J2M file photo [13889]

J2M Raiden

CountryJapan
ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Primary RoleFighter
Maiden Flight20 March 1942

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe J2M Raiden land-based fighters were introduced into the Japanese Navy in Dec 1942. Designed by the engineer Jiro Horikoshi of A6M Zero fame, they were developed in response to the 1939 request for a new local defense interceptor. The first examples suffered issues with the engines, and the observations led to the J2M2 Model 11 variant being delivered in Dec 1943. In Feb 1944, the J2M3 Raiden Model 21 aircraft were delivered to front line units. They did not see combat until Jun 1944 when several J2M Raiden fighters based in Guam and Saipan in the Mariana Islands defended the American invasion. In Aug 1944, the J2M4 Model 34 variant design was completed, but this variant design would see its end after only two prototypes were built. In 1945, they began to be used for the reason they were created for, which was high altitude interception; they performed relatively poorly against American B-29 Superfortress bombers, however. Toward the end of the war, some of them were relocated from various Pacific Islands to Korea (Genzan (Wonsan), Ranan (Nanam), Funei (Nuren), Rashin (Najin), and Konan Airfields); these aircraft saw combat against Soviet aircraft during the Manchurian Strategic Offensive in the final days of WW2.

ww2dbaseDuring the production life of the design, a total of 621 were built by Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K in Nagoya and Suzuka, Japan; an addtional 128 aircraft were built by the Koza Naval Air Arsenal. Most (435) of the production examples were of the J2M3 variant design.

ww2dbaseThe Allied codename for J2M fighters was "Jack".

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Indonesian nationalists operated a small number of J2M Raiden fighters against Dutch colonial forces during the revolution that lasted between 1945 and 1949. The Republic of Korea operated two captured J2M Raiden fighters until about 1950.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

J2M Raiden Timeline

20 Mar 1942 J2M Raiden aircraft took its first flight.

SPECIFICATIONS

J2M5a Model 33A
MachineryOne Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cyl two-row radial engine rated at 1,820hp
Armament4x20mm Type 99 Model II cannon, 2x60kg bombs or 2x200-liter drop tanks
Crew1
Span10.80 m
Length9.70 m
Height3.81 m
Wing Area20.00 m
Weight, Empty2,839 kg
Weight, Loaded3,482 kg
Speed, Maximum612 km/h
Service Ceiling11,250 m
Range, Normal560 km

J2M3 Model 21
MachineryOne Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cyl two-row radial engine rated at 1,820hp
Armament2x20mm Type 99 Model I cannon, 2x20mm Type 99 Model II cannon
Crew1
Span10.80 m
Length9.70 m
Height3.81 m
Wing Area20.00 m

Photographs

J2M Raiden fighter at rest, date unknownCaptured J2M Raiden fighter being prepared for takeoff, Seletar Airfield, Singapore, Dec 1945Captured J2M Raiden fighters in RAF markings being tested by Japanese pilots near Seletar Airfield, Singapore, Dec 1945, photo 1 of 2Captured J2M Raiden fighters in RAF markings being tested by Japanese pilots near Seletar Airfield, Singapore, Dec 1945, photo 2 of 2
See all 5 photographs of J2M Raiden Fighter



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Seoulite says:
14 May 2015 12:08:45 AM

"The Republic of Korea operated two captured J2M Raiden fighters until about 1950."
Well I am Korean. I can't find any record that Republic of Korea used the two captured J2M. Where the source came from? There is no record in wikipedia either.
2. Ron says:
12 Dec 2015 12:52:05 AM

I like the J2M5 version. Not only was it finally reliable but it was good at high altitude. No other Japanese fighter was both.With a wingloading under 33 lb/Sq Ft and a powerloading well under 4 lbs/hp, it was a champion. 4 high velocity 20mm cannons! It could both dogfight and intercept B-29s accounting for 20 of them destroyed. Rear view is a minus. The J2M6 dealt with that too late.
The J2M3 'Jack' did 417 mph in US testing. Climb was it's forte.
It was a rocket compare to most. It needed production priority long before it got it. It started pre-war.
3. Ronald Boren says:
24 Feb 2017 11:38:36 PM

The J2M5 was more reliable than the J2M4 prototype but I learned that it was prone to suffer engine failure.
In fact pilots wanted to trade it for the J2M3 or even the A6M5c. Turbos required rare metals like tungsten. Thus, Japan had trouble with high altitude fighters.
4. Anonymous says:
25 Feb 2017 01:17:40 AM

4.362k/s was the WoF for the J2M3 for about 22 seconds. 2 cannons were low velocity and 2 were high velocity. So they were not as harmonized as those of the N1K.
Still, this was good enough to make the Raiden the best B-29 interceptor.

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More on J2M Raiden
Notable Figure:
» Horikoshi, Jiro

J2M Raiden Fighter Photo Gallery
J2M Raiden fighter at rest, date unknown
See all 5 photographs of J2M Raiden Fighter




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