三式空六号無線電信機四型 (San-shiki kū-roku gō musen denshinki shi-gata, Type 3 Ku 6 wireless telegraph Model 4). The H-6 is probably the most well know and widely used radar of the IJNAS. It was developed by Yokosuka Arsenal and was mounted on a variety of planes to help detect ships.

Development

Development of the H-6 started in end 1941 by the electrical engineering department of the Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal ( 海軍航空技術廠 (Kaigun Kōkū Gijutsu-shō). The device was, originally to have a wavelength of 1 meter (300 MHz). However no suitable vacuum tubes were in production, so the wavelenght was increased to 2 meter (150MHz).

H-6 radar installed on a B5N2

The prototype was completed in the spring of 1942 and operational testing began on a Kawanishi H6K flying boat. Problems occurred above 3.000, when corona discharged occurred around the 10.000 volt power supply due to decreased humidity and atmospheric pressure. As a result, altitude restrictions for the radar were implemented. Development of the prototype finished spring 1942 and continued to be upgraded until august that year. The production unit was introduced early 1943. Later on the voltage was reduced to 8.000 volt to reduce the discharging problems. Due to it’s large size and weight, the usage of the H-6 was mostly reserved for larger planes such as the Kawanishi H8K Mavis and Mitsubishi G4M Betty. It was however also installed in smaller, but dedicated patrol and reconnaissance aircraft such as the Aichi A13A Jake and the Kyūshū Q1W lorna.

Deployment

One of the initial concerns of having radar installed was the flight performance reduction due to the additional air resistance caused by the antenna. The importance of radar wasn’t really understood by front line units and the original plan of two Yagi type antenna was difficult to justify. As a compromise, the Yagi antenna were replaced with two half-wavelength dipole antenna on both sides of the aircraft. The fuselage functions as the reflector, and is located 1/4th wavelength behind the antenna.

As the war went on, the importance of radar became more clear to front-line units. Simultaneously the development of Yagi antenna continued and with better understanding of air resistance, this resulted more aerodynamic antenna. As a result, a third antenna of the Yagi type was often installed as well on the nose of the aircraft or the leading edge of the wing.

In the last months of the war, the H-6 started to give way to the lighter and more compact FK-3 radar. The Japanese surrendered however soon after.

Aircraft equipped with H-6 radar

Aircraft Notes Model
Aichi H9A    
Mitsubishi G3M3 Model 23 Was used as a long range reconnaissance aircraft from 1943 onward.  
Mitsubishi G4M1 Model 11 From 1942 onward this type was equipped with H-6 units for reconnaissance and submarine detection. Type 22
Nakajima B5N Several aircraft were equipped with radar and served short to mid range patrol aircraft. Type 3
Nakajima B6N1/2 Several aircraft were equipped with radar Type 1 and 2
Aichi E13A1 Equipped with radar and used to search for enemy submarines. Otsu version also flew night reconnaissance missions. Type 11
Kawanishi H6K2 Model 11
Kawanishi H6K5 Model 23
Kawanishi H8K2 Model 12
Equipped with radar. Participated in convoy escort and submarine detection operations.  
Kawanishi H8K2 Model 12 Equipped with radar and used to track and attack enemy submarines. Type 12
Kawanishi E7K2 Model 2 Used for patrol operations and submarine detection.  
Kyushu Q1W1 Used to track and destroy submarines, and escort operations.  
Mitsubishi Q2M1 (planned) Planned patrol aircraft, to be equipped with radar.  
Kyushi Q3W1 (planned) Planned patrol aircraft, to be equipped with radar.  
Yokosuka P1Y   Type 11
Nakajima J1N1    

Technical Specifications

三式空六号無線電信機四型 / Type 3 Ku 6 wireless telegraph Model 4
Designation H-6
Object Patrol and Search
Research started November 1941
Finished August 1942
Operational status In use at end of war
Installation Large and Small Aircraft. Observer’s Seat
Frequency 2 meter / 150 kHz
Power Output (Peak) 3kw
Pulse Length 10 µs
Repetition Frequency 1000 c/s
Weight 110 kg
Units build ~ 2000
Transmitter Oscillation Circuit   Blocking Oscillator  
  Oscillator Valve U-233 x2
Receiver Intermed. Freq. 10 mc
Detector 1st UN-95A 2nd FU-2A05A
Local oscillator UN-955
Scope
Representation
Diameter 120 mm
Scanning Axis Linear
Scale Mechanical
Antenna Type Head: Yagi Sides: Folded Doublet
Gain 16db 6.5db
Beam Angle Horiz. θƒ = 30° θƒ = 28°
Vertical θƒ = 35° θƒ = 30°
Max. Range (Max.Effective Scale) 150 km theoretical
90-110 km against large ships such as aircraft carriers
70 km agains aircraft
25 km small surfaced submarines
Minimum Distance 3 km at 1000 m
Accuracy of Range ≃± 5%
Distance Discrimination 4~6 km
Accuracy of Bearing ± 3°
Angle Discrimination ≃ 60°
No. Of Operators Radar Technician on large planes
Plane Observer on small planes
Left: Transmitter
Right top: Receiver
Right bottom: Indicator
Device Dimensions Weight
Transmitter 54 x 30 x 54 cm 49 Kg
Receiver 16 x 26 x 50 cm 8.4 Kg
Indicator 30 x 26 x 50 cm 22 Kg

Documents and Media

Sources

  • Mikesh, R. C. (2004). Japanese aircraft equipment 1940-1945. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publ. ISBN 978-0764320972.
  • Ishiguro, R., Januszewski, T., & Karnas, D. (2018). Japanese anti-submarine aircraft in the Pacific War. Sandomierz: Stratus. ISBN 978-8365281395.
  • https://blog.goo.ne.jp/minouta17/e/45fa24778b95c91d453a738c5814374a
  • 記事NO. 8473に返信をします. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.yokohamaradiomuseum.com/cgi-bin/imgboard.cgi?bbsaction=disp_rep_form&amode=&page=1&blood=20161013134843&parent=8473

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