J2M4 Kai

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Rank VII | Premium | Golden Eagles
Challenger DS Pack
This page is about the premium Japanese fighter J2M4 Kai. For other versions, see J2M (Family).
J2M4 Kai
GarageImage J2M4 Kai.jpg
ArtImage J2M4 Kai.png
J2M4 Kai
5.3 5.0 4.3
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The J2M4 Model 32, designated as Raiden Mod.32 (雷電三二型), was a high-altitude prototype variant of the Raiden series developed to increase the service ceiling and effectiveness at high altitude. It was equipped with a Mitsubishi MK4R-C "Kasei 23C" engine and turbocharger, which lengthened the nose of the plane considerably. With 2 prototypes built, problems with the turbocharger, weight balance, and increased take-off and landing range canceled further development of a Raiden with the Kasei 23C.

It was introduced in Update 1.47 "Big Guns" as a premium vehicle purchasable in-game with Golden Eagles Ge icon.png, but was removed from in-game sale after the 9th Anniversary Sale. It has since been made available temporarily for purchase in-game with Golden Eagles Ge icon.png during the 2022 "Day of Japan" and 2023 "National Foundation Day in Japan" mini-events. Similar to its replacing variant, the J2M5, the J2M4 boosts its performance over its earlier predecessors by boasting a 1,854 hp engine on top of equipping a turbocharger increasing its efficiency at high altitudes.


General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 7 000 m637 km/h
Turn time21 s
Max altitude13 000 m
EngineMitsubishi Ha-32
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight4 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 7,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 611 592 13000 22.1 22.9 13.2 13.2 300
Upgraded 664 637 19.9 21.0 22.7 17.3


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 + -
820 350 488 454 280 ~10 ~8
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 390 < 400 < 420 > 324

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural820 km/h
Gear350 km/h
  • 70 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen
  • 8.5 mm Steel plate in pilot's headrest

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB1 704 Sl icon.png
RB5 873 Sl icon.png
SB4 882 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts290 000 Sl icon.png
Aces940 Ge icon.png
Research Aces960 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 90 / 250 / 450 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 166 / 166 / 166 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods radiator.png
Mods compressor.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods new engine.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Mods armor frame.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods weapon.png
Mods weapon.png


Offensive armament

Ammunition380 rounds
Fire rate516 shots/min
Ammunition300 rounds
Fire rate490 shots/min

The J2M4 Kai is armed with:

  • 2 x 20 mm Type 99 Model 1 cannons, wing-mounted (190 rpg = 380 total)
  • 2 x 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 cannons, wing-mounted (150 rpg = 300 total)

Wielding four 20 mm cannons, this aircraft can cripple any enemy it encounters. However, the main advantage the Raiden has over its Allied counterparts is its climb rate. In realistic battles, the J2M4 can climb to altitude very fast, especially when given an air start. Once at a high altitude, this allows the Raiden pilot to pick and choose targets, dictating where and when he or she wants to fight. The J2M4's 20 mm cannons may seem lacklustre at first, but they have a knack for snapshots, or quick bursts of fire when manoeuvring.

Suspended armament

List of setups (1)
Setup 12 x 60 kg Navy Type 97 Number 6 ground bomb

The J2M4 Kai can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 2 x 60 kg Navy Type 97 Number 6 bombs (120 kg total)

Usage in battles

Generally, the J2M4 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. Instead of turn fighting or bleeding 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 J2M4 excels at Boom & Zoom due to its high rate of climb and deadly armament, even more so than its earlier variants, the J2M2 and J2M3.

The Raiden's main downside is its lack of manoeuvrability. Similar to its German counterpart, the Fw 190 A-8, the Raiden struggles to beat enemies in turn fights, especially Spitfires. 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.

The Raiden pilot may also find themselves outrun 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. Fortunately, the J2M4 has a surprise - a massive ammunition pool totaling 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.

