The Nakajima Hikoki company began producing the Nakajima Ki-243 fighter for the Japanese Air Force in 1939. It had a maximum speed of 308 mph (495 km) and had a range of 745 miles (1,200 km). It was 29 ft 8 in (8.85 m) long with a wingspan of 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m). The aircraft was armed with a two machine-guns and could carry 66 lb (30 kg) of bombs.
The Nakajima Ki-27 was seen as a replacement for the Nakajima Ki-27. Over the next few years the Nakajima Hikoki company built 5,919 of these aircraft. For a while it was the most successful aircraft in the Pacific War but gradually it lost its superiority to Allied fighters.