Sweden’s Royal Air Force (RSwAF), however, did order the EP-1 on June 29, 1939, to replace its Gladiator biplanes, and while the first was damaged October 14, 1939 on its first test, sixty completed by May 1940 entered Swedish service as the J9 fighter. Sixty more ordered January 6, 1940, along with 52 two-seat dive-bombers, were completed from July 1940 to January 1941.
The P-35s went to the First Pursuit Group at Selfridge Field. They were 20% faster and had over double the range of the P-26s they replaced. The usual two guns were fitted, but the P-35s were the first Air Corps fighters to replace bar sights with the N-2 optical reflector gun sights that would be common to WW II fighters. They were also the first Army production fighters delivered in unpainted natural metal and powered by the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp.
But these EP-1 fighters became the U.S. Army’s Republic P-35A.* On October 16, 1940, General H. H. Arnold ordered that these planes were needed to replace the 28 P-26s that were then the only fighters in the Philippines, and the EP-1s were taken over two days later. The Swedes replaced the P-35A in their plans with a remarkably similar Italian fighter, the Reggiane 2000.
The RSwAF had also ordered the two-seat 2PA-204A Guardsman with extended wings, fitted as a dive-bomber with two nose guns, a flexible gun, a yoke under the fuselage for a 550-pound bomb, and wing racks for six 110-pound bombs. Only two were received in Sweden on August 1, 1940, and designated B6, before 50 others were taken over by the United States Army in October 1940 as AT-12 advanced trainers.
The P-35A added a .50-caliber gun in each wing to the two .30-caliber guns on the cowl and wing racks for ten 35-pound bombs. It could be distinguished from older P-35s by the top intake for the R-1830-45 Wasp, the longer oil cooler intake under the cowl, and gun blast tubes. Fifty-seven P-35As were shipped to the 24th Pursuit Group in the Philippines. When the Japanese invasion began in December 1941, the enemy’s Zero fighters outclassed them, but they fought through the war’s early weeks.