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As Britain geared up for war in the late 1930s, it became apparent that the RAF lacked modern fighters, particularly any long range aircraft or night fighters. Bristol had already began work on the Beaufort, itself developed from their earlier Blenheim design, and decided that to develop a long range fighter in as short a time period as possible, it would be quicker to develop an existing design than start a new one. The wings and tail were taken from the Beaufort and, with a new fuselage and two Bristol Hercules engines, the Beaufighter was born. For use in the maritime theatre, some modifications were designed to patrol coastal areas and escort vessels. The designations of these variants ended with the letter C to indicate that they were used by the Coastal Command. The first modification for Coastal Command appeared in 1940 and had the designation Beaufighter Mk IC; this design included the addition of a maritime radio and navigation equipment. The next model designed for Coastal Command operations was the Mk VIC. After the various interim models had been powered mainly by the Rolls Royce Merlin, the Mk VI returned to the original Bristol Hercules engines. This powerful engine allowed the options of replacing the wing mounted guns with extra fuel tanks for longer range and the addition of bombs or rockets. By the end of 1942, most of the Beaufighter Mk.VICs had been modified to carry torpedoes, and in April 1943 they made their first torpedo attack, sinking two merchant ships off of the Norwegian coast. A total of 5,928 Beaufighters were built.