Ki-61-Ib (USA)

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▃Ki-61-Ib Hien
General characteristics
1 personCrew
3.1 tTake-off weight
1.97 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
10 000 mCeiling
Kawasaki Ha-40Engine
waterCooling system
Speed of destruction
850 km/hStructural
330 km/hGear
Offensive armament
4 x 12.7 mm Ho-103 machine gunWeapon 1
1 800 roundsAmmunition
900 shots/minFire rate
700 Ge icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png1 300/2 120/810Repair
2 300 Sl icon.pngCrew training
15 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
130 Ge icon.pngAces
112 × 2 Talisman.png % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
150 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png120 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png30 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png
This page is about the Japanese fighter Ki-61-Ib (USA). For other uses, see Ki-61 (Family).


GarageImage Ki-61-Ib (USA).jpg

The ▃Ki-61-Ib Hien is a premium rank II Japanese fighter with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB), 3.3 (RB), and 3.0 (SB). This aircraft has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29. It costs 700 Golden Eagles.

Unlike its more manoeuvrable and agile counterpart, the A6M Reisen, the Ki-61 is more of what one would call an "energy fighter". Compared to the "Zero" it is faster, has a higher climb rate and handles better at higher speeds. This captured version of the Hien has exactly the same stats and armament as the Japanese version. Armed with four 12.7 mm Ho-103 machine guns and plenty of ammunition, the Ki-61-Ib is a more than capable fighter. As a continuation of the Japanese army tree, the Ki-61 is the successor of the earlier Ki-43 Hayabusa. The Hien is faster, has a higher rate of climb, and features a better armament. Utilize these three aspects when facing planes like the Ki-43. In realistic battles, one of the major advantages the Ki-61-Ib has is its climb rate. The stat card may be misleading, but this plane can reach altitudes no enemies will be close to (unless of course, the enemy is another Hien). This allows the Hien to choose when and where it wants to fight. Instead of simply "turning and burning" the Ki-61 is very good at energy fighting, or Boom & Zoom. Once at a high altitude the Hien pilot may choose to dive lower to attack an enemy. If the enemy is not destroyed on the first pass, it is recommended to climb sharply and gain altitude. By doing this, the Hien sets itself up for another attack while not being in the range of the enemy's guns.

General info

Flight Performance

Condition Max Speed
(km/h at 5,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 567 552 10,000 21.1 21.7 7.9 7.9 420
Upgraded 609 587 19.9 20.3 14.9 11


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
760 330 500 ~16 ~12
Optimal velocities
< 360 < 350 < 460 > 270
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
3,450 m 1,100 hp 1,232 hp

Survivability and armour

Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured. Describe the armour, if there is any, also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.


Offensive armament

Main article: Ho-103 army (12.7 mm)

The Ki-61-Ib (USA) is armed with:

  • 2 x 12.7 mm Ho-103 machine gun, nose-mounted (400 rpg = 800 total)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm Ho-103 machine gun, wing-mounted (500 rpg = 1,000 total)

Usage in battles

The Ki-61's instrument panel.

The Ki-61-Ib utilized four 12.7 mm Ho-103 Japanese machine guns. Generally, they are unreliable and it often takes hundreds of rounds to destroy an enemy plane. This is due to the lack of primer in the rounds themselves. 12.7 mm rounds fired by the M2 Browning may seem to do more damage because they have more primer which dictates how fast the round will exit the barrel. Due to this, it is necessary to get up close to enemies. Aim for the engine, pilot, or fuel tanks if the location is known. Remember to lead with these machine guns, as the rounds are not high velocity.

The Hien is best utilized as a multi-purpose fighter. Although proficient at energy fighting, the Ki-61 is also generally average at standard manoeuvres. It may lose turn fights with some enemy aircraft like the A6M2, but nonetheless it can still be used in multiple roles. The Hien is your standard "jack of all trades". It's not incredibly good at anything it does but it is even across the board. This allows the Hien pilot to choose what role he or she wants to play in the battle. One could play the reserved, high flying energy fighter, or the aggressive low flying dogfighter. The Ki-61 allows these choices.

Its armament is not so flexible, as the American captured version is unable to equip bombs or ground targets ammunition. Its weapons, four Ho-103 12.7 mm machine guns, are considered by many to be unreliable and unwieldy. However, with accuracy and shot placement, the large ammunition pool can work to your advantage.

If caught in a sticky situation, the Hien pilot may choose to do several things. Depending on your altitude, executing rolling scissors or an overshoot may be a valid tactic. Try to make the enemy pilot feel pressured to disengage. Depending on the enemy's aircraft, use your speed to your advantage and try to get away. The surest tactic would be communicating with teammates to ensure your assailant's death. Once tailed, the Hien pilot can "set up" an enemy by nosing up about 70 degrees so the entirety of the enemy plane is shown. At this stage, ideally, your teammate is arriving to save the day.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable Not controllable Not controllable Separate Not ontrollable Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 12 mm
II Compressor Airframe
III Wings repair Engine New 12 mm MGs
IV Engine injection Cover
  • This premium aircraft comes furnished with all modifications unlocked upon purchase.

