Type 96 Fighter
|Training Cruiser||Torpedo Cruiser|
|Heavy Cruiser||Aviation Cruiser|
|Aviation Battleship||Light Carrier|
|Standard Carrier||Armored Carrier|
|Submarine||Aircraft Carrying Submarine|
|Submarine Tender||Seaplane Tender|
|Fleet Oiler||Repair Ship|
|Amphibious Assault Ship||-|
This is an obsolete carrier-based fighter. It is an old machine that was in operational service before the Zero-fighter, and boasts a history of exemplary aerial combat performance. With standard armaments and cruising capacity, its speed is now second class, but it is still possible to utilize this aircraft in a dogfight.
The predecessor of the infamous Mitsubishi A6M Zero, the Mitsubishi A5M (Type 96 Carrier-based fighter, Allied reporting name "Claude") was the world's first ship-based monoplane fighter.
Developed by a team led by Jiro Horikoshi (who would go on to head development of the A6M and A7M) to the 1934 9-shi specification for an advanced fighter plane, the Mitsubishi Ka-14 competed with Nakajima's prototype. The first prototype which flew in February 1935, was an all-metal-airframe low-wing fighter using an inverted gull wing and fixed undercarriage powered by Nakajima's 600hp Kotobuki 5 engine.
Requirements of the Type 9 specification were a top speed of 350km/h at 3,000m with the capability of climbing to 5,000m in 6.5 minutes, and the Ka-14's performance greatly surpassed all requirements, with a maximum speed of 450km/h while being quite maneuverable. An aerodynamically revised design with conventional wings was ordered into production as the Mitsubishi A5M.
It was introduced in 1936 and entered service in early 1937 as the A5M1 armed with twin 7.7mm machine guns, soon facing combat at the start of the second Sino-Japanese war. Contempoary opponents such as the Boeing P-26C ("Peashooters") and the Curtiss Hawk Ⅲ, were poorly matched against the A5M, which proved effective and resistant to damage. A5Ms also served as escorts for the Mitsubishi G3M bombers.
Mitsubishi's development team continued to improve the A5M up to the final A5M4, with improvements such as a more powerful engine, additional drop-fuel-tank and closed cockpits. Altogether 1,083 A5Ms were manufactured by Mitsubishi, Watanabe and Naval Ohmura Arsenal, including 103 two-seat trainers.
The A5M series continued in service after 1941, but had been replaced by the A6M as the standard fighter of first-line carriers. The last battle of the A5Ms as fighters was the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. As World War II came to a close, most remaining A5Ms were repurposed as kamikaze aircraft.
|Improvement Cost: 70 50 170||★||S||M||T||W||T||F||S||Helper Ship|
|Consumes: 1x Type 96 Fighter||0||1/3||1/2||H||H||H||H||H||H||H||Houshou (Kai)|
|Consumes: 1x 7.7mm Machine Gun||6||2/4||1/3|
|Consumes: 2x Type 96 Fighter|
Produces: 1x Type 0 Fighter Model 21★+3