Featuring four 20 mm cannons, 2 Type 99 Mk 1 and 2 Type 99 Mk 2 cannons with plenty of ammunition, the J2M4 is capable of destroying all kinds of aircraft. Although destroying heavy bombers like the B-29 Superfortress takes a lot of ammunition, the J2M4 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 mm cannons, the "Universal" belt is your best bet. The "Tracer" belt is filled with HEFT shells, but they only contain half of the power of a standard HEF, and can give away your position.

Overall, the Raiden is best used as a support or surprise intercept, high altitude, high damage output interceptor (not a dedicaded fighter). While it does not excel in the speed, manoeuvrability categories or climbing, it makes up for that in armament. When flown disciplined accordingly the capabillities the succes rate will increase.

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

Pros and cons


  • Good top speed
  • Large ammunition pool
  • Climbs very well
  • Has generally good dive characteristics
  • Good energy retention
  • 12 mm armour plate behind windscreen
  • Good roll rate at lower speeds
  • Decent high altitude performance due to the turbocharger


  • Very poor high speed performance
  • Prone to engine and fuel fires
  • Doesn't turn well
  • Elevator doesn't respond well, especially at high speeds
  • Lack of armour around fuel tanks or engine
  • Differing muzzle velocities between the two marks of the Type 99 cannon on the J2M4 will require you to lead much further than normal as an order to utilize the full effectiveness of the J2M4's firepower


Main article: History of the J2M


As the development behind the 14-Shi Interceptor (J2M2 and J2M3) were disappointing in performance and didn't achieve it's projected goal, Mitsubishi set up a new goal with the availability of newer and stronger engines, this would be called under the 14-Shi Kai Interceptor.

Jiro Horikoshi and his team redesigned the nose of the plane to hold the new Kasei 23c engine and with this prototype they achieved the requested goal, this plane would be known as the J2M4, Raiden Model 32. It solved the engine vibrations and the cooling system was more reliable compared to that of the previous models. It would still preserve the same electrical malfunctions to the landing gear which didn't get redesigned as the engine and its performance were a more pressing issue.

This progress allowed Mitsubishi to further develop the Raiden and so they would with the Kasei 26a, equipping it in the J2M5, Raiden Model 33.



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

Mitsubishi Company (三菱商会)
Fighters  A5M4 · Hagiri's A5M4
  A6M2 mod. 11 · A6M2 · A6M3 · A6M3 mod. 22 · A6M3 mod. 22Ko · A6M5 · A6M5 Ko · A6M5 otsu · A6M5 Hei · A6M6c
  A7M1 (NK9H) · A7M2
  J2M2 · J2M3 · J2M4 Kai · J2M5 · J2M5 (30 mm)
Hydroplanes  F1M2
Interceptors  Ki-83 · Ki-109
Bombers  G4M1
  Ki-21-Ia · Ki-21-I hei · Ki-67-I Ko · Ki-67-I otsu
Jet Fighters  Ki-200
Captured  ▃A6M2 · ␗A6M2
See also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Post-War)

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 · A6M5 Hei · A6M6c
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 · Tada's Ki-61-I hei · Ki-61-I tei · Ki-61-II Otsu Kai
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 · ▅P-51C-11-NT · ▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▅Fw 190 A-5
  *Imported designation of the He 112 (A6M was in development - A7M would take A7 designation after the cancelation of the A7He)

Japan premium aircraft
Fighters  Hagiri's A5M4 · A7He1 · Ki-27 otsu Tachiarai
  Ki-44-II otsu · ▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▅F4U-1A · Ki-100-II · Ki-44-I 34
  ▅Fw 190 A-5 · A7M1 (NK9H) · Tada's Ki-61-I hei · ▅P-51C-11-NT
  J2M4 Kai · A6M5 Ko · A6M6c · J2M5 · Ki-87 · J6K1
Twin-engine fighters  Ki-96
Jet fighters  F-86F-40 JASDF▅ · T-2 Early · F-4EJ ADTW
Bombers  Ki-21-I hei · Ki-48-II otsu · H8K3 · B7A2 (Homare 23) · ▅B-17E