In 1939 the Japanese navy began to consider the need to build a modern combat seaplane.
Within the strategy of conquest that the Japanese Empire developed for the invasion of the South Pacific islands, seaplanes were considered to be very useful as a spearhead to establish defensive cordons while land forces built airfields on land. If this defense was to be effective, then these seaplanes had to have the same performance as conventional fighters during combat. It was in this context that the idea of modifying the Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 11 Zero to transform it into a combat seaplane was born.
The A6M2 has undergone the following major modifications: (a) replacement of the landing gear with floats (B) Reinforced rudder to improve the stability of the device. (c) anti-rust and sealing treatment for waterproofing. The resulting aircraft was known as the A6M2N Rufe with a reduced speed and shorter range than the original Zero but retaining intact its weapons and maneuverability.
The A6M2N began its operational life in mid-1942 and proved for a long time to be a highly effective fighter, in many cases as fearsome as its Zero sibling.
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