Mitsubishi/Lockheed Martin F-3 Stealth Fighter

     Country of Origin: US, though Lockheed Martin will at first design the F-3 with Japanese aid and eventually the F-3 would be produced in Japan locally.

     Seen in: Recent aircraft publications.

     Notes: Just about every aircraft enthusiast knows that, by law, the F-22 cannot be exported, due to is sensitive design and components.  The Japanese stealth fighter design process, the F-X, has not been going well, and it has been running for about 10 years.  Lockheed Martin therefore got US government permission to build and pitch to Japan a prototype stealth fighter – this would be designated by Japan the F-3, and would be a hybrid of the F-22 and F-35.  This aircraft could possibly the most advanced stealth fighter other than the F-22.  The primary fighter-bomber of the JASDF is the F-15J, a variant of the F-15 Eagle, but the F-15J is getting long in the tooth, with some airframes approaching 40 years old, and the Japanese need to replace the older F-15Js, and they would like it to be a 5th-generation aircraft.  The F-3 would also give Lockheed Martin a new exportable 5th generation fighter.  (Japan’s constitution prohibits exportation of military equipment.)  The Japese part of the design team would have a leg up, since Japan is a customer for the F-35 and have recently received their first batch.  Unfortunately, both sides realize the design process would be lengthy; the first operational F-3 would probably not go into service until 2032 or so.

     Though details are sketchy, most aircraft experts believe that the F-3 would look very much like the F-22 on the outside, with a hybrid of systems of the F-22 and F-35 on the inside.  One of the biggest upgrades of the F-22/F-35’s avionics architecture is the use of advanced computers; the F-22’s computer architecture is actually-based on Windows 95, and the F-35’s computer architecture is based on Windows 8.  The F-3 would have the F-22s twin engine design (perhaps with updated Japanese-built engines) and supermaneuvrability, while being equipped with larger internal bays for weapons and hardpoints on the wings for extra weapons and electronic equipment in low-EW environments. 

     The F-3’s avionics would be an updated mix of the F-22s and F-35’s avionics, with a switchable air-to-air/air-to-ground capability, similar to the systems on the F/A-18 and F-15E.  Most of the avionics would probably be based on the F-35, essentially putting the brain of an F-35 in the body of the F-22.

     The F-3 will probably be somewhat larger than the F-22, and  much larger than the F-35.  The intake side bays will be larger, and the underside will be wide and flat to accommodate even more weapon storage or larger ordnance.  Construction would utilize much carbon fiber, along with an unspecified RAM coating and RAM paint.  Engines would probably be in the 40,000-pound-thrust class.  Fuel tanks would be dramatically larger.  We will assume for this entry that the troublesome AESA radar of the F-X would be perfected.  The F-3 could be as stealthy as an F-22, negating the basic flaw in the F-25 – it’s stealth capabilities have proven disappointing.  It will also have supercruise capability, some6thing the F-35 does not, while maintaining the air-to-ground capabilities of the F-35.  Another basic flaw in the F-35 (at least for Japan) is that the F-35’s weapon bays are not large enough to allow carriage of most antiship missiles, while the F-3’s larger weapon bays would make this possible.

     A possible stumbling block to a possible F-3 is the RL cost – with the 70 F-3s the Japanese would likely buy, each copy would cost $216 million.  This would drop, however, if more F-3s were bought or there were good export sales.  However, many aviation experts feel that the F-3, with its hybrid F-22/F-35 brain and near-F-22 body, could outclass both of them.

