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Curtiss P-40E (Kittyhawk) single-engine front-line fighter/fighter bomber/interceptor fighter of the Air Force of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army A single-seat, single-engine, all-metal cantilever monoplane fighter with an enclosed cockpit and a retractable landing gear system, including a tail wheel. P-40E aircraft were built on a full scale both for the USAAF and the RAF under the designation of Kittyhawk Mk.I. The British variant differed in some components and was delivered to the USSR as part of the Lend-Lease programme. The first fighters for the Air Force of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army were re-exported from Great Britain to the port of Arkhangelsk in late 1941. This export was made up of 14 Tomahawk Mk.II (P-40C) aircraft. They were used for the first time on the northern flank of the Soviet-German front. Upgraded P-40Es were subsequently given to fighter regiments which had mastered flying the previous variants. A total of 487 Kittyhawks were delivered to the Soviet Union during 1942. In 1943, this number increased even more, to 939. Based on their experience flying the P-40 on the Soviet-German front, pilots of the Air Force of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army noted the following positive features of the aircraft: powerful armament, considerable flight range, good survivability, good (according to Soviet standards of the same period) radio and instrumental equipment. The unique five-spar wing, notable for its colossal safety factor, earned the fighter the nickname "the King of Ramming" in the USSR. Soviet pilots made the best use of this advantage and carried out brave ramming attacks. On April 8, 1942, Alexey Khlobystov, who was later awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union, piloted a Tomahawk Mk.II and performed a ramming attack twice in one air duel, destroying two German fighters. The main spheres of the Kittyhawk’s combat use in the USSR included covering large cities and important facilities as part of the Air Defence Force, accompanying bombers (including torpedo bombers), independent bomb and ground attacks, and air reconnaissance. Combat experience showed that the P-40 was not then able to face the new Luftwaffe fighters on equal terms, but its speed and powerful armament made the Kittyhawk an effective means of fighting enemy bombers. So, beginning in 1943, most P-40s were sent to fighter regiments in the Air Defence Force. By the end of 1944, the Air Defence Force had over 900 planes of this type. The P-40's longer flight range attracted the attention of the Naval Aviation Command. Naval Kittyhawks were extensively used as fighter bombers. It was standard for the P-40E to have one FAB-250 suspended under its fuselage. In combat conditions, the aircraft could carry a FAB-500 bomb suspended underneath, as well as one FAB-250 under the fuselage and two FAB-100TsKs under the wings or one FAB-250 and two ZAB-100s. Some P-40Es were equipped in the USSR with Klimov M-105P and М-105R engines with VISh-61P propellers. This refitting was an attempt to improve on the Allison V-1710 engine's low operating characteristics under the cold conditions of the Far North and the Arctic. Externally, these aircraft differed quite significantly from their prototypes. Deliveries of P-40s to the USSR ceased in December 1944. A combined total of 1,887 Kittyhawks were received by the Air Force of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and the Air Defence Force. 311 more P-40s were received by the Naval Aviation force. The aircraft were withdrawn from service in 1946.