The Morane-Saulnier M.S.496 is a French fighter designed in 1934 and produced in 1938. The fighter was designed by Paul-René Gauthier, the first pre-production models were known as the M.S.405. In 1938 the 405 was given the HS 12Y-31 engine and armed with one 20mm HS404 cannon firing through the propeller hub and two 7.5 MAC 1934 machine guns. In 1939 the French air force had 535 fighters in service. The M.S.406 first saw combat during the invasion of France when they were used against the Luftwaffe. Though it was a rugged aircraft and had great maneuverability, the 406 was under powered and weakly armed compared to contemporary aircraft of the time. It was able to hold it's own in early 1940 but was soon outclassed by new variants of the Bf-109. After the fall of France the 406 was used as a training aircraft by the Germans.
In the Anime
The M.S.406 was presumably used against the Germanians during the Battle of France. The Eylstadt Air Force is known to used the M.S.406 and a modified version reminiscent of the F-82 Twin Mustang. The M.S.406 are seen during the Attack on Bristlich, Battle of Veile Pass, and the fall of Eylstadt. The only time we actually see the 406 fighting is during the Fall of Eylstadt when an unknown squadron attacked the Germanian force before they could extract Izetta.