P-40F-5 Lafayette (France)

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This page is about the premium fighter P-40F-5 Lafayette (France). For other versions, see P-40 (Family).
▄P-40F-5 Lafayette
GarageImage P-40F-5 Lafayette (France).jpg
ArtImage P-40F-5 Lafayette (France).jpg
▄P-40F-5 Lafayette
2.3 2.7 2.7
Purchase:850 Specs-Card-Eagle.png
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The P-40F differed from earlier P-40 variants by having the Merlin engine. The Allison V-1710 engine made around 1,150 hp but the Merlin engine produced 1,300 hp; a 12% increase. One way to tell a P-40F from earlier variants was the lack of an air scoop on top of the engine. To increase stability, the fuselage was lengthened. The P-40F also brought with it the nickname "Warhawk". A significant portion of all P-40Fs built were sent to the Royal Air Force under the Lend-Lease program. However, many of the P-40Fs sent to the RAF were either returned to the US or lost in shipping. Some P-40Fs were sent to the "Free French" Air Force and saw use in North Africa. The French P-40F was named "Lafayette", which was based on the French squadron (GC 2/4 La Fayette) who used them.

The ▄P-40F-5 Lafayette was introduced as a premium fighter in Update Update "Raining Fire". Although it features the Packard-Merlin engine, the P-40F is still best suited to low-altitude fighting. Its high speed handling is quite poor and makes it difficult to get guns on target. However, it does have a relatively high structural limit of 819 km/h (509 mph), so players can quickly dive away if needed. The Lafayette comes armed with six 12.7 mm machine guns, a big improvement over earlier P-40 variants. On the other hand, the P-40F was still quite early in the war and doesn't have access to late-war 12.7 mm machine gun belts. Nonetheless, the P-40F Lafayette is a good low-altitude fighter thanks to its weaponry and flight performance.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 5 029 m615 km/h
Turn time20 s
Max altitude11 000 m
EnginePackard V-1650-1
Cooling systemWater
Take-off weight4 t

The P-40F-5 does not climb well so side-climbing is advised. The engine is best performing at low to mid altitudes of about up to 3,000 m. Utilizing WEP causes the engine to overheat very fast. The aircraft does not turn well at speeds under 300 km/h, but has a great energy retention, which makes it very suitable for Boom and Zoom attacks.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 5,029 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 588 569 11000 21.1 22.0 7.7 7.7 350
Upgraded 646 615 18.9 20.0 15.9 11.2


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
819 300 595 530 245 ~12 ~6
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 420 < 380 < 420 > 340

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear300 km/h
Armour plates
  • 3 mm steel between oil cooling system and engine
  • 8 mm steel behind pilot
  • 38 mm bulletproof glass in front of pilot
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks (1 behind pilot, 1 under pilot, 1 in front of pilot's feet)
Critical components

The oil and liquid cooling system are both located under the nose of the plane. When hit, both will leak out almost instantly and causes engine failure shortly after.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB884 Sl icon.png
RB573 Sl icon.png
SB918 Sl icon.png
Crew training3 400 Sl icon.png
Experts23 000 Sl icon.png
Aces180 Ge icon.png
Research Aces380 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 40 / 80 / 150 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 118 / 118 / 118 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods radiator.png
Mods compressor.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods new engine.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Mods armor frame.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
FSBC mk.1
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods weapon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
FMBC mk.1


Offensive armament

Ammunition1 686 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min
Main article: M2 Browning (12.7 mm)

The P-40F-5 Lafayette (France) is armed with:

  • 6 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (281 rpg = 1,686 total)

The most versatile ammunition belt for the machine guns is either the Universal belts that consists of AP/AP/AP/T/I bullets or the Ground targets belt consisting of T/AP/AP/AP rounds. The only difference between those two belts is the missing incendiary bullet in the Ground targets one. Both share the same penetration properties of 20 mm at 500 m at 0° and are capable of destroying or damaging a majority of tanks at this BR while utilizing attack from the top on turret roof or engine deck.

Suspended armament

List of setups (3)
Setup 12 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bomb
Setup 21 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
Setup 32 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bomb
1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb

The P-40F-5 Lafayette (France) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (200 lb total)
  • 1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb (500 lb total)
  • 1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb + 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (700 lb total)

The single 500 lb bomb can be used in mixed ground battles to destroy enemy armoured vehicles while the 2 x 100 lb bombs can be utilized to destroy soft targets like SPAAs or open-topped vehicles.

