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In 1938, the German Air Ministry, RLM), issued a requirement for a new twin-engine heavy fighter to replace the Me 110. This type of combat aeroplane was known as Zerst rer (Destroyer). The first prototype flew in September 1939. The Me 210 proved very difficult to fly, having numerous deficiencies. It was said to be deadlier to its crews than the enemy. A redesigned variant, the Me 410 began to reach Luftwaffe units in mid-1943.The Me 410 proved a quite successful aeroplane, being used as a heavy fighter and for reconnaissance duties. More than 1,500 Me 210/410s were built in Germany and Hungary, with only two Me 410s surviving today.