Ki-148 I-Go Model 1B
The Ki-148 (Kawasaki I-Gо̄ Model 1 Otsu) is a large, manually guided cruise missile intended for use by the Imperial Japanese Army to defend the homeland from the impending American Invasion. Designed for use as an anti-shipping missile along with its sister project, the Ki-147, it was only used in tests before the war came to a close in 1945. More successful than its larger counterpart, the smaller, more manoeuvrable Ki-148 has a unique role in War Thunder as an effective close air support ordnance option.
The Ki-148 can be launched exclusively from the Ki-48-II Otsu, a Japanese light bomber obtained during the 2023 Tokushu Heiki crafting event. It has a rather large warhead for a cruise missile, meaning the lightly armoured targets it will encounter won't require a direct hit to kill. It can be used against ships and tanks, owing to its excellent versatility when it comes to its launch range. The Ki-148 was a pioneer in guided weapon systems, and as such, it has a few shortcomings. The warhead is rather small for the missile's large weight and size, and the missile is also extremely slow (150 m/s). One needs to take care when guiding the missile and ideally drop it when a direct line of sight to the target is acquired.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
The Ki-148 behaves rather uniquely in the air. Upon releasing the missile from the Ki-48, even the plane may be faster than the missile. This is especially true if the missile is launched at an angle higher than zero degrees on the horizon. The missile will slowly accelerate to its top speed, and then it will enter a state of continuous thrust. Missile guidance improves with speed, however it will have a tendency to pitch up, so continuous management of the Ki-148's elevators is critical.
|Maximum speed||150 m/s|
|Firing range||12 km|
|Missile guidance time||90 secs|
|Explosive mass||143 kg TNTeq|
|Armour penetration||400 mm|
The Ki-148's warhead is excellent when compared with medium bombs of other aircraft. Direct hits will kill anything it hits, unless it is a large destroyer or cruiser. Hits that are within a few feet of the target will generally result in its destruction, unless it is heavily armoured. When striking ships, usually a direct hit is needed to sink the target, albeit a close miss can destroy a torpedo boat.
Comparison with analogues
The Ki-148's warhead packs a punch, similar to that of 250 kg bombs of other nations. No other nation or aircraft has a weapon quite like the Ki-48's, unless one chooses to venture into the ATGMs on jets at much higher BRs. The Fritz X is the only other guided weapon system available to WW2-era aircraft, albeit it is a guided bomb, not a guided cruise missile.
Usage in battles
The Ki-148 can be used in mixed battles, both land and sea.
The missile needs to be launched so that:
- The pilot can maintain visual with the missile at all times
- The missile will eventually overtake the pilot's aircraft
- The target is far enough to allow the missile and your aircraft to have significant distance to avoid self-combustion
- The mothership won't be destroyed while guiding the missile
These requirements can be a challenge for some pilots to master. On top of that, the pressure of enemy aircraft and flak defense can contribute to the difficulty of the situation. A few strategies to remedy this are to approach from a height, but at a shallow angle. Launch the missile as soon as you see a viable target. It is recommended to launch the missile above 300 km/h (200 mph) to avoid stalling the missile. Launch should be completed at a shallow angle, and then a slight diving manoeuvre of your aircraft will be helpful to allow the missile to rise above the aircraft. This gives good visual on the missile. It is worth noting that the missile cannot collide with your own aircraft, leaving the pilot free from worry that the missile will destroy their own plane. Cutting engine power also allows the missile to accelerate away from you as quickly as possible. Once this is complete, you are now free to guide the missile as you please.
Pros and cons
- Large explosive mass means excellent damage radius
- Excellent accuracy when controlled by a skilled pilot
- Launched from the highly versatile Ki-48-II otsu light bomber
- Very long range and excellent burn time
- Allows for unique gameplay not seen on any other propeller driven aircraft
- Extremely slow when launched
- Difficult to control due to a tendency to pitch up
- Large weight hampers the mothership's performance
- Very high spawn cost in Ground RB
- The mothership is vulnerable to attack whilst guiding the missile
The Kawasaki Ki-148, also known as the I-Go Model 1 Otsu, was an experimental guided missile developed by Japan during World War II. Designed for anti-ship and anti-aircraft purposes, it employed a radio guidance system, which was advanced technology for its time. The missile measured approximately 5 metres in length and had a wingspan of about 4 metres. Although the Ki-148 underwent testing and trials, it did not see operational use before the end of the war due to Japan's wartime challenges. Consequently, its impact on the outcome of the conflict was limited, and much of Japan's experimental weaponry was either dismantled or captured by Allied forces after World War II.
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Other WWII-era guided weapons:
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