Following the Zero Model 21 A6M2, which achieved overwhelming victories against Allied forces in the first half of Pacific War, the summer 1942 saw the introduction of the Model 32 A6M3 which was powered by a Sakae 21 engine and an 11m wingspan with clipped wingtips. Although top speed increased, its range reduced drastically, therefore the Model 22 A6M3 was rushed into development in order to correct the Model 32s shortcomings. Overall performance improved as the 12m wingspan and folding wingtips were reintroduced to regain maneuverability and new wing fuel tanks restored range to 2,560km. The Model 22 A6M3a which was fitted with long-barreled cannons was also put into production. Deployed mainly to the Solomon Islands from early 1943, Zeroes had fierce battles against U.S. fighters.