The Mitsubishi G3M, or Type 96, was a Japanese medium bomber, known by the Allies as “Rikko”. Designed by Kiro Honjo, it was introduced in 1935 and remained in service with the Imperial Japanese Navy until 1945 as a land-based, long-range bomber. It first saw combat action in 1936, in China, during the Sino-Japanese War, attacking targets on the Chinese coast. It also conducted bombing missions in Malay, New Guinea, Burma, and Pacific islands during World War II. In the first years of service, the G3M was escorted by the Mitsubishi A5M Claude, a carrier-based fighter. It was the workhorse of the Japanese bombing raids during the first years of the war until it was replaced by the G4M, with a total number built of 1,050 aircraft

The Mitsubishi G3M was a two-engine monoplane, fitted with mid-wings and retractable landing gear. Due to its long-range capability, it was also used as a maritime reconnaissance and transport aircraft. Flying at low level, it perfomred the role of torpedo-bomber, attacking Allied naval and merchant ships. It was armed with one 20mm Type 99 gun, mounted in forward dorsal turret, and four 7.7mm machine guns as defensive weapons. This Japanese aircraft had a bombload capacity of 800 kg of bombs, or one torpedo. It was manufactured in the following versions: G3M1, G3M2, G3M3, and L3Y1 and L3Y2, which were the transport variants.

Specifications

Type: medium bomber

Wingspan: 25 m

Length: 16.45 m

Height: 3.7 m

Power plant: two 1,061 hp, Mitsubishi Kinsel, 14-cylinder engines

Maximum speed: 375 km/h

Range: 4,400 km

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