1 March 2018

Martin 167-A3: American Mercenary

The Martin Model 167 is a twin-engined, all metal monoplane American medium bomber, developed by the Glenn L. Martin company in the late 1930s. Although the success of DB-7 prevented the aircraft to enter service with U.S. forces, it soon found its way to war-torn Europe, where it faithfully served with nations like France and the UK until the end of the war. Pilots may expect the Martin 167 A3 to reinforce the ranks of the Armée de l'Air in the upcoming update 1.77 “Advancing Storm”!


The Martin Model 167 medium bomber was developed as a response to a set of requirements issued by the USAAC in 1938. Following these requirements, Martin developed its Model 167 bomber, which received its official testing designation of XA-22. However, despite showing favorable performance, the XA-22 lost out to the Douglas DB-7 (which became A-20 Havoc) during the competition, which resulted in Douglas getting the contract with the USAAC. What would usually spell disaster for most projects that suffered a fate like this, turned out to not to be the case for Martin’s design. With an armed conflict looming over Europe, nations such as France and the UK were desperately stocking up with any military equipment that was on offer, including aircraft. France in particular was looking into buying any available aircraft from manufacturers abroad as the domestic production was limited. These manufacturers were in many cases American companies, just like Martin. In any case, the first orders for French export versions of Martin’s new bomber soon came in, effectively sparing the project from ruin.

The first order called for more than 200 Martin 167s to be built with certain modifications made to optimize it for French use, such as the installation of French armament, including guns, metric instruments and different engines. Martin, eager to fulfill the order, nearly doubled production and managed to manufacture over 100 aircraft in the space of six months. However, the shipment of ready units was delayed until October 1939 until the U.S. arms embargo was lifted. During this period, the French placed an order for an additional 100 aircraft to be made. However, before the order could be entirely fulfilled, France had been occupied by Germany in June 1940 and only 25 further aircraft made it to France after the initial batch. Nonetheless, the units that made it to France performed well in combat, out matching some of France’s domestic bomber aircraft, such as the LeO 451 in combat efficiency and loss rates. Once the armistice was signed, the remaining aircraft were transferred to the African theater of operations, placed under Vichy command and took part in bombing missions against allied positions. In 1943, the Martin 167s stationed in Africa were replaced by newer allied aircraft once the local French forces joined the allies again. A total of around 450 Martin 167 bombers were manufactured and the aircraft continued to serve among the ranks of the French and British air forces until 1945.


In War Thunder, the Martin 167-A3 will join the bomber line of the starting ranks of the French air research tree with the upcoming update 1.77 “Advancing Storm”. Similarly to some French bombers already present in War Thunder, the Martin 167-A3 will continue the trend of having a relatively high top speed for the class of aircraft it is. That being said, the two Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines will allow aspiring pilots of this machine to reach speeds of around 305 mph (500 km/h) on medium altitudes. With a very respectable top speed like this, coupled with the excellent agility provided by the sleek airframe, newcomers to French aviation will have the chance to familiarize themselves with the general handling of some of the machines that succeed the Martin 167-A3 in the bomber line, even before flying them personally.

The Martin 167-A3 is capable of carrying up to 800 kg of ordnance in its internal bomb bay. Need more bang for your buck, you say? No problem, the Martin 167-A3 has got you covered. In addition to bombs, the aircraft is also equipped with four wing-mounted 7.5mm FN-Browning machine guns with an ammunition complement of 750 rounds per gun. This in turn allows pilots to additionally support their team’s efforts by engaging soft targets around the battlefield after they drop their bombs. Provided your teammates chose not to assist you on your way back back to base, your rear hemisphere will still remain covered against enemy fighter attacks thanks to machine gun turrets positioned both on the dorsal and ventral side of the fuselage.

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The Martin 167-A3 will make its way to the first rank of the French air forces tree with the upcoming update 1.77 “Advancing Storm”. Be sure to stay tuned to the news to stay up to date with the latest developments for War Thunder’s next major update. Until then, pilots!

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