The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries between 1940 to 1945. It is a fighter aircraft capable of long-rage attacks. Pilots of the A6M commonly referred to it as "Reisen" or the "Zero Fighter." This is because it entered service in the Imperial Navy in the Imperial year 2600 (1940), and the last digit of which was "0." Its WWII Allied name was "Zeke." The Model 22 (A6M3/3a) was rushed into production to correct the weaknesses of the Model 32 (A6M3). Its overall performance was improved, including an increase in wingspan from 11m to 12m. Folding wingtips were also brought back for better maneuverability. The A6M3a variant was fitted with long-barreled canons. It was deployed to the Solomon Islands in 1943.