Pros and cons


  • Generally performs well in all categories
  • Outstanding climb rate
  • A large amount of ammunition
  • Some armour protection


  • Unreliable guns
  • Locks up at high speeds
  • No frontal armour
  • Average roll rate which worsens as speed increases
  • Cannot equip bombs


In December 1943, the US Marine Corps landed at Cape Gloucester on the island of New Britain. After capturing the temporary Japanese airfield, the Marine Corps discovered a hidden Ki-61 Model 1Ko fighter (serial number 263) from the 68th Sentai produced in April 1943.

The aircraft had been abandoned by the Japanese due to a number of engine malfunctions which were not repairable in the field. The aircraft was meticulously inspected by officers of the US Army's Technical Intelligence and sent to Australia, where it was restored to airworthy condition and had USAAF markings applied to it. This is the aircraft we currently see in-game.

In-game description

"Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien Army Type 3 Model 1Ko (NATO reporting name: Tony) single-engine army fighter

An all-metal monoplane with an enclosed cockpit and a retractable landing gear system, including tail wheel. It was created by the design bureau of Kawasaki Company, under the direction of Takeo Doi.

The aircraft had as its power unit a German-licensed Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa twelve-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine manufactured by Kawasaki Company under the designation of Ha-40.

A Ki-61 prototype got off the ground for the first time in December 1941. Full-scale production started in the summer of 1942. The aircraft was accepted for service with the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force as the Type 3 Hien (""Swallow"") fighter in the spring of 1943. The Hien's combat deployment began in June 1943, on New Guinea.

The Ki-61 became one of few Japanese production planes equipped with liquid-cooled engines. The Hien stood out so much in its appearance and high flight characteristics among Japanese fighters of that period of the war that the Americans at first refused to identify it as a Japanese design.

After receiving the first reports about the new Japanese fighter with a liquid-cooled engine, the American intelligence service considered it a licensed replica of the German Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter, so Mike was chosen as its NATO reporting name. However, after a more detailed study of pilot reports, intelligence analysts concluded that the new fighter was more similar to the Italian MC.202 Folgore. Thus, the Americans chose an Italian NATO reporting name, Tony, for the new Japanese fighter.

In December 1943, the US Marine Corps landed at Cape Gloucester on the island of New Britain. After capturing the temporary Japanese airfield, the Marine Corps discovered a hidden Ki-61 Model 1Ko fighter (serial number 263) from the 68th Sentai produced in April 1943.

The aircraft had been abandoned by the Japanese due to a number of engine malfunctions which were not repairable in the field. The aircraft was meticulously inspected by officers of the US Army's Technical Intelligence and sent to Australia, where it was restored to airworthy condition and had USAAF markings applied to it. Later, the Hien was thoroughly tested in the Technical Air Intelligence Center at NAS Anacostia.

It was noted in the report on the test results that the aircraft was exceptionally easy to pilot and that it behaved well practically in all modes of flight and during all manoeuvres, so it represented quite a formidable weapon in the hands of a sufficiently qualified pilot."


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as 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 aircraft;
  • other literature.

Kawasaki Aircraft Industries (川崎航空機工業株式会社 Kawasaki Kokuki Kogyo K.K.)
Biplane Fighters  Ki-10-I · Ki-10-I C · Ki-10-II · Ki-10-II C
Fighters  Ki-61-I hei · Ki-61-I ko · Ki-61-I otsu · Ki-61-I tei · Ki-61-II · Ki-100 · Ki-100-II
Twin-engine Fighters  Ki-45 hei · Ki-45 ko · Ki-45 otsu · Ki-45 tei · Ki-96 · Ki-108
Attackers  Ki-102 otsu
Bombers  Ki-32
Captured  ␗Ki-45 hei/tei · ␗Ki-61-I otsu · ▃Ki-61-Ib

USA fighters
P-26 Peashooter  P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
P-36 Hawk  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G
P-39 Airacobra  P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
P-40  P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40F-10
P-43 Lancer  P-43A-1
P-47 Thunderbolt  P-47D-25 · P-47D-28 · P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-47N-15
P-51 Mustang  P-51 · P-51A (Thunder League) · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA
P-63 Kingcobra  P-63A-5 · P-63A-10 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
Prototypes  XP-55
F2A Buffalo  F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3
F3F  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2
F4F Wildcat  F4F-3 · F4F-4
F4U Corsair  F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1D · F4U-1C · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214
F6F Hellcat  F6F-5 · F6F-5N
F8F Bearcat  F8F-1 · F8F-1B
Other countries  ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃A6M2 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc

USA premium aircraft
Light fighters  P-26A-34 · ▃Ki-43-II
  Galer's F3F-2 · Thach's F2A-1 · P-40C · P-43A-1 · P-51A (Thunder League) · ▃Ki-61-Ib
Fighters  ▃A6M2 · XP-55 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA
  ▃Fw 190 A-8 · F4U-4B VMF-214 · P-47M-1-RE · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc
Twin-engine fighters  XP-38G · XF5F · P-61A-1 · XP-50 · Bong's P-38J-15 · P-38K · F7F-3
Jets  P-59A · F-86F-35 · F-89B · F-89D
Attackers  XA-38 · A2D-1
Bombers  B-10B · PV-2D · BTD-1 · A-26C-45DT · PBM-3 "Mariner"