     It should be known to the readers that the stats below are largely speculative, based on the F-22, F-35, and what descriptions so far released about the possible F-3.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$290,744,313

JP-7

32.36 tons

41.8 tons

1

30

AESA Radar (240 km), Sensor Skin (40 km), FLIR (150 km), VAS (70 km)

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

5170

1438 (266)

NA  320  10/6 100/60

9020

8540

22000

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

All Weather Flight, Secure Radios, HUD, HUD Interface, Helmet/Sight Interface, Look-Down Radar, Track While Scan, Auto Track, Multitarget (6), RWR, LWR,  Flare/Chaff Dispensers (50/50), IR Uncage, Target ID, Stealth 8, IR Stealth 4, ECM 3  IRCM 4, ECCM 3, GPS, Supercruise

750/700m Hardened Runway

+5

20mm Vulcan, 5 Hardpoints, 4 Weapon Bays

250x20mm

    

F-16F Scamp

     Country of Origin: United States

     Type of Aircraft: Fighter/Bomber    

     Notes: Though based on a real experimental aircraft, this is a work of fiction. (There is, in fact, an F-16E and F-16F -- they are fairly recent developments of the F-16 series.  This F-16F is not the real-life F-16F.)

     Fictional Notes: This was originally an experimental development of the F-16C Fighting Falcon.  These aircraft were produced to equip one USAF squadron of aircraft stationed in England, and it was this type of aircraft that the Twilight War's highest scoring ace, Captain Pamela Wagner, piloted to 49 kills before being shot down over Poland in 1999.  The Scamp uses more powerful engine coupled with a large-area cranked arrow wing, and carries more electronics and fuel.  The Scamp may be overloaded to 8.76 tons if 600 liters less fuel are carried per 450 kg extra weight carried.  The aircraft has a large number of hardpoints, 2 of which may be used only for electronics pods, two of which may be used only for air-to-air missiles or electronics pods, and 6 of which may only be used for air-to-air missiles. 

     The F-16F Scamp does not exist in the Merc 2000 timeline.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$7,957,688

AvG

6.8 tons (see text)

21.77 tons

1

30

Radar, VAS

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

5023

1256 (90)

NA  314  10/6  100/60

7440

960

19800

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

All Weather Flight, HUD, Look-Down Radar, Track While Scan, Auto Track, Multitarget (4), Terrain Following Radar, Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers, ECM, IR Uncage, Target ID

750/480m Hardened Runway

+5

20mm Vulcan, 25 Hardpoints

500x20mm

 

F-19A Ghostrider

     Country of Origin: United States

     Type of Aircraft: Stealth Attack Aircraft    

     Notes: The first I heard of this "aircraft" was in the Tom Clancy book Red Storm Rising.  His Ghostrider was based upon what the rumored capabilities of the F-117A Nighthawk were at the time (early 1980s), to include the designation "F-19A."  (The moniker "Ghostrider" was Mr. Clancy's own invention.)  Most of these rumored capabilities, as well of the appearance of the F-117A, were simply wrong.  JD Webster's Air Superiority series of games fleshed out these rumored capabilities.

     Fictional Notes: This stealth aircraft, rumored but rarely seen, is a second-generation stealth aircraft used by the US for reconnaissance and attack of highly defended targets.  It was rarely flown from base to base for security reasons, but was often delivered to bases inside a C-5 Galaxy cargo aircraft.  The aircraft has flat bottom, blended wings, advanced ECM, and construction of radar-absorbent materials.  Weapons are carried in internal bays and do not contribute to drag.  The aircraft's stealth features mean that attempts to guide radar missiles, as well as attempts to detect it with radar, are four levels more difficult.  (If a weapon bay is open, attempts are two levels more difficult.)  Attempts to detect it with IR, and guide IR missiles to it, are three levels more difficult.  Unlike the F-117A, the F-19A has an air-to-air capability.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$13,519,570

AvG

2.95 tons

35 tons

1

36

Radar, Image Intensification, FLIR

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

2108

527 (185)

NA  132 5/4  50/40

4800

8647

18300

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers, ECM, Auto Track, HUD, IR Uncage, Look-Down Radar, Terrain Following Radar, Track While Scan, Target ID

1200/1500m Primitive Runway

+5

20mm Vulcan, 6 Weapon Bays

600x20mm

 

