Petlyakov Pe-3 Edit
The Petlyakov Pe-3 was the long-range, night fighter version of the successful Petlyakov Pe-2 high-speed bomber used by theSoviet Union during World War II.
Its design and use followed a comparable path to those taken by the German Luftwaffe with the Junkers Ju 88 and the BritishRoyal Air Force with the De Havilland Mosquito. The Soviets realized the need for a night fighter after the first night bombing ofMoscow during Operation Barbarossa. The Petlyakov Pe-2 was selected for modification as the most suitable aircraft available.
It was initially used for daylight ground attack missions during the Battle of Moscow, but this proved to be costly since the aircraft was unarmored. Armor and additional guns were retrofitted to the existing aircraft to make it more effective, but the evacuation of the sole factory building the Pe-3 in October 1941 limited the number of aircraft available and many units of the Soviet Air Forcesflying the Pe-3 were either disbanded or converted to other aircraft. Although production was stopped and restarted several times, the aircraft remained in service throughout World War II.
Most of the later production runs were given to reconnaissance units.
Role: Heavy fighter, Night fighter
Designer: Vladimir Petlyakov
Number built: 360 (Version Pe-3, 207 built)