Japan – Aircraft

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Contains aircraft used by Japan, including IJAAS, IJNAS, and JASDF aircraft.
Twin-engine fighters
Bombers Premium aircraft  Gift & Bundle aircraft 
Rang1.png A5M4 Ki-10-I
Ki-10-I C
Ki-27 otsu
J1N1 Gekkō
Ki-45 ko Toryū
Hagiri's A5M4
Nation-jp.png A7He1
Ki-21-I hei
Ki-10-II C
Rang2.png A6M2-N Reisen
N1K1 Kyōfū
A6M2 Reisen mod. 11
A6M2 Reisen
J2M2 Raiden
Ki-43-I Hayabusa
Ki-43-II Hayabusa
Ki-44-I Shōki
Ki-44-II hei Shōki
Ki-61-I ko Hien
Ki-61-I otsu Hien
Ki-45 otsu Toryū
Ki-45 tei Toryū
Ki-45 hei Toryū
D4Y1 Suisei mod. 11
D4Y2 Suisei mod. 12
D4Y3 Suisei mod. 33
Ki-49-I Donryū
Ki-49-IIa Donryū
Nation-jp.png F4U-1A Corsair
Nation-jp.png Bf 109 E-7
Ki-44-II otsu Shōki
Rang3.png A6M3 Reisen
A6M3 Reisen mod. 22
A6M3 Reisen mod. 22 ko
A6M5 Reisen
A6M5 otsu Reisen
A7M2 Reppū
Ki-43-III otsu Hayabusa
Ki-61-I hei Hien
Ki-61-I tei Hien
Ki-61-II Hien
Ki-102 otsu
Ki-109-I otsu
B7A2 Ryūsei Ki-49-IIb Donryū
Ki-49-IIb Donryū /Late
Ki-67-I ko Hiryū
Ki-67-I otsu Hiryū
Nation-jp.png Fw 190 A-5
A7M1 (NK9H) Reppū
Rang4.png N1K1-Ja Shiden-Kai
N1K2-J Shiden-Kai
N1K2-Ja Shiden-Kai
J2M3 Raiden
J2M5 Raiden
J7W1 Shinden
Ki-84 ko Hayate
Ki-84 otsu Hayate
Ki-84 hei Hayate
Ki-83 P1Y1 mod.11 Ginga G5N1 Shinzan
G8N1 Renzan
J2M4 Raiden-Kai
J2M5 (Type 5) Raiden
Nation-jp.png B-17E Flying Fortress
A6M5 ko Reisen
Rang5.png Kikka
Nation-jp.png F-86F-30 Kyokukō
Nation-jp.png F-86F-40 Kyokukō
Ki-200 Shūsui R2Y2 Keiun-Kai V1
R2Y2 Keiun-Kai V2
R2Y2 Keiun-Kai V3

War Thunder: Japanese Air Force
from the series Nations of War Thunder

Japanese military aviation, as with so many other nations, had its humble origins in the use of balloons for battlefield reconnaissance. Observation balloons were used with some success during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, sowing the seeds of a proud aviation heritage within the Japanese military. However, the early decades of this heritage would be severely threatened and, at times, nearly torn apart by a vicious rivalry which came from within: the Japanese Army and Japanese Navy’s working relationship in matters of aviation was nothing short of catastrophic.

In 1909, a Japanese naval engineer succeeded in sending the nation’s first home designed and built aircraft into the skies. A year later, the Japanese Army countered this by importing a French Farman biplane. However, the First World War saw the Japanese Navy increase its lead over the army – most notably in 1914 when Japanese naval pilots became the world’s first aviators to carry out strike missions from a carrier: the seaplane carrier HIJMS Wakamiya Maru, in support of the Allied Forces.

However, the considerable leaps and bounds made during the First World War did inject enthusiasm into the Japanese Army command, and larger numbers of aircraft were imported from wartime allies Britain and France, following the end of hostilities, along with military aid and advice. Some combat experience was gleaned during the Siberian Intervention of 1918-22 during support of White Russian forces whilst back home, Japanese aviation industry expanded through building European combat aircraft under license and then developing its own designs.

The intense rivalry with the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service continued throughout the 1930s, particularly when both combat arms were deployed in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Whilst Europe saw the potential of modern air power in the skies over Spain, air battles were also being fought over China. In 1937 the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service carried out the first transoceanic air raid in history when targets in China were attacked by bombers based in Japan and Taiwan. In 1938 the Japanese Army introduced its first monoplane fighter, the Nakajima Ki-27 into service in China.

The rift between the two sister services only widened with the approach of Japanese involvement in the Second World War, with the Japanese Naval Air Service again surging ahead to claim the limelight with the success of its new flagship fighter, the A6M Reisen/Zero. The accomplishment at Pearl Harbor in December 1941 again confirmed the Navy as Japan’s premium air power provider. This was even echoed with the service’s reputation amongst its opponents: allied pilots referred to the Nakajima Ki-43 – the Japanese Army’s most widely used fighter of World War II – as the ‘Army Zero.’ Despite this inference to the Ki-43 being a poor man’s A6M, its agility made it highly successful in early encounters with Western Allies. The Japanese Army also continued to develop its line of light, single engine dive bombers and heavier twin engine bombers during the Chinese and Pacific Wars, but with less success than their fighter arm.

The Imperial Japanese Army Air Service saw extensive action in China, New Guinea, the Solomons, Malaya, Sumatra and the defense of Japan as well as many other theatres. Army air and ground crews served in nearly every campaign which are known by many for being the province of naval aviation, with great bravery and distinction. Despite fighting a losing battle against an increasingly formidable foe, the rivalry with the Japanese Navy never eased: army aircraft on New Guinea would have to fly 1500 miles to army servicing facilities at Manila for any major work to be carried out, despite naval repair facilities at Rabaul being only some 40 miles away.

The fortunes of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service echoed the decline of the nation’s military might: as manpower dwindled, more corners were cut in training pipelines and aircrew arrived at front line squadrons with less and less expertise. By 1945, what was left of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service was predominantly employed in intercepting allied bombers bound for the Japanese mainland or carrying out desperate kamikaze strikes against allied shipping. Following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service was disbanded.

Today, Japan’s military aviation heritage is carried forward by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force which was formed in 1954. An ultra modern force, the defense of Japan is planned to be spearheaded by the American Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The force’s reputation for skill and professionalism is also known worldwide through their spectacular aerobatic team, ‘Blue Impulse’.

Source: [National Forces] The Imperial Japanese Army Air Service

Media in category "Japan air forces"

The following 97 files are in this category, out of 97 total.