F-20 Tigershark

     Notes: The F-20 Tigershark was conceived as a heavy modernization of the F-5E Tiger II, and became the ultimate evolution of that fighter.  The idea was to provide, for countries unable to afford even relatively inexpensive fighters like the F-16 or unable to obtain them for political reasons, with a light, inexpensive fighter-bomber which, while it was not quite in the class as the F-16, could provide similar capabilities. With the improvements given to the F-20 over time, the Tigershark became competitive with its contemporaries, at a much lower cost of both purchase and upkeep.  The Tigershark was in fact, almost bought by a number of countries, most notably Taiwan, Portugal, Mexico, Turkey and Bahrain, until the Reagan Administration stopped the sales, citing technology transfer concerns (and more importantly, political concerns), and essentially killed the Tigershark program. It is perhaps paradoxical, therefore, that the F-20 was originally conceived as a light dogfighter for US forces, and competed in the F-X program.  In addition, the US Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) was seriously considering the F-20 for use as an OPFOR aircraft. Denoting its roots in the F-5E, the Tigershark was initially designated the F-5G.  As Tom Martin, a noted military aircraft expert said, “the F-16 is a Ferrari, while the F-20 is more of a Ford Escort Sport with full options.”

     Design work began in 1975, and from the start included abilities like a modern avionics suite (for the time), a powerful radar with a wider sweep angle than most fighters of the time (including the F-16), and flexible and switchable air-to-air/air-to-ground modes, something at the time only the F/A-18 Hornet had. The Taiwanese (the big potential buyer at the time), wanted an aircraft able to fire the AIM-7 Sparrow (this was before the AIM-120 was in existence), and Northrop quickly designed this into the F-20, including BVR capability – at the time, this was a capability even the F-16 and F/A-18 did not have.  The F-20 essentially became the fighter designed for Taiwanese needs; though they had their own fighter program in the AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo, their program was going poorly due to the inability to get key components.  The F-20 were essentially almost a match for the F-16s that Lockheed was prohibited from selling to Taiwan, again due to political considerations. The typical pilot was able the full capabilities of the F-20 after only two days of training.

     The primary aerodynamic change between the F-5E and the F-20 was the replacement of the twin GE J85s with a single GE F404 designed for the F/A-18 Hornet.  (Originally, the F-20 was to be powered by the F-16’s PW F100, but the Mean Time Between Failures of the PW F100 is 45 while for the GE F404 it is 90.) This engine, combined with the Tigershark’s light weight, gave it 40% more thrust, and the Tigershark was able to reach Mach Two, a much higher ceiling, and a climb rate of 16100 meters per minute.  The wings looked the same, but they were equipped with leading edge extensions, which greatly improved dogfighting capabilities, almost reaching those of the F-16, they also increased lift.  The light weight was enhanced buy the use of fiberglass in some low-stress areas of the aircraft.  The canopy was lengthened and bulged to provide better visibility, and the rear of the fuselage was lengthened and reshaped to accommodate the wider, longer, one-engine profile. The F-20 meets or exceeds the F-16 in scramble time, time to mission capable status at 12,000 meters, instantaneous and sustained turn rate, acceleration, range on internal tanks, and AAM use.  It was, essentially, a better dogfighter capable of performing ground support missions than the F-16.

     The radar was a greatly improved GE AN/APG-67 multimode radar, which was switchable by flipping only a few switches from an Air-to-Air to an Air-to-Ground optimization. The navigation was replaced with an inertial navigation system based on a ring laser gyro system, which increased scramble times to 22 seconds from ground park to takeoff condition. The cockpit used a large HUD and two monochrome MFDs, essentially an early version of a glass cockpit.  Most aerodynamic and fighting controls were on two HOTAS (Hands-On Throttle and Stick) sticks on the center and left side of the cockpit.  The F-20 was capable of using most of the common US weapons of the time, from AIM-7 AAMs to Mk 80 bombs and Paveway LGBs; in addition, it could carry a selection of foreign weapons, like equivalent British, French, and Taiwanese weapons.  The prototype F-20s were armed with twin M39 20mm cannons in the nose, but projected production version would have been armed with Ford Aerospace Tigerclaw 20mm cannons, with a higher ROF and more ammunition carried. (Later, the Tigerclaw would be designated the M39A2; it is essentially an M39 with longer barrels, higher muzzle velocity, more range, and a wider selection of ammunition.) The Tigershark used a ring gyro gunsight, which was again better equipment than that of the early F-16.

