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A5M Claude

The Mitsubishi A5M (Japanese九六式艦上戦闘機, kyūjū-roku-shiki kanjō sentōki=Model 96 carrier-based fighter aircraft; allied codename “Claude“) was a carrier based fighter aircraft by Mitsubishi. It was the first monoplane of the Imperial Japanese Navy.


The first flight took place on 4th February 1934, under the specification Ka-14

The first mission of the aircraft was in September 1937 against China and later against the USA, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour

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in December 1941. 788 aircraft were built by Mitsubishi, 303 additional by Watanabe and 264 by Omura under license.

The performance of the A5M exceeded all the requirements. While 305 km/h was the required top speed, the A5M reached 405 km/h during a test flight.


The first variant was the A5M1 (96 were built), and was powered by a Nakajima Kotobuki 2 KAI 2 engine (license built variant of the British Bristol Jupiter engine) with a power of 585 hp (430 kW). The successor variant was the A5M2a, with a more powerful engine (610 hp). The A5M2b, powered by a Kotobuki 2 KAI 3 engine (640 hp), was the most important Japanese fighter during the War against China. The last variant was the A5M4, equipped with a Kotobuki-41 engine with a power of 523 kW (710 hp), was used during the Pacific War against American fighters, but was declared obsolete because of inferiority in aerial combat.