The Mitsubishi Ki-51 met a 1937 requirement for an aircraft that could take off from short strips near the front lines. The Ki-51 was designed by Kawano, Ohki, and Mizuno.
- Speed: 260 mph at 6,500', 261 mph at 6,560', 420 kph at 2,000 m
- Weight: 5,952 lb, ~6,000 lb, 2,700 kg
- Bombs: 440 lbs , twelve 33 lb / 15 kg or four 110 lb / 50 kg
- Armament: three machine guns, two MG in wings, one MG in rear cockpit
- Engine: Mitsubishi Ha-26-II radial
The Ki-51 was of all metal construction.
The wings were mounted low in the fuselage.
The early production aircraft had 7.7 mm MG in the wings and these were later replaced by 12.7 mm MGs. At the same time additional fuel tanks were added to the wing leading edges.
The landing gear on the Ki-51 were fixed.
The pilot and navigator/bombardier were located in an all glass cockpit. The were placed close together to allow for better communication.
In the field the Ki-51 could be modified for either ground attack or reconnaissance.