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Mitsubishi J2M3
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The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden was introduced in the Japanese navy in 1942. Development begun in 1939 after a request for a local defence interceptor, this aircraft was designed by none other than the father of the A6M Zero, Jiro Horikoshi and while the A6M was all about maneuverability and elegance, the J2M was all about sheer power. From the start, the J2M was intended to be high-altitude interceptor with heavy armament, it had a big radial engine and was capable to dish out and take damage. It’s maneuverability was not high on the list of requirements, the most important thing was it’s climb rate. The first Raidens were delivered to combat units in 1943 and first combat use was in June of 1944. Some Raidens were equipped with a Schräge Musik cannon configuration, two upward-aimed, oblique-firing, seventy degrees aimed 20mm cannons. The lack of turbocharger didn't help the Raiden in it’s primary role as a B-29 interceptor, but when they had the opportunity to catch the B-29, 20mm cannons were capable of taking down even the mighty Superfortress. Untitled_000010 Untitled_000011 Untitled_000014 Untitled_000018
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