|He219||The He 219 had an auspicious combat debut. On the night of 11–12 June 1943, Werner Streib flew the V9 and shot down five bombers between 01:05 and 02:22 hours, before crashing on landing. Claims have been made that, "In the next ten days the three Heinkel He 219A-0 pre-production aircraft [shot] down a total of 20 RAF aircraft, including six of the previously "untouchable" de Havilland Mosquito fighter-bombers. Greatly encouraged, Kammhuber continued to press for immediate production." No record of corresponding Mosquito losses or any documentary evidence exists that He 219 pilots claimed six Mosquitos
The first major production series was the He 219 A-0, although initially the pre-production series, it matured into a long running production series, due to numerous changes incorporated into the design, along with the cancellation of several planned variants. Production problems as a result of Allied bombing in March meant the A-0 did not reach Luftwaffe units until October 1943. The A-0 was usually armed with two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon in the wing roots and up to four 20 mm or 30 mm cannon in a ventral weapons bay. The first 10–15 aircraft were delivered with the 490 MHz UHF-band FuG 212 "Lichtenstein" C-1 radar with a 4 × 8-dipole element Matratze antenna array. 104 He 219 A-0s were built until the summer of 1944, the majority of them at EHW (Ernst Heinkel Wien) or Heinkel-Süd in Wien-Schwechat.
The first planned version to reach production was the He 219 A-2 model, which had longer engine nacelles containing extra fuel tanks, unitized 1670 PS DB 603AA engines with higher critical altitude and often also two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon, as an offensive Schräge Musik upward-firing system in the rear fuselage. With Schräge Musik, the ventral weapons bay held two cannon due to space limitations. The A-2 featured an updated, 90 MHz VHF-band Telefunken FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 radar system, complete with its larger, high-drag 4 × 2-dipole element Hirschgeweih aerials. It initially had a longer minimum range than the C-1 radar, but had improved accuracy and resolution and was also less vulnerable to chaff jamming, through the late summer of 1944. A total of 85 He 219 A-2s were built until November 1944, most at EHR (Ernst Heinkel Rostock) or Heinkel-Nord in Rostock-Marienehe (now Rostock-Schmarl).
The He 219 was a capable fighter aircraft and the pilots were free to hunt down any detected Allied bombers. Ground control sent the aircraft into the right area, where the pilots took over and guided themselves towards the bombers with the Lichtenstein VHF radar's information. The SN-2 radar's 4 km (3 mi) maximum detection range was greater than the distance between the bombers. While the performance of the A-2 was not extraordinary—approximately 580 km/h (360 mph) speed—it was enough of an advance over the Messerschmitt Bf 110Gs and Dornier Do 217Ns, for the crew to chase several bombers in a single sortie
On the night of 11--12 June 1943, Werner Streib flew the The He 219 V9 and shot down five bombers.In the next 10 days the three Heinkel He 219A-0 pre-production aircraft would shoot down a total of 20 RAF aircraft, including six of the previously "untouchable" de Havilland Mosquito fighter-bombers.
To improve its ability to intercept the Mosquito, the He 219 had excess weight removed. With some weapon and radio systems deleted, the aircraft was able to attain a speed of 650 km/h (400 mph). This version was given the designation A-6. None of these were produced, but similar weight saving measures could be done at the unit level.
The last major production version was the A-7 with improved, unitized DB 603E engines. The A-7 typically had two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon in the wing roots (inboard of the propeller arcs), two 20 mm MG 151/20 in the ventral weapons bay and two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108s as Schräge Musik. Production of 210 aircraft was to start November/December 1944, but the number produced is not known as original documents have been lost or contained no sub-version number.