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N1K2-J Shiden-Kai
General characteristics
1 personCrew
4.321 tTake-off weight
4.15 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
11000 mCeiling
Nakajima Homare 21Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
780 km/hStructural
450 km/hGear
Offensive armament
4 x 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 cannonWeapon 1
900 roundsAmmunition
490 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
2 x 60 kg Navy Type 97 Number 6 ground bombSetup 1
2 x 250 kg Navy Type 98 Number 25 bombSetup 2
4 x 250 kg Navy Type 98 Number 25 bombSetup 3
2 x Type 3 No.1 Mod.28 Mk.1 rocketsSetup 4
2 x Type 5 No.1 Mod.9 rocketsSetup 5
2 x Type 3 No.6 Mod.27 Mk.1 rocketsSetup 6
2 x Type 5 No.6 Mod.9 rocketsSetup 7
54000 Rp icon.pngResearch
180000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png17000 / 21335/10470 / 13139/3590 / 4505Repair
52000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
180000 Sl icon.pngExperts
940 Ge icon.pngAces
166 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
430 % Sl icon.png330 % Sl icon.png140 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the Japanese fighter N1K2-J. For other variants, see N1K (Family).


GarageImage N1K2-J.jpg

The N1K2-J Shiden-Kai is a rank IV Japanese fighter with a battle rating of 5.7 (AB) and 6.0 (RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

General info

Flight performance

Cockpit features good all-round visibility. The quite high mounted gun-sight allows for good sight in deflection shots, if a bit of rudder and aileron are applied.

The N1K2-J is a versatile plane that has its great acceleration and rate of climb as the main advantage. It lacks the impressive low-speed manoeuvrability of its preceding plane in the Japanese research tree, but it can still turn against most of its fighter opposition and win the engagement. The N1K2-J's battle rating presents the potential challenge of flying against fighter jets, against which N1K pilots will have to use their high sustained rate of climb, not to be left low and vulnerable against faster enemies, as well as to use their turning ability far superior to that of the average jet.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 6,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 609 594 11000 19.4 20.5 11.7 14.2 300
Upgraded 675 650 18.5 19.0 23.2 18.2


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
780 450 520 520 320 ~11 ~9
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 430 < 460 < 400 > 324
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
2,000 m 1,875 hp 2,100 hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
5,300 m 1,675 hp 1,876 hp

Survivability and armour

  • 70 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen
  • 12 mm Steel plate in pilot's seat


Offensive armament

The N1K2-J is armed with:

  • 4 x 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 cannons, wing-mounted (200 + 250 rpg each wing = 900 total)

The Type 99 Model 2 cannons are very middle-of-the-road weapons that the pilot should be quite accustomed to by the time they reach the Shiden-Kai. They are not outstanding at anything but not bad at anything either, allowing it to fill most niches accordingly. However, the cannons on the Shiden-Kai are noteworthy for being armed with a ludicrous 900 rounds of ammunition, holding some of the most rounds of any cannon-armed single-engine fighter in the game, being only surpassed by Japan's own J6K1.

Suspended armament

The N1K2-J can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 2 x 60 kg Navy Type 97 Number 6 bombs (120 kg total)
  • 2 x 250 kg Navy Type 98 Number 25 bombs (500 kg total)
  • 4 x 250 kg Navy Type 98 Number 25 bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 2 x Type 3 No.1 Mod.28 Mk.1 rockets
  • 2 x Type 5 No.1 Mod.9 rockets
  • 2 x Type 3 No.6 Mod.27 Mk.1 rockets
  • 2 x Type 5 No.6 Mod.9 rockets

The N1K2-J can carry a number of additional loadouts under the wings. The rockets were designed for anti-air usage versus bombers, however they are quite inaccurate and only one salvo can be fired in RB/SB. Make sure to select a detonation range before spawning in. Feel free to experiment, 300-700 m are common values. The bigger 250 kg bombs are useful in long enduring games, where few players are left and victory is determined by the last ground units. Ignore the 60 kg, your cannons will do more damage in the long run.

