The HF-3 is a family of aircraft designed by Japan for interception, air superiority, ground attack, and naval operations.
This is a rare aircraft, intended as a multipurpose fighter with exceptional maneuverability characteristics. It has variable-sweep wings, moving canards, folding wings, and as a complex turbine and trust vectoring system. It requires a skilled pilot to take advantage of its abilities. Payload space is limited, due to the space taken up by mechanical systems. It carries small missiles and must sometimes rely on its cannon. Newer versions have hardpoints on the rear top, and on the stationary wing stubs where the swing mechanism is housed. Swiveling hardpoints on the wings have been experimented with but not implemented yet. Various versions have been offered for export, but, due to their price, remain rare. The name is often abbreviated as HF-KT or KT.
In foreign service it is known as the Lampades.
HF-3T3 (first service model) HF-3T4 (updated, some mechanical issues fixed, external hardpoints) HF-3T5 Karasu-Tengu II (improved stealth characteristics, two tail fins) HF-3T4X Plus (experimental version with swiveling hardpoints on wings) HF-3T45 Karasu-Tengu II+ (Theoretical HF-3T5 with swiveling hardpoints)
Country of Origin: Empire of Japan Role: Bomber Designer: Nakajima Crew: 2 Other Users: China (captured models)
Armament: 1x Type 120 25mm Cannon 2x Short Range IR AAMs 2,000 ILBs of Ordnance -Type 6 Kaiten Anti-Ship Missile -Type 10 1000 ILB Laser Guided Bomb -Type 5 500 ILB Laser Guided Bomb -Iron Bombs -Cluster Bombs/Bomblett Dispenser
The Empire of Japan rolled out the Nakajima B20 series of aircraft in the mid-1960s. Much like the abortive American effort to create a fighter that could be used by both the Navy and Air Force (the F-111 which proved an excellent low level bomber) the B20 was built in both a naval and ground based model. The IJN model was known as the Sea-Wing with the Japanese Air Force calling their model the Sky-Wing. Both versions of the B20 would see combat in the former Dutch East Indies, as the post-colonial government collapsed. Japan moved in to annex the oil rich area in 1967. Sea-Wings flying of Japanese carriers provided strikes against the various factions inside the islands. Some worked, not effectively in a close air support role for Imperial Marines during the campaign. Losses were light for the naval Sea-Wings.
Initially the Sea-Wing was armed with conventional free fall iron bombs and rocket pods. However the start of World War III heralded a new generation of increasing accurate precision weapons. As America, the Soviets, and Europeans all retooled their aircraft and tactics to incorporate these, Japan found itself falling behind. Through various methods, legally and illegally, the Japanese military industry acquired various samples of new precision guided munitions (PGM). Using their own technology the Japanese arms makers were able to produce their first laser guided bomb shortly before the end of the Third World War.
This new generation of weaponry required upgrades to be made to the Sea/Sky-Wing fleet. A laser targeting pod with thermal and LLAMPS abilities was equipped to most of the precision strike units inside the IJN. New surface search and ground scanning radars were built into the B20Ns. The ground scanning radar allowed the Sea-Wing to fly dangerous nap of the Earth attack missions. These upgrades made the B20N an all-weather day or night bomber. By the late 1980s the upgraded Sea-Wing fleet could also carry large bomblett dispersing pods on their centerline hard-point (a copy of the European Tornadoís). Two Type 6 anti-ships missiles could be carried by the Sea-Wing for naval strike roles.
The major combat test for the Sea-Wing came when the Imperial government decided to go to war with the Russian Republic in 1990. As part of their surprise attack, Sea-Wings launched from the Giga carriers in the Sea of Japan to bomb the airfields up and down the Russian Pacific coast and Russian Pacific Fleet bases. Covered by Tengu fighters the Sea-Wings devastated the Russian Air Force bases, using runway cratering weapons and taking out hardened shelters with LGBs. As long as Japanese aircraft controlled the skies, the B20N operated quite effectively against the Russian forces in the Far East. However the Sea-Wing proved less effective when deployed in contested air environments. Designed as a bomber, the Sea-Wing had no real dogfighting ability requiring escorting fighters or a low level approach.
