The G3M3 Model 23 was the final version of the Mitsubishi G3M Navy Type 96 Attack Bomber. It was very similar to the G3M2 Model 22, but was powered by two 1,300hp Kinsei 51 engines, and carried 1,150 Imperial gallons of fuel, giving it a very impressive maximum range of 3,781 statute miles. By the time the G3M3 entered production Mitsubishi had moved on to production of the G4M ‘Betty’, leaving Nakajima to produce the new version.
The G3M3 was produced between June 1942 and February 1943, the period in which the G3M was being phased out of front line service. It was the fastest version of the G3M, with a top speed of 258mph, 26mph faster than the G3M2 Model 22. A number of G3M3s were given magnetic anomaly detection equipment (MAD), and were used for anti-submarine warfare patrols in an attempt to protect Japan’s essential but vulnerable merchant shipping. Twenty Allied submarines were credited to the MAD equipped G3M3s by the end of the war.
Engines: Two Mitsubishi Kensei 51 fourteen cylinder air cooled radial engines
Power: 1,300hp at take-off, 1,200hp at 9,845ft
Span: 83ft 1/4in
Length: 53ft 11 5/8in
Height: 12ft 1/16in
Empty Weight: 11,551lb
Loaded Weight: 17,637lb
Maximum Speed: 258mph at 19,360ft
Cruising Speed: 13,125ft
Climb to 9,845ft: 5min 29sec
Service Ceiling: 33,730ft
Maximum range: 3,871 statute miles
Armaments: One 2mm Type 99 Model 1 cannon in dorsal turret, one 7.7mm Type 92 machine in each lateral blister and in a retractable dorsal turret, plus one flexible gun fired from cockpit windows.
Bomb load: One 1,764lb torpedo or the same weight in bombs carried under the fuselage