Usage in battles

The N1K2-J is a very tricky aircraft to use. It can face early jet fighters such as the F-80A-5, Yak-15/17, He 162, J/A21R, and in Arcade, the F-84B-26. These jet aircraft hold a hefty speed advantage over the Shiden-Kai, but typically have very poor manoeuvrability, meaning the N1K pilot can abuse its excellent handling at medium speeds and shred the previously mentioned jets if their pilots are foolish enough to try and turn-fight. The one exception to this is the Yak-15, which retains the turning abilities of its airframe; the Yak-3. However, the Yak-15 suffers from a relatively low top speed and climb rate for a jet, along with sub-par vertical energy retention. Above all those, its ammunition pool is abysmal at only 120 rounds total, meaning the N1K2 pilot could potentially win an engagement just by remaining difficult to hit.

Although it can fight admirably against jets, the N1K2-J will find itself coming up short against many of the other nation's top tier superprops. It cannot keep up with the P-51H, F4U-4B, F8F, I-225, La-9, Tempests, Griffon Spitfires, G.56, late Bf 109s, or Fw 190 D's of its tier. Fortunately, most of the previously mentioned aircraft cannot turn with the N1K2, so the Shiden-Kai can use its superb mid-speed manoeuvrability to turn circles around its opponents. The main exception to this is the uncommon G.56, which is the closest thing the N1K2 has to a hard counter. It can turn with it, outspeed it, out-dive it, beat it in an energy fight and shred it with the triad of 20 mm MG 151s, so it is highly recommended to either avoid the G.56 or take it out while it's preoccupied with a teammate.

The N1K2-J can take on a relatively new role for Japanese fighters; a fighter/bomber. With its ability to mount up to 4 x 250 kg bombs or two of the massive Type 5 No.6 rockets, the N1K2 can be Japan's best ground attacker and will make enemy tanks quake in fear. The Type 98 Number 25 bombs are roughly equivalent to the American AN-M64A1 500 lb bombs, and are all mounted on wing racks, allowing for precise bomb placement on targets. On the flip-side, the Type 5 No.6 rockets have no direct comparison but play somewhat similarly to a watered-down American Tiny Tim rocket or Swedish hprak m/49 rocket. Despite their relatively low velocity and higher weight, they are still quite accurate and are able to be launched quite close to the target with minimal threat of self-damage.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Separate Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator 7 in (mod20)
II Compressor Airframe Type 3 No.1 Mod.28 Mk.1 rockets Type 5 No.1 Mod.9 rockets
III Wings repair Engine Offensive 20 mm 12 in (mod30) Type 3 No.6 Mod.27 Mk.1 rockets
IV Engine injection Cover New 20 mm cannons Type 5 No.6 Mod.9 rockets

Top speed and acceleration is an issue with the stock aircraft, so flight performance modules such as compressor, engine and engine injection should be highly prioritized. Following the flight performance modules, survivability modules are recommended to help alleviate the weak airframe of the N1K2. Offensive 20 mm belts and new cannons should be the next acquired, as the stock Type 99 cannons are quite underwhelming and their stock belts are equally poor. Once upgraded however, the Type 99 cannons are excellent all-rounder weapons. Recommended belts are either the always good Universal, or Stealth if the pilot is familiar with the cannons and prefers a sneakier approach.

Pros and cons


  • Reasonable manoeuvrability at medium speeds (300~500 km/h)
  • Great energy retention
  • Solid acceleration once upgraded
  • Combat flaps are efficient while in dogfights
  • Decent rate of climb
  • Relatively good diving characteristics for a Japanese aircraft
  • Absurd amount of ammunition (200~250 rpg with 900 rounds in total)
  • Cannons themselves are reasonable in all aspects, and take far longer to jam than their contemporaries


  • Mediocre roll rate
  • Severely stiffens at higher speeds
  • Stock grind can be outright painful
  • Can be outmanoeuvred easily by the fighters at its tier if not used correctly
  • Can catch on fire easily, and often gets destroyed in the process
  • Often faces jets
  • Unless approached correctly, completely outclassed by the Spitfire Mk. IX and F8Fs


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

In-game description

Kawanishi Shiden-Kai Model 21, Kawanishi N1K2-J (code name "George") Marine Interceptor-Fighter.

A single-seat, all-metal monoplane fighter with a closed canopy. The "Shiden" holds a unique place in the history of airplane construction. This land-based interceptor was based on the N1K1, which had been designed to support amphibious operations.