     The F-20 did have its problems, mostly brought about by its small size.  Large loads, whether in size or weight, were limited to the F-20’s outer wing hardpoints due to the positioning of the main wheels, and these hardpoints were limited in carried weight to 454 kilograms. A single fuselage hardpoint could carry a 2000-pound Mk 84 bomb or the equivalent smart bomb, or up to five Mk 82 500-pound bombs on an MER.  The HARM, a new ordnance type at the time, could be carried on pylons normally used for AAMs.  The F-20 could also carry special external fuel tanks which allowed for buddy refueling.

     In the end, however, the F-20 had only three prototypes built, and Reagan-era machinations caused to Tigershark to be killed.  In addition, Lockheed (and then, General Dynamics, which has since merged with Lockheed Martin) was always the darling of the US DoD. Which is a shame, as it would have given friendly nations a capability they could not otherwise afford. In addition, two of the prototypes crashed while doing high-G maneuvers, and the crashes were traced to mechanical failures.  The production lines were closed in 1983.

 

     Twilight 2000 Notes: production of this aircraft commenced shortly before the Twilight War to equip the air forces of many Third World and some First World countries (such as Taiwan). Production continued during the Twilight War, and many of these aircraft were sent to US Air National Guard units to quickly beef up numbers and replace combat losses.  One notable mistake was the sale of a squadron’s worth of Tigersharks to the Mexican Air Force before the war, to protect the US’s southern flanks; these were later used against the US when Mexico invaded the US.

Aircraft

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

F-5G-1

$12,815,858

JP4, JP5

3.63 tons

11.92 tons

1

40

Radar (180 km detection, 80 km tracking/lock-on).

Enclosed

F-20 (Early)

$20,590,364

JP4, JP5

3.63 tons

11.92 tons

1

41

Radar (180 km detection, 80 km tracking/lock-on).

Shielded

F-20 (Late)

$28,363,928

JP4, JP5

3.63 tons

11.92 tons

1

42

Radar (180 km detection, 80 km tracking/lock-on).

Shielded

 

Aircraft

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

F-5G-1

9012

2503 (110)

NA  250  7/4  70/40

2563

4045

16764

F-20 (Early)

9012

2503 (110)

NA  250  7/4  70/40

2563

4045

16764

F-20 (Late)

9012

2503 (110)

NA  250  7/4  70/40

2563

4045

16764

 

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

F-5G-1

IFF, HUD Interface, IR Uncage, Look-Down Radar, Target ID, Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers (20/20), Transponder

488m/1280m Hardened Runway

+2

2x20mm M-39 Autocannons, 7 Hardpoints

560x20mm

F-20 (Early)

IFF, Auto Track, All Weather Flight, IR Uncage, Look-Down Radar, Target ID, Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers (25/25), Inertial Navigation, ECM (-1)

488m/1280m Hardened Runway

+3

2x20mm M-39 Autocannons, 7 Hardpoints

560x20mm

F-20 (Late)

Auto Track, HUD Interface, All Weather Flight, IR Uncage, Look-Down Radar, Track While Scan, Target ID, Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers (30/30), Inertial Navigation, ECM (-2)

488m/1280m Hardened Runway

+3

2x20mm M39A2 Autocannons, 7 Hardpoints

600x20mm

 

F-29 Wildcat II

     Country of Origin: United States

     Type of Aircraft: Fighter/Bomber

     Note: Though based on a real experimental aircraft (the X-29), this is a work of fiction, something I made up myself.  I based the capabilities partially on some air combat computer games, partially on a fictional aircraft developed (believe or not) on an toy aircraft made for the GI Joe series of toys, and partially on the projected capabilities of a combat version of such a design, and partially on real-life capabilities of the X-29.