When the war expanded to include the United States of America, the IJN found itself up against an equal opponent. B20Ns and Air Force B20s took heavy losses when attacking American and Allied targets during the war. The heaviest losses and most specular success for the Sea-Wings came during the Battle of Guam. Admiral Shirada led four Giga carriers in an effort to destroy the American 7th Fleet and force the U.S. into negotiations to end the war in the Pacific. The first battle of super-carriers, the Carrier Strike Force launched a massive attack against the USN carriers once it was learned they were operating southeast of Guam.
Nearly one hundred IJN aircraft battled against the USN fighter screen and fought through the Ticonderoga air defense cruisers and their Burke class destroyer counterparts. Ten Sea-Wings managed to launch their ASMs and severally damage the carrier Hornet. Several more American cruisers and destroyers were sunk as well. The losses among the Japanese planes were heavy, over sixty percent. Much worse was the surviving pilots found that while they attacked the Americans, a USN strike against their own carriers had led to the destruction of two of their own carriers. As the battle continued the remaining Sea-Wings managed to sink the damaged Hornet, but the Combined Fleet lost another carrier.
Many of the remaining Sea-Wings for the rest of the war were based on land with their Air Force counterparts. Another distinction of the B20N was it was one of the first aircraft used in suicide operations against the Allied fleets. Kamikaze attacks were first launched by a Sea-Wing unit based in Formosa against the Enterprise carrier group, supporting the battle for the Philippines. Sixty aircraft among them twenty B20Ns loaded with explosives penetrated the carrier groupís defenses and sank six ships. A Sea-Wing speared into the side of the Enterprise knocking it out of the war for several months.
All the remaining Sea-Wings not in Japanese Defense Force hands are used by the Republic of China. Most were captured in the last few days of the war.
Birrin societies of the float-forest were faced with unique transport challenges as they reached full urbanisation: How to move large numbers of people and freight around a vast inland sea, where large stretches were chocked with constantly drifting vegetation mats and already heavy and hazardous boat traffic.
Many turned to the floatplane: Able to land in narrow lake clearings, operate in areas chocked with vegetation, and with far higher speed than shipping, aquatic aircraft manufacturing exploded across the region.
Aircraft of this type are available of many designs and configurations, often customized by the families that operate them. These unique vehicles form an integral part of life for most float-forest inhabitants.
The model here is relatively small and used by many organizations, particularly law enforcement, due to its excellent downwards visibility. A large central float provides buoyancy while two outrigger types at the tail end give stability. Used primarily for patrols or transporting small numbers of people, this models' fuselage is too narrow for heavy freight, and the stock in-line piston engine too weak for large loads. However many have been fitted with modern turboprop or jet engines to improve performance.
Seen here, two law enforcers are refuelling their craft as morning breaks over one of the open stretches of water near the float-forest centre. They will spend much of their day flying lazily across shipping lanes, dropping down to inspect suspicious boats or help birrin in need.
According to ďもしもWEAPONĒ, the source of KX-03 are Kawanishi aircraft's technical report No541,544,566 Ē500ton class flying boat study. The IJN ordered Kawanishi to study 500 ton class flying boat in the beginning of 1943. Overall length;162m, Span;180m, Height;35.4m, Wing area;1,150square meter, Gross weight;460ton, Range;18,520km, Payload;900 soldiers with normal equipments, Engines; Ne201 turbo prop engine(7,000hp + static thrust 900kg/each engine)◊12(total 132,000hp), Ne330 jet engine◊6(total equivalent 7,920hp), crews;24. BTW according to another book"Kikka (miki shobo) ISBN4-89522-276-4 C0053 " Ne201's power was 1,870hp.(7,000hp is too large for Ne201,)
The USV-3 'Abdul-Muhsi' is a space combat drone created and sold at low cost to the developing nations of the late 21st Century.
Launched from inexpensive single-use rockets in North Africa and South America, the drone blasts into orbit to intercept enemy targets. As it enters range, the protective shell of the launch vehicle falls away to reveal the weapon systems. If the target attempts to defend itself a small countermeasure capsule rockets away, taking guided missiles with it. When within striking distance the high powered laser opens fire on the objective, destroying it by superheating the fuel tanks or electrical systems.
