It was designed as a single-engined, mid-wing cantilever monoplane, powered by an 880 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Y twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. Two exceptionally large floats were attached to the fuselage by struts, each one containing a fuel tank.
The first Laté 298s entered service in October 1938 with the Escadrilles (squadrons) of the Aéronautique Navale, the French Navy air force. Some were based in naval bases, and others on the seaplane tender Commandant Teste. At the outbreak of the war four squadrons flew with this aircraft, and by May 1940, when the German offensive in the west began, 81 aircraft equipped six squadrons.
The Laté 298s first saw action during the Battle of France in 1940. They were used at first for maritime patrol and anti-submarine duties, but did not meet any German ships. Later, as the Wehrmacht drove through France, they were used to harass and interdict armoured columns. Despite not having been designed for this role, they suffered fewer losses than units equipped with other types.
After the armistice of June 1940, the French Navy under the Vichy regime was allowed to retain some Laté 298 units, and captured aircraft were used by the Luftwaffe.
After Operation Torch, French units in Africa sided with the Allies. In this guise, the Laté 298 was used for Coastal Command missions in North Africa, in cooperation with Royal Air Force Wellingtons.
The Laté 298's final combat missions were flown during the liberation of France, where they were used to attack German shipping operating from strongholds on the Atlantic coast.
The last Laté 298s were retired from active service in 1946, but continued to serve as trainers until 1950
All variants powered by a single Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs-1 engine.
Laté 298A: First production variant.
Laté 298B: Variant with folding wings for use on seaplane carriers; observation post added; crew of four.
Laté 298D: Similar to 298B without the folding wings.
Laté 298E: Observation variant with weapon fixation replaced by an observer's gondola; one prototype built.
Laté 299: A three-seat reconnaissance-torpedo bomber derived from the Late 298, powered by a 920 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Y-43, first flight on 7 July 1939
(two prototypes built).
- French Navy
Specifications Laté 298D
Crew: 2 to 4, usually 3
Length: 12,56 m
Wingspan: 15.5 m
Height: 5.25 m
Wing area: 31.6 m²
Empty weight: 3,057 kg
Loaded weight: 4,793 kg
Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs liquid-cooled V-12, (880 hp)
Maximum speed: 300 km/h
Service ceiling: 6,397 m
Armament: 3 x 7.5 mm Darne machine guns
680kg payload (torbedo)