Usage in battles

Air RB

The P-40 is good at low altitude and turn-fights. Compared to planes like Bf-109's that it faces, eg the E-3, G-2s and F-4s, these aircraft can't keep up in a turn but are overall faster. The speed of this aircraft, 560 km/h makes it pretty fast for its rank and battle rating, however, this is only applied at lower altitudes. An important point to remember is that this aircraft cannot perform above 5,000 m. While it can eventually reach 9,555 m, it is all but useless at this altitude, since any aircraft it would typically meet at that height would have superior engines that work best at these altitudes.

When you dive on other planes, watch your speed! This aircraft is nearly uncontrollable at a speed of 600 km/h or faster when in dive. It is advised to stay at a perfect combat speed of 400 - 500 km/h. The Kittyhawk's 6 x 12.7 mm makes it very powerful for its rank because other planes have only started utilizing cannons and are typically outfitted with mostly lower calibre guns such as 7.7 mm or the like. The 1686 rounds of the 12.7 mm can be conserved, however spraying will cause the ammo count to reduce very quickly- hitting the target well ( wings and control surfaces )is very effective. An aware and good pilot can make up to 5 kills in a single round against human pilots. Watch your engine temperature when you climb- if you climb- as it will sit at an acceptable level of heating unless damaged. When diving, set the throttle to 0% to reduce temperature and speed when diving- the most embarrassing thing would be to crash into the ground due to control lock-up!

Ground RB

The P-40 can excel as a fighter as air battles often take place at lower altitudes in order to support allied ground units. The P-40 can out-turn most of its contemporaries and can also boom and zoom on slower, less armoured targets (i.e. a lot of Japanese air vehicles). Below is a list of some air units you will face and should take care in engaging.

Air SB

The P-40 can be used for BnZ fighting, bomber hunting and ground pounding in Sim. It is a decent plane with distinct pros and cons. Its heavy firepower of 6 x 12.7 mm MGs can critically damage the enemy and rip it apart. It also has great dive speed and decent level speed, capable of outrunning slower opponents like A6M. However, it is a nose-heavy plane so unlike other planes, the P-40 has to trim the elevators upwards. It has extremely limited visibility with lots of canopy frames and a razorback design which obstructs the backwards visibility. The P-40's over-the-nose visibility is one of the worst due to its big, long engine, and the small intake on top of the cowling, making leading very hard. Moreover, its engine tends to overheat frequently even with 95% throttle, meaning you have to cut throttle a lot to avoid damaging the engine.

Before entering a battle, it is recommended to set keybinds for trimming and vertical head movements to improve the forward visibility a bit. Take at least 30 minutes of fuel. Set the convergence between 250-500 m, with vertical targeting on.

The tactics against fighters remain the same as above - BnZ them.

You want to be more careful when hunting bombers, since with the Sim control (whether it be mouse joystick or a real stick) the plane will manoeuvre much more gently, making itself a great target for the bomber's gunners. DO NOT follow behind a bomber's six unless you are sure that its tail gunners are unconscious. Chasing behind a bomber makes yourself pretty much stationary for the tail gunners, and you will be showered with bullets. The engine of the P-40 will usually get damaged. Instead, before launching an attack, get an altitude advantage over the bomber by flying around 2 km above it. The bomber should only fill up about 1/6 of your gunsight. The best position for an attack is at the bomber's high six so you can adjust the lead much easier. Dive at the bomber, but not directly at it, try to predict where you two will crash by imagining yourself as a missile, that's where you should aim at (deflection shooting). To maximise the damage it is better to aim for their wings and engines, as the fuselage usually soaks up quite some bullets. Only fire when the bomber passes in front of your guns. This short window might seems inadequate to do anything, but the six MGs on the P-40 are actually pretty destructive, as sometimes it only takes one bullet to set the target aflame.

Ground Attack

Since the P-40F can carry bomb payloads of 2 x 100 lb or 1 x 500 lb or 2 x 100 lb + 1 x 500 lb, it is a good attack aircraft for its rank. If you select the Ground targets belt you can destroy most land based units- even pillboxes; ground targets ammunition also works most excellently against aircraft.

In Ground RB, the 500 lb bomb can easily dispatch tanks at higher BRs, as long as you are accurate in dropping the bomb. Taking a leaf from the Stuka's book and diving from altitude is the best way to directly target heavy and medium tanks. You can climb to a higher altitude and look out for cannon flares and flak/machine gun fire. By using the zoom camera (bound to Z on PC by default) you can target and dive on an enemy vehicle. Make sure to drop from a reasonable altitude if the assault fuse is used as the shockwave and shrapnel from the blast will easily shred the P-40's airframe. Using a timed fuse will allow you to drop closer to your target safely but gives the target the chance to move from the bomb into safety.