     Fictional Notes: (for Twilight 2000 Only) This was the result of a militarized experimental aircraft, the X-29. It is a radical design with wings swept sharply forward, a deliberately destabilized center of balance, and canards at the front. As the X-29 development program and its militarization were a bit further along when production was ordered, the F-29 has a bit more bells and whistles than the F-31, and more of them were built (about 40). Though some were sighted in the skies of Europe, most of them never made it out of North America, where they were one of the most dangerous adversaries of the Mexicans, Cubans, and Russians. They cannot quite match the maneuverability of the F-31, but are larger aircraft able to carry more stores and fuel.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$8,117,262

AvG

5.58 tons

23.38 tons

1

30

Radar, VAS

Enclosed

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

3840

960 (110)

NA  240  12/7  120/70

3160

6589

16764

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

All Weather Flight, HUD Interface, Track While Scan, Auto Track, Multitarget (3), Radar Warning Receiver, Look-Down
Radar, Flare/Chaff Dispensers (20), ECM, IR Uncage, Target ID, Laser Designator

800/530m Hardened Runway

+5

20mm Vulcan Autocannon, 7 Hardpoints

720x20mm

 

F-31 Vector

     Country of Origin: United States

     Type of Aircraft: Air Superiority Fighter

     Notes: Though based on a real experimental aircraft (the X-31), this is a work of fiction.  The story of how I made up the F-31 is basically the same as that of the F-29, above.

     Fictional Notes: (Twilight 2000 Only) This aircraft was developed as a war emergency measure from the X-31 EFM (Enhanced Flight Maneuverability) prototypes that were flying at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The main attribute of the Vector is its ability to fly with stability at very high angles of attack, done with a combination of thrust vectoring, advanced fly-by-wire controls, and deliberate destabilization along with computer-aided controls. The result is an aircraft that very often outmaneuvers its pilot; occasional GLOC (G-induced Loss of Consciousness) if a factor that pilots of the Vector figure in when flying their aircraft in its most extreme maneuvers. It is one of only two aircraft with enough maneuverability to successfully execute the Herbst Angle of Attack maneuver (also known as the J-Turn), where the aircraft uses a deliberate sudden stall to radically change the aircraft’s direction of flight without an accompanying reduction of engine power levels. It is also capable of flying at up to 75 degrees of angle of attack. The Vectors built after the order was given by the Department of Defense never made it out of North America during the Twilight War, but Mexican and Cuban pilots, and Russian pilots flying over Alaska were known to curse it’s very existence, as the F-31 eventually racked up a 28-to-1 kill ratio, a ratio that might have been higher were there more aircraft over North America to shoot down.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$6,821,976

AvG

3.86 tons

11.09 tons

1

21

Radar, VAS

Enclosed

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

3185

796 (110)

NA  199  14/7  140/70

2364

6769

12200

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

All Weather Flight, HUD Interface, Track While Scan, Auto Track, Multitarget (2), Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers, ECM, IR Uncage, Target ID, Laser Designator

735/485m Hardened Runway

+4

20mm Vulcan, 7 Hardpoints

740x20mm

 

MiG-35 Falroth

     Country of Manufacture: Russia/Soviet Union

     Aircraft Type: Fighter/Bomber

     Notes: Though based on a real experimental aircraft (the MiG 1.44), this treatment is a work of fiction (done by yours truly).  Russia would dearly love to build a fighter based on the MiG 1.44, but may never have the money to do it.

     Fictional Notes: This mutlirole fighter was rumored as early as the early 1990s, but its existence was not confirmed until the Twilight War. It is a twin-tailed "double-delta" design, with a large wing and canard foreplanes. It is a very advanced stealth design with good air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities. The Falroth is 3 levels harder than normal to detect with radar or guide weapons to it with radar, and two levels harder to detect or guide weapons with radar. The internal weapon bay is normally taken up with air-to-air weapons, but it is large and can hold up to 1.5 tons. Unfortunately, development was long and expensive, and until just before the Twilight War, there were no plans to mass-produce the MiG-35; therefore, numbers of the MiG-35 were limited to less than 75 copies. Popular nicknames in the West were "ATFski" and "Raptor Killer."

