|This page is about the Japanese fighter J2M3. For other uses, see J2M (Family).|
The J2M3 Raiden is a rank IV Japanese fighter with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB/RB) and 5.0 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals".
Unlike its other Naval brethren in the Japanese tech tree, the Raiden possesses a top speed rivalling that of the P-51 D-5 Mustang. Although a stubby and small aircraft, the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden can be considered one of the best Japanese fighters in War Thunder. Wielding four 20 mm cannons, this aircraft can spell death for any enemy it encounters. However, the main advantage the Raiden has over its Allied counterparts is its climb rate. In realistic battles, the J2M3 can climb to altitude very fast, especially when given an air start. Once at a high altitude, the Raiden pilot can pick and choose targets, dictating where and when they want to fight. The J2M3's 20 mm cannons may seem lacklustre at first, but they have a knack for snapshots or quick bursts of fire that result in a kill when manoeuvring. Generally, the J2M3 performs similarly to the early Fw 190 A variants, having a deadly armament, good roll rate, low top speed, but higher climb rate. Use what the Raiden does best to achieve success - energy fighting. This aircraft is not built for turn-fighting and when does, will lose all built up energy or speed in turns. Attack enemies from a higher altitude and then regain that altitude once the attack has been delivered. The J2M3 excels at Boom & Zoom attacks due to its high rate of climb and deadly armament.
The Raiden aircraft's main downside is its lack of manoeuvrability at higher speeds. Similar to its German counterpart, the Fw 190 A-8, the Raiden struggles to beat enemies in turn fights, especially Spitfires although one shouldn't turn with a Spitfire in general. If caught in a sticky situation, the Raiden pilot may choose to dive away or seek help from teammates. Trying to fight an enemy Spitfire in a turn battle with the J2M is a terrible idea unless the enemy aircraft is damaged or many teammates are nearby. Moreover, the J2M's high-speed manoeuvrability is poor, making the entire aircraft lock up. It can be very difficult to pull out of a dive, roll, or turn when at high speeds with the J2M. The Raiden's manoeuvrability is more or less on par with its enemies in simulator battles, for the most part.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,500 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,500 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flap
|Max Static G|
|< 420||< 420||< 460||> 280|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|2,203 m||1,680 hp||1,999 hp|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|5,400 m||1,560 hp||1,856 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 70 mm Bulletproof glass- Armored windscreen
- 8.5 mm Steel plate in pilot's headrest
The J2M3 is armed with:
- 2 × 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 cannons, wing-mounted (210 rpg = 420 total)
- 2 × 20 mm Type 99 Model 1 cannons, wing-mounted (190 rpg = 380 total)
The J2M3 can be outfitted with the following ordinance:
- Without load
- 2 x 60 kg Navy Type 97 Number 6 ground bombs (120 kg total)
- 2 x 10 kg Type 3 No.1 Mod.28 Mk.1 rockets
- 2 x 15 kg Type 5 No.1 Mod.9 rockets
- 2 x 66 kg Type 3 No.6 Mod.27 Mk.1 rockets
- 2 x 84 kg Type 3 No.6 Mod.9 rockets
Usage in the battles
Featuring two 20 mm Type 99 Model 1 cannons and two 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 cannons with plenty of ammunition, the J2M3 is capable of destroying all kinds of aircraft. Although destroying heavy bombers like the B-29 Superfortress takes a lot of ammunition, the J2M3 can afford to lose some. The "Stealth" belt has the best combination of AP/API and HEF to shred enemy aircraft and are recommended for those who do not need a tracer shell to aim. Alternatively, for those not used to IJN 20 mms, the "Universal" belt is your best bet. The "Tracer" belt is filled with HEF-T shells, but they only contain half of the power of a standard HEF, and can give away your position.
For ground attack, the J2M3 can equip two 60 kg bombs under the wings. While not the biggest, these bombs can help a team win a match, especially in arcade battles. The J2M3 can also wield armour piercing ground targets ammunition for its 20 mm cannons, although 21 mm of penetration is nothing to boast about and should be ignored unless targeting armoured personnel carriers (APC) or similar armoured cars.
Overall, the Raiden is best used as a surprise attack, high altitude, high damage output fighter. While it does not excel in the speed or manoeuvrability categories, it makes up for that in armament and rate of climb.
