P-40E-1 (USSR)

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This page is about the Soviet fighter ▂P-40E-1 Kittyhawk. For other uses, see P-40 (Family).


GarageImage P-40E-1 (USSR).jpg

The ▂P-40E-1 Kittyhawk is a premium rank II Soviet fighter with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB/SB) and 2.7 (RB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. It costs 700 GE.

The P-40E Kittyhawk is mainly used as a fighter, but can also be converted to a fighter-bomber with the option of adding bombs. The 6 x 12.7 mm Brownings make excellent air-to-ground combat weapons, with an excellent ammo count, but this can leave the Kittyhawk weak if doing constant manoeuvres for a firing position. The aircraft is designed as an all-round fighter, but any RB Kittyhawk flyer will tell you it is best at medium and lower altitudes (3,000 m is normally that middle altitude). This is because the engine's performance is poor at higher altitudes, unlike its successor, the P-51 and overall, the engine isn't the best at its tier: the aircraft's main asset is straight-line speed- it will easily outrun E-3s (though not out-climb) and the A6M2 Zero. Head-ons are somewhat advisable against lightly/ un-armoured targets, such as the Zero, but otherwise, the best attack plan is to use the straight speed to catch, then energy-save-climb a few 100 meters and then dive onto the opponent before running again.

Although it can be used as a fighter-bomber, it is recommended to not use bombs on the plane to keep its manoeuvrability up for its main purpose: dog-fighting.

General info

Flight performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Max Speed
(km/h at 3,810 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
 ???  ??? 9555  ??.?  ??.?  ??.?  ??.? 343
Max Speed
(km/h at 3,810 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
591 560 9555 20.3 21.0 15.9 10.6 343


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
645 ~12 ~5
Optimal velocities
< 420 < 380 < 420 > 340
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
3,597 m 1,150 hp 1,470 hp

Survivability and armour

  • 38 mm Bulletproof glass to the front
  • 9.5 mm Steel plate in front
  • 8 mm Steel plate in the pilot's back
  • 6.35 mm Steel plate flaps attached to the rear


Offensive armament

Main article: Browning M2 (12.7 mm)

The P-40E-1 (USSR) is armed with:

  • 6 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, wing-mounted (312 rpg outer + 291 rpg middle + 240 rpg inner = 1,686 total)

Suspended armament

The P-40E-1 (USSR) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 1 x 500 kg FAB-500 bomb (500 kg total)
  • 1 x 250 kg FAB-250M43 bomb + 2 x 100 kg FAB-100 bombs (450 kg total)

Usage in battles

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 tier 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 tier because other planes at this tier have only started utilizing cannons and are typically outfitted with mostly lower calibre guns such as 7.7 mm or the like. The 1686 Round 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!

In 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.

The Ground Attack Role
Since the P-40E could carry a bomb payload of the 2 x 100 lbs or 1 x 500 lbs or 2 x 100 lbs + 1 x 500 lbs (700 lbs) is it a good attack aircraft for its tier. If you select Ground targets belt you can destroy most land based units- even pillboxes; ground belt ammunition also works most excellently against aircraft.

In Ground RB, the 500lbs 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.

Ground target belts are excellent at attacking open top and lightly/non 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.

Specific enemies worth noting

Some concerning fighters the P-40E-1 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.

Manual Engine Control

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


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 12 mm
II Compressor Airframe DZ-40
III Wings repair Engine New 12 mm MGs
IV Engine injection Cover Der-19
  • This premium aircraft comes furnished with all modifications unlocked upon purchase.

Pros and cons


  • Decent roll rate
  • Good armament
  • Good flat out speed
  • Very good dive speed (throttle to 0% or face control surface compression)
  • Overall good plane
  • Can take substantial damage


  • Poor climb rate
  • Relatively poor turn time
  • Due to lack of two-stage supercharger high altitude performance suffers
  • Overall slow for its rank


The P-40 was born in 1938 when Curtiss realized the need for a replacement to the P-36. The P-36 was a formidable aircraft, but top speeds of newer fighter designs were quickly passing it. Donovan Berlin a former Northrop engineer who was employed by Curtiss went to work on the redesign of the Hawk. The radial engine was replaced with a turbo-supercharged version of the Allison V-1710 inline engine. The cockpit was moved to offset the weight of the new engine. This delivered a performance boost and higher top speeds when tested. The Army ordered thirteen versions of this prototype built for additional testing. Unfortunately, the experimental turbo-supercharged engine was unreliable and poor visibility from the cockpit forced the project to be abandoned.

The next attempt at design was a simpler one. Berlin recognized the U.S. Army believed they only needed a fighter effective to only 15,000 ft. The aircraft's engine was replaced with a simpler super charged Allison engine and was designated XP-40. The new prototype first flew on October 14, 1938. The aircraft flew and looked good but various adjustments were quickly made. These included moving the radiator and a more powerful version of the Allison V-1710. The XP-40 was quickly recognized for its good handling and dive speeds.

On April 26, 1939, Curtiss was handed a record-setting contract of 524 P-40s for $13 million. The primary reason Curtiss won the contract was due to availability. Other manufacturers still needed a couple of years before they could launch their aircraft into production (Examples: P-38, P-39). The first production P-40 rolled off the factory line in March of 1940. The first P-40s to see action were RAF Tomahawks over North Africa in June of 1941. The aircraft was quickly noted for being a stable gun platform and capable of withstanding more battle damage than its counterparts. The aircraft's altitude limitations quickly forced pilots to accept they would have to endure higher flying opponents.

When the P-40 reached the D and E variants many changes had to be made. Allison redesigned its V-1710 and the aircraft's fuselage when need to accommodate the higher thrust and additional horsepower from the new engine. Curtiss removed all armament from the nose of the aircraft and placed four 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns in the wing. In the later E model that number would be increased to six. The P-40 was also fitted with an improved cockpit enclosure, larger windshield, and a better canopy. The P-40E-1 was also capable of carrying six small bombs under the wings. In late production models, a small dorsal fin was added near the base of the tail for added stability.

The P-40E saw extensive combat in the Pacific theatre, China, and North Africa.

In-game description

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.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

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I-15  I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15R · I-15bis
I-153  I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P
I-16  I-16 type 5 · I-16 type 10 · I-16 type 18 · I-16 type 24 · I-16 type 27 · I-16 type 28 · I-180S
I-185  I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)
I-225  I-225
MiG-3  MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34
LaGG  I-301 · LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-8 · LaGG-3-11 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · LaGG-3-35 · LaGG-3-66
La  La-5 · La-5F · La-5FN · La-7 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-7B-20 · La-9 · La-11
Yak-1/7  Yak-1 · Yak-1B · Yak-7B
Yak-3  Yak-3 · Yak-3P · Yak-3T · Yak-3U · Yak-3 (VK-107)
Yak-9  Yak-9 · Yak-9B · Golovachev's Yak-9M · Yak-9T · Yak-9K · Yak-9U · Yak-9UT · Yak-9P
Other countries  ▂P-40E-1 · ▂P-47D-27 · ▂Hurricane Mk IIB · ▂Fw 190 D-9 · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc
P-39  ▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15
P-63  ▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5

USSR premium aircraft
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  LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-11
  Yak-3 (VK-107) · Yak-3T · Golovachev's Yak-9M
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