The Focke-Wulf Ta 153 was one of Kurt Tank’s early designs for a replacement for the Fw 190, and a partial prototype was constructed late in 1943, before the entire programme was cancelled for the second time.
Early in 1942 Kurt Tank, the chief designer of the Fw 190, produced six Rechniersiche Ankundigung¸ or Analytical Prospectus, designated as the Fw 190 Ra-1 to Ra-8. Ra-4 was based around a Junkers Jumo 213A or Daimler Benz DB 603A, with a longer fuselage than the standard Fw 190A and hydraulic undercarriage. Early in 1942 Tank submitted this design to the RLM (German Air Ministry) in response to a request for a Begleit (Esecort) day fighter. The RLM gave the new design the designation Ta 153, one lower than the existing Ta 154 Moskito. The Ta 153 was in competition with the Messerschmitt Me 209, but both projects were cancelled in May 1943. Focke-Wulf’s attention then switched to a similar design that used more components from the Fw 190, which became the Ta 152.
Both projects were later reinstated by Hitler. Messerschmitt were first into the air, with their Me 209 V5 making its maiden flight on 3 November 1943. Focke-Wulf didn’t built a full prototype of the Ta 153, but they did modify an existing aircraft, Fw 190 V32 (W.Nr.0057, GH+KV) to include as many features from the new design as possible. This aircraft had already been used on the Höhenjåger 2 project, and it was now re-designated as V32/U1. It was powered by a DB 603G engine, and had a modified wing. It made its maiden flight in the new configuration in December 1943, but the results weren’t terribly impressive.
On 13 January 1944 the Ta 153 and Me 209A programmes were both cancelled, after both aircraft failed to live up to expectations.