedicated interceptor of World War 2 when introduced in 1942."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/05/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden (Jack) Interceptor.
1 x Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cylinder 2-row radial piston engine developing 1,820 horsepower.
370 mph
595 kph | 321 kts
Max Speed
38,386 ft
11,700 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
656 miles
1,055 km | 570 nm
Operational Range
3,838 ft/min
1,170 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden (Jack) Interceptor.
32.6 ft
9.95 m
O/A Length
35.5 ft
(10.82 m)
O/A Width
13.0 ft
(3.95 m)
O/A Height
5,423 lb
(2,460 kg)
Empty Weight
8,697 lb
(3,945 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack) Interceptor .
4 x 20mm Type 99-2 cannons in wings

2 x 132 lb (60 kg) conventional drop bombs OR 2 x jettisonable fuel drop tanks
Notable series variants as part of the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack) family line.
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.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 621 Units

Contractor(s): Mitsubishi - Japan
National flag of Indonesia National flag of modern Japan

[ Imperial Japan; Indonesia ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (370mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 2
Image of the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack)
Image granted from user David M via email.
2 / 2
Image of the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack) Interceptor appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)