The Ground targets belt is excellent at attacking open top and lightly/un-armoured vehicles like SPAA but beware that by targeting them you can be easily shot down by SPAA. Normally a quick but accurate burst can easily neutralise even the most stubborn SPAA units at its BR with the Kittyhawks 6 .50 cals.

Using the test-flight arena is a great way to hone your bombing and .50 cal aiming skills, as both the Panzer and Sd.K.Fz offer good targets that reflect in battle targets very well.

Note that in SB, the P-40 will wobble a lot (sideways mainly) so you must get used to smoothing the plane down in order to hit ground targets.

Specific enemies worth noting

Some concerning fighters the P-40F has to watch out for are the:

Against the Bf 109:

  • Turn-fighting, since the Bf 109s beyond F models can't turn so well, especially at higher speed- if your opponent does lose their energy advantage, you can then catch and destroy them in a turn-fight.

Against the A6M:

  • Boom & Zoom- dive on the target and engage. Due to its lack of armour and large fuel tanks, the A6M is easy to destroy.
  • Outrun the A6M- the A6M isn't a really high-speed plane, the P-40E can outrun it flat-out easily, so turn around after 3-4 km and try to head on or start climbing then. The A6M might start to climb to try and gain energy- if you keep running from it, you will put enough space between you and your opponent to climb to an acceptable altitude, or re-group with allies.

Against the Yak-1/7:

  • Turn-fighting is recommended as a last resort, especially with the Yak-1B's superior handling and turn-radius. You will not be able to outrun a Yak and head-ons are not advised due to the Yak's nose weapons. Try and get a friend to assist you, without losing speed- avoid engaging and losing speed, otherwise, the Yak will catch you. If you are in a squad, stick together and use the scissor-baiting method, until an opponent locks onto one of you, then you can destroy it. Boom and zoom should be used, but the circumstances often don't arise.

Against Spitfires:

  • Try to Boom and Zoom, if given the position to do so. In a straight line ,the P-40 will outrun a Spitfire at lower altitudes, but not out-climb it. The performance of the Spitfire makes it a difficult enemy, only turn-fight with it at high speed- wingmen or more teammates is the optimal solution, strength in numbers.

Against the H6K4/B18A

  • These bombers all have fairly deadly defensive guns. The H6K has a powerful 20 mm cannon facing backwards, so avoid tailing it from its six unless its gunner is unconscious. Engage from its sides or high six and aim for its wings. Your 6 x 12.7 mm MG will destroy its wing structures easily or set it aflame. For the B18, their 13.2 mm MG will easily snap the P-40's wing off with a short burst so avoid attacking them from behind. Utilise deflection shooting against them, to give their gunners little chance of targeting you.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Auto control available
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Combined Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • Fast plane for its BR
  • Heavily armed with 6x 0.50 cal machine guns
  • Can carry bombs
  • Great energy retention


  • Engine overheats very quickly
  • Abysmal climb rate
  • Very slow roll rate
  • Slow turn rate when flying under 300 km/h


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Fighters  BF2C-1
  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G
  P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40F-10
Bombers  SB2C-1C · SB2C-4
Floatplanes  SOC-1
Experimental  XP-55
Export  H-75A-1 · H-75A-4 · H-81A-2 · ▂P-40E-1 · ␗P-40E-1 · ▄P-40F-5 Lafayette · CW-21 · Hawk III
Captured  ▀Hawk H-75A-2

France fighters
Dewoitine  D.371 · D.371 H.S.9 · D.373 · D.500 · D.501 · Pallier's D.510 · D.520
Morane-Saulnier  M.S.405C1 · M.S.406C1 · M.S.410
Arsenal  V.G.33C-1
Bloch  M.B.152C1 · M.B.157
Caudron  C.R.714
Sud-Ouest  S.O.8000 Narval
American  H-75A-1 · H-75A-4 · ▄P-39Q-25 · ▄P-40F-5 Lafayette · ▄P-47D-22-RE · ▄P-63C-5 · F-6C-10-NA
  ▄F6F-5 · ▄F6F-5N · F4U-7 · ▄F8F-1B
Other countries  ▄Seafire LF Mk.III · ▄Yak-3 · Challe's ▄Yak-9T · NC.900

France premium aircraft
Fighters  D.371 H.S.9 · Pallier's D.510 · ▄P-39Q-25 · ▄P-40F-5 Lafayette · ▄P-47D-22-RE · F-6C-10-NA
  M.B.152C1 · ▄Yak-3 · Challe's ▄Yak-9T · NC.900 · S.O.8000 Narval
Jet fighters  Milan · Mirage F1C-200
Strike aircraft  ▄AD-4NA · F-84F IAF
Bombers  Late 298D · ▄PBY-5A Late
Jet bombers  Vautour IIA IDF/AF · S.O.4050 Vautour IIN