With the laser fired, the power systems are fused and can never be used again. The drone then fires its engines one last time and enters a decaying orbit, destroying itself as it re-enters the atmosphere. Although expensive compared to simply launching a missile, the Abdul-Muhsi enjoys some success as it is immune to most anti-missile countermeasures, and with its long range laser does not have to be launched accurately to destroy its target.
The floatforest is a constantly shifting sea of drifting plant covered islands, in some areas so dense as to be almost indistinguishable from land. Millions of Birrin call this tropical, dynamic world home, from sophisticated city dwellers to nomadic tribes with limited contact with the global civilisation.
The Birrin discovered that, when dried, the heavily compacted masses of dead plants that constitute the older larger islands can be burned as a very efficient fuel. In a short period of time mining began and factories sprung up in the old forest, large areas of vegetation being destroyed to supply fuel for cooking and industrial steam boilers. Soon steam powered ships plied the channels of the float forest , using the forest itself as fuel as they travelled, or purchasing high grade and dried peat from retailers.
As seen here, some more enterprising groups combined the two and use huge ships to transport peat for sale in towns across the forest. The tall hull of this vessel contains racks of high grade peat, being dried on the go and kept warm via heat diverted from the steam ships' own boilers. To counter balance the height of the ship, much of the vessel lies under water in an expanded hull filled with ballast. This added mass also gives the ship the inertia needed to ram through sections of forest, using the blade like prow to first life and then cut the mats of vegetation floating on the waters surface. The flared disk built out around the bow catches vegetation and forces it downwards, keeping it from impacting against the front and sides of the vessel.
Anchored and with boiler firing to dry the latest shipment, this peat-merchant paddle wheeler has stopped off at one of the larger suppliers in the oldest parts of the forest. Over the next few days it will be loaded as the crew relaxes a little, and set off into the narrow channels to deliver its wares across the inland sea, using a portion of its peat load as fuel.
A few locals, curious, look across the water towards it on their morning swim.
Yamato (大和), named after the ancient Japanese Yamato Province, was the lead ship of the Yamato class of battleships that served with the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. She and her sister ship, Musashi, "were the largest and most powerful battleships ever built", displacing 72,800 tonnes at full load and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 inch) main guns. Neither, however, survived the war.
Country of Origin: Empire of Japan Role: Interceptor/Fighter Designer: Mitsubishi Crew: 1 Other Users: Iran, China (captured models)
Armament: 1x Type 112 20mm Cannon 2 to 4x Short Range IR AAMs 4 to 6x Medium to Long Range AAMs
In the late 1970s the Imperial Japanese Navy sought out a new carrier based interceptor. Requirements for the new fighter included a heavy missile load, high speed, and variable geometry wings. The Soviets, Americans, and Europeans had all fielded or begun fielding aircraft with this ability (MiG-23/F-14/Tornado). Mitsubishi created of the famous A6M Zero, won the contract over Nakajimaís prototype. The first production models reached IJN pilotsí hands by 1980. It was given the name Tengu, part bird and human.
Smaller than the American F-14 Tomcat the plane was just as fast and maneuverable. It was far superior to anything in the Soviet and then Russian arsenal. Pilots loved its high speed. At the front of the Tengu was the powerful radar system which allowed for searching for targets up to a hundred miles away. Airborne refueling and drop tanks could extend the Tenguís range. Working with airborne radar off the Giga carriers the Tengu was an excellent interceptor, volleying its long range missiles. A major disadvantage of the Tengu though was the ability to fire and forget missiles. All the medium and long range weapons used by the IJN were semi-radar homers, requiring the Tengu to keep its own radar on the target (unlike the AIM-54 Phoenix). To make up for this problem the Japanese deployed excellent ECM and jamming systems in their carrier air groups. Shorter range combat was conducted with IR all aspect targeting missiles. Normally a Tengu would carry four heat seekers and four radar guided weapons. However the arsenal varied depending on the mission. Combined with Nakajima Sea-Wing bombers, Acihi fighter bombers a Japanese carrier wing had as much striking power as an American one, and far more than a European wing.