The Raiden pilot may also find themselves outclassed by high altitude aircraft such as the P-51 D-5 Mustang. All these aircraft have to do to avoid the J2M is dive away and build up speed, but the J2M3 can generally outturn them with effective use of combat flaps and rudder. Fortunately, the J2M3 has a surprise - a massive ammunition pool totalling 800 rounds. That's 800 rounds of high explosive cannon ammunition that can be dispensed at will towards fleeing enemies. With good aim and practice, it is possible to "snipe" enemies from a kilometre away.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not ontrollable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair||Radiator||Offensive 20 mm||Type 3 No.1 Mod.28 Mk.I Rockets|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||Offensive 20 mm||Type 5 No.1 Mod.9 Rockets|
|III||Wings Repair||Engine||New 20 mm Cannons||Type 3 No.6 Mod.27 Mk.1 Rockets|
|IV||Engine Injection||Cover||New 20 mm Cannons||Type 5 No.6 Mod.9 Rockets|
- Unlocking all performance modules should be a Raiden pilot's first concern, as the default belts for all weapons are workable. After that, go for the weapon belts, as these make more targets possible (ground units).
Pros and cons
- Decent top speed, although lower than its contemporaries
- Large ammunition pool
- Insanely high climb rate
- Has generally adequate dive characteristics
- Quite excellent energy retention
- Great medium-speed maneuverability
- 12 mm armour plate behind the windscreen
- Reasonable roll rate at lower speeds
- Solid armament layout
- Excellent performance at high altitudes
- Very poor high-speed performance
- Prone to engine and fuel fires
- Doesn't turn well at higher speeds
- Elevator doesn't respond well, especially at high speeds
- Lack of armour around fuel tanks or engine
- Differing muzzle velocities between the two models of the Type 99 cannon on the J2M3 will require you to lead much further than normal as an order to utilize the full effectiveness of the J2M3's firepower
The J2M was developed to be the answer to intercepting American bombers, which gradually became a serious threat leading up towards 1945. Aircraft that could reach high-flying bombers such as the B-29, came in limited supply or there was no aircraft that could perform sufficiently at these altitudes. The Army's Ki-61 was considered the best interceptor against the B-29's, while the Navy did not have an aircraft that could perform as on par. Thus the J2M series surfaced as the result of the Japanese Navy request for an interceptor, the need of which became ever apparent after the experiences with the American raid on the Japanese homeland shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor (Doolittle's Raids).
The Chief Designer was Jiro Horikoshi, who also designed the famous A6M fighter. However, unlike the A6M, the J2M was geared for a completely different role, focusing more on the rate of climb and speed, then range and manoeuvrability. The Raiden had only a limited range and was solely used as an interceptor.
The J2M boasted speed and good performance from medium to high altitudes, and its heavy armament contributed to it being a powerful aircraft. However, at the time of its production, the J2M was known to be a complex and somewhat difficult aircraft to build. Japan's industry began to deteriorate later in the war, and producing the J2M was very slow to meet the Navy's expectations.
The most important feat of arms came with the American B-29 raids over Japan, where the J2M Raiden proved to be a real threat to the bombers - the J2M was well armed, fast and the large pools of ammunition meant that despite a small number of Raidens, the four squadrons operating them were credited with the destruction of 21 Superfortresses during the later months of August 1944 to the end of the war. Furthermore, the J2M2 saw limited action in the Philippines, although it was largely ineffective.
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Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
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|Mitsubishi Aircraft Company (Mitsubishi Shokai)|
|Fighters||A5M4 · Hagiri's A5M4|
|A6M2 mod. 11 · A6M2 · A6M3 · A6M3 mod. 22 · A6M3 mod. 22Ko · A6M5 · A6M5 Ko · A6M5 otsu|
|A7M1 (NK9H) · A7M2|
|J2M2 · J2M3 · J2M4 Kai · J2M5 · J2M5|
|Interceptors||Ki-83 · Ki-109|
|Ki-21-Ia · Ki-21-I hei · Ki-67-I Ko · Ki-67-I otsu|
|Captured||▃A6M2 · ␗A6M2|
|See also||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (1945+)|
|A5M||A5M4 · Hagiri's A5M4|
|A6M||A6M2 mod. 11 · A6M2 · A6M3 · A6M3 mod. 22 · A6M3 mod. 22Ko · A6M5 · A6M5 Ko · A6M5 otsu|
|A7M||A7M1 (NK9H) · A7M2|
|J2M||J2M2 · J2M3 · J2M4 Kai · J2M5 · J2M5 (30 mm)|
|N1K-J||N1K1-Ja · N1K2-J · N1K2-Ja|
|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-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)|