The first prototype N1K1 "Kyofu" ("Mighty Wind") was flown on May 6, 1942, and mass production began in May of 1943. However, when the first seaplanes started to arrive on the front, the situation in the Pacific theatre had changed so that this type of plane was simply no longer needed. Therefore, a land version project of the fighter was developed as a private initiative, based on the Kyofu. Originally it was planned that the only distinction between the two planes was that the Shiden-Kai would have retractable landing gear instead of floats, but it was quickly decided that the engine should be replaced with a more powerful alternative. A four-bladed propeller with a diameter of 3.3 meters was selected for the plane. Such a large propeller size, along with the mid-wing aerodynamic design, forced the plane to be fitted with elongated, telescoping landing gear struts which folded during retraction.

The land-based version made its first flight on December 12, 1942. The prototype's private designation was the X1, and in mass production its designation became N1K1-J "Shiden" ("Purple Lightning"). Production began in August of 1943.

The new fighter proved to be an excellent interceptor. However, its operation was complicated by the frequent failure of its engine, the Homare 21, the complex design of its chassis, and its ineffective brakes. Consequently, the number of the N1K1-J's non-combat losses was very high. The next model of the Shiden was designed to eliminate these shortcomings.

The aircraft's redesign began simultaneously with the N1K1-J's military trials. The N1K2-J's first flight was made on December 31, 1943. The production model was designated the Shiden-Kai ("Purple Lightning Improved") Model 21 Marine Fighter-Interceptor.

The new model, like its predecessor, featured a 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, the Nakajima Homare 21 NK9H, with a takeoff power of 1820 hp. It also retained the basic wing construction and armament of the N1K1-J. However, the Shiden-Kai was really a new plane. During the planning phase, special attention was given to ensuring ease of production and, at least to some extent, the use of readily available materials. The Shiden-Kai, unlike its predecessor, had a low-wing design which allowed the use of conventional landing gear. The new design was finally rid of the N1K1-J's main operational problems.

The shape of the fuselage was completely changed and somewhat lengthened, and the vertical tail fin was completely redesigned. The empty weight of the aircraft was decreased by 240 kilograms.

The N1K2-J was armed with 4 Type 99 Model 2 20mm wing-mounted cannons. The inner pair held 200 rounds of ammunition each and the outer held 250 each (900 rounds total).

On the two pylons suspended underneath its wings, the aircraft could carry two 250-kg type 98 or two 60-kg type 97 bombs. Or, it could carry unguided 60-kg No.27 rockets. In addition, an extra 400-litre fuel tank could be installed under the fuselage.

Because its centre of gravity was towards the plane's rear, the N1K2-J was somewhat difficult to control, and was usually flown by experienced pilots (especially former Zero pilots) after they underwent retraining.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Kawanishi Aircraft Company
Fighters  N1K1-Ja · N1K2-J · N1K2-Ja
Hydroplanes  N1K1
Bombers  H6K4 · H8K2 · H8K3

Japan fighters
Carrier-based fighter 
A5M  A5M4 · Hagiri's A5M4
A6M  A6M2 mod. 11 · A6M2 · A6M3 · A6M3 mod. 22 · A6M3 mod. 22Ko · A6M5 · A6M5 Ko · A6M5 otsu
A7He  A7He1*
A7M  A7M1 (NK9H) · A7M2
Land-based Fighter 
J2M  J2M2 · J2M3 · J2M4 Kai · J2M5 · J2M5 (30 mm)
J6K  J6K1
J7W  J7W1
N1K-J  N1K1-Ja · N1K2-J · N1K2-Ja
Fighter seaplane 
N1K  N1K1
A6M-N  A6M2-N
Ki-10  Ki-10-I · Ki-10-I C · Ki-10-II · Ki-10-II C
Ki-27  Ki-27 otsu · Ki-27 otsu Tachiarai
Ki-43  Ki-43-I · Ki-43-II · Ki-43-III otsu
Ki-44  Ki-44-I · Ki-44-I 34 · Ki-44-II otsu · Ki-44-II hei
Ki-61  Ki-61-I ko · Ki-61-I otsu · Ki-61-I hei · Ki-61-I hei Tada's · Ki-61-I tei · Ki-61-II
Ki-84  Ki-84 ko · Ki-84 otsu · Ki-84 hei
Ki-87  Ki-87
Ki-94  Ki-94-II
Ki-100  Ki-100 · Ki-100-II
Other countries  ▅F4U-1A · ▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▅Fw 190 A-5
  *Imported designation of the He 112 (A6M was in development - A7M wasn't heard of yet)