The aircraft type was initially developed to meet a 1934 specification of the French Government by Morane-Saulnier, which had formerly worked on parasol monoplanes. The first flight was in 1935 as the M.S.405. Seventeen 405 prototypes were made, leading to the production version, the 406. Production began in January of 1939 with deliveries to the French air force beginning in March, although engine shortages hampered production. Later versions of the series and included better armor and more guns, and the aircraft formed the basis of aircraft and variants.
This scheme was for the Escadron de Entrainement, French Air Force, Toulouse, 1941.