A single-engine fighter with retractable landing gear.
The M.C.200, soon nicknamed the Saetta (“Lightning”), was created in 1937 as an interceptor, designed to "protect our national territory in case of need". The plane was used until about 1943 as an escort plane and a ground attack fighter. It was particularly active in the North African theater, where the Saetta was highly prized in the desert conditions for its rugged construction and manueverability.
In combat, the Saetta’s most dangerous opponent was the Hurricane. The M.C.200 was inferior to the Hurricane in terms of maximum speed, but it had superior maneuverability, turning radius and rate of climb. The Saetta had a radial 14-cylinder Fiat A.74 RC38 engine (870 hp). Its armament consisted of two 12.7-mm SAFAT machine guns. Later, the fighter was fitted to carry eight 15-kg bombs.
Modifications of the M.C.200 had no major changes in equipment. The M.C.200 series 3 could carry additional fuel tanks. From start to finish of its production, the aircraft’s payload capacity was increased from 429 to 522 kg.