The first planes using the new engine entered combat in February of 1941. The improved power and performance characteristics of the Spitfire Mk.V made it a competitive match for the new German Messerschmidt Bf.109F fighter.
The Mk.V's primary mission was raids on the continent. Fighters conducted raids both on their own and as support for bomber squadrons.
A total of 3,911 Spitfire Mk.Vb fighters were produced.