After prototype tests, Air Ministry ordered 600 Jun 36. Sep, 497 delivered aircraft equipped 18 squadrons; by 7 Aug 40, 2309 had been delivered equipping 32 squadrons. (compared with 1383 Spitfires equipping 18 squadrons). Gloster's 1940 output 130/mo. By this time, Hurricane I in service with completely metal-skinned wings, instead of fabric, and 3-blade variable pitch (later constant speed) propeller instead of wooden Watts 2-blader. (NASM's has wood, 3-blade, variable pitch prop). In hectic days of 1940, Hurricane proved to be ideal bomber destroyer, with steady sighting and devastating cone of fire; turn radius better than any other monoplane fighter, but overall performance of Bf 109 E considerably higher. More powerful MkII replaced 1030 hp Merlin II with 1280 hp Merlin XX and introduced new armament and drop tanks. In northwest Europe, became ground-attack aircraft, and in North Africa, a tank-buster with 40mm guns. While operating from merchant- ship catapults and carriers, took part in countless fleet defense actions, greatest being defense of Aug 42 Malta convoy when 70 Sea Hurricanes fought off more than 600 Axis attackers, destroying 39 for loss of 7 fighters. Hurricane increasingly transferred to Far East, Africa, and other theaters, and 2952 sent to USSR, some receiving skis. Hurricanes used for many special trials of armament and novel flight techniques (one having a jettisonable biplane upper wing). Total production 12,780 in UK and 1451 in Canada (after 1941 with Packard Merlin engines) and many hundreds exported both before and after WWII.