The RAF’s experience with DB-7 Havoc aircraft modified for the role of night fighters became the basis for the development of the XP-70. More powerful Wright R-2600-7s engines with turbochargers were used, and a British AI Mk IV radar with a forward projecting antenna was mounted in the forward section. Receiving antennas were located on both sides of the fuselage and the starboard wing. The bomb mounts were removed and the crew was reduced to 2 man. The role of the second crew member was to operate the radar. Four 20 mm caliber cannons were mounted under the belly. The transparent nose was painted to cover the radar installation and avoid glare.
The first production series numbered 59 machines adapted to the role of night fighter. The aircraft was named Nighthawk, but the name did not catch on.
P-70 has proven its usefulness in training crews unversed in the use of radar (who would later fly the P-61 when it went into service) and some were also used, at a time when the U.S.A. was desperately short of planes, in the Pacific, at Guadalcanal and in New Guinea in particular, flown by the 6th Fighter Squadron and by 418th, 419th and 421st Squadrons.
Garry R. Pape: Queen of the Midnight Skies – The Story of America’s Air Force Night Fighters – Schiffer Military History
American Nightfighter Aces of World War 2 – Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 84
Enzo Angelucci: The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft from 1917 to the Present