In 1934 the Reich Air Ministry (RLM) declared a requirement for a Kampfzerstorer (Bomber destroyer), a tactical multi-role fighter/bomber. Focke-Wulf submitted the Fw 57, Messerschmitt submitted the Bf 110 and Henschel submitted the Hs 124. The Fw 57 was larger than its two competitors; it was heavier than and did not handle as well as the others.
The Fw 57 was a two-engine all-metal monoplane of conventional configuration, with a single fin and retractable tailwheel undercarriage. The pilot and navigator sit in tandem under a long canopy, the aft end of which consists of a gunner turret.
Three Fw 57 prototypes (V1-V3) were completed during 1936. The design was crippled by the non-availability of the desired DB 600 and DB 601 engines, and the lower-powered Jumo 210 engines installed could not provide the predicted performance. This was part of the reason for the design being rejected in favour of the Me 110. All further research into the Fw 57 was abandoned and dropped shortly thereafter.