The Tengu achieved its first kills in the hands of Japanese pilots during an incident with China. In June of 1981 the Republic of China was conducting naval maneuvers south of the Japanese controlled island of Formosa. The carriers Akagi and Kaga of the 1st Carrier Division were part of a Japanese force off the island. Six Chinese MiG-23s were harassed by a pair of A19 Tengus. One of the ROC pilots fired and the battle began. One Tengu was lost and the other called for back up. In the resulting air battle all six ROC Floggers were lost; along with three MiG-29 Fulcrums that joined the action. Japanese reinforcements consisted of two more Tengus, just three A19s shot down nearly an entire squadron of Chinese planes. Over the 1980s several more Ďincidentsí occurred between Japanese planes and Russian and Chinese ones. In nearly every case the Tengu came out ahead.
The Tengu went to actual war on June 22, 1990. The Kido Butai (Japanís carrier fleet) launched its first air attacks against the Russian Pacific Fleet bases at 5:03AM. Squadrons of Tengu fighters covered the approach. The initial opposition consisted of nearly obsolescent MiG-23s which the Tengu fighters handled easily. As the Russian forces recovered the Far East command sent in more elite Su-27, MiG-31 and upgraded MiG-29s. The resulting air battles ended in an 8:1 kill to loss ratio for Japanese. The Russians lost control of the airspace above the Far East and Japanese forces moved on their objectives.
Japanese aircraft also lead the attack against the Philippines shortly after it was discovered that the Americans were giving covert assistance to the Russian Republic. Here they faced U.S. aircraft for the first time in combat. Due to the surprise attack, the F-15s based at Clark AFB were at a disadvantage and suffered heavy losses to the Tengu. The first clash of the F-14 Tomcat and Tengu occurred during the Second Battle of the Coral Sea. Task Force 77 from the U.S. 7th Fleet moved to cover the transfer of Australian troops to New Guinea. USN fighters provide CAP for the Australian/American force. The F-14s had the advantage at long range with the Phoenix missile. Although designed to kill Russian bombers the missile preformed okay against fighters as well. At closer ranges however the Tomcat and Tengu were evenly matched. In the end the Second Coral Sea was an Allied victory. The K/L ratio was in favor of the USN but only at 3:1.
The Tengu would continue to fight for the remainder of the Pacific War. However the plane did not fail the Empire, but the system to support it. Japanís pilot training program had not been forced to operate under the stress of a full blown war. Even during Japanese participation in World War II, the losses never exceeded the pool of experienced pilots. The Pacific War, with its fronts in Russia, the Philippines, Dutch East Indies, and then the Indian Ocean as the Europeans joined the effort exhausted the Japanís core of experienced pilots. One of the most critical losses was the Battle of Guam. Four of the Kido Butaiís carriers and a supporting invasion force moved on Guam. Admiral Shiradaís goal was to draw out the U.S. 7th Fleet and destroy it.
Russian intelligence however uncovered the Japanese battle-plan. This information allowed the Americans to stage an ambush. The Japanese strike groups moving to bomb Guam were suddenly confronted not with the baseís own fighters, but the fighter power of three USN carriers. Countless Tenguís, Nakajima Sea-Wings, and other IJN planes were shot down. In the resulting battle Admiral Shirada was lost along with three of the four Japanese carriers. With these ships and planes went the elite of the IJN aviators. Japan would never recover from the lost of these men. In the following battles of the war, Japanís pilots were less and less experienced. By the end of the war the USNís K/L ratio was 20:1.
With the end of the Pacific War, Japan has been banned from having any carriers for an undetermined time. The remaining Tengu A19s are all based on land and part of the Naval Aviation component of the JMSDF. Other users of the Tengu include the Islamic Republic of Iran. The IRIAF has an entire fighter wing of Tenguís know locally as the Falcon. American and European intelligence sources cannot determine how many of the aircraft are still flying. The Republic of China had captured quite a few Tenguís on Formosa (modern day Taiwan) following their invasion of the island. Of these examples only two squadrons remain flying today.