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$14,832,032

AvG

5 tons

31.75 tons

1

32

Radar, FLIR, VAS

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

7334*

1224 (110)

NA  306  11/7  110/70

6625

13317

17000

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

All-Weather Flight, Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers, ECM, Auto Track, HUD, IR Uncage, Look-Down Radar, Track while Scan, Active Jamming, Laser Designator, Target ID, Multitarget (4)

600/430m  Hardened Runway

+4

30mm-3 Autocannon, 1 Weapon Bay, 8 hardpoints

330x30mm

*The MiG-35 is supercruise-capable.

 

MiG-37 Ferret

     Country of Manufacture: Russia/Soviet Union

     Aircraft Type: Stealth Attack Aircraft

     Notes: Though there have long been rumors of a "Russian Stealth Fighter," the "MiG-37 Ferret" I used to come up with these statistics was actually the product of the imaginations of designers at Revell, a manufacturer of model airplanes.

     Fictional Notes: The MiG-37's existence was not confirmed until the Twilight War, though there were rumors of overflights in China, Alaska, and the Middle East as early as 1992. It is a first-generation stealth aircraft, as the US F-117A. The aircraft's fuselage, like the F-117, is composed of facets designed to reflect radar away instead of back to its source. The exhaust is cooled through a thermal brick system and by auxiliary inlets in the rear. Attempts to detect through radar or guide radar-guided missiles to it are three levels more difficult than normal; attempts to detect it by IR sources (including Passive IR, Active IR, FLIR, or Thermal Imaging) are two levels more difficult than normal. If a weapon bay door is open, improve radar chances against it by two levels. The Ferret uses weapon bays that do not expose its weapons to radar emissions. This aircraft is a bit larger and more powerful than the F-117A, and it is possible that spies got information from the Nighthawk program. It was never known how many of these aircraft the Russians had, since they were used only against high-value targets and taken from base to base in An-124 Condor aircraft. They were rarely encountered during the Twilight War, however, and mostly used for reconnaissance. Unlike the F-117A, the Ferret does have an air-to-air capability.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$8,708,501

AvG

2.2 tons

23.99 tons

1

36

FLIR, Radar

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

2668

667 (140)

NA  167  4/2  40/20

4500

5374

17000

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers, ECM, IRCM, HUD, Look-Down Radar, Terrain-Following Radar

1300/1600m Primitive Runway

+4

30mm Autocannon, 4 Weapons Bays

400x30mm

 

R-5D

     Country of Origin: United States

     Type of Aircraft: Multirole Stealth Aircraft

     Notes: This is a work of fiction, as far as I know…It is based on the various rumors of the Aurora's capabilities.

     Fictional Notes: (Twilight 2000) This hypersonic fighter/reconnaissance aircraft was rumored for over a decade before the Twilight War, but its existence was not confirmed until many years after it. Known by many designations and names over the years, such as Senior Citizen, Senior Trend, Senior Ice, Grandfather, XR-7, Darkstar Mike, Darkstar November, and SR-91; but perhaps the name it was known to the most people was "Aurora." It never officially had any assigned name, and even the designation R-5D was simply made up in order to call the aircraft something. The R-5D was high-speed scramjet-powered aircraft primarily designed for long-range strategic reconnaissance, but also with a limited role as an interceptor and air interdiction vehicle; details are still sketchy, but R-5D aircraft are believed to be responsible for several mysterious aerial intercepts of aircraft over Russia and the Middle East, including the shoot-downs of the aircraft of the Russian President in 1999, mysterious downings of almost a dozen enemy AWACS aircraft in critical areas, and the "Nuclear Warhead From Nowhere" that destroyed the North Korean 22nd Tank Division while located near the Chinese border in 1997. It is described as an "extreme stealth" aircraft, virtually invisible to most means of detection; it is 4 levels harder to detect by radar or IR methods or to guide weapons to it by these methods. Due to an experimental light-absorbing paint job, it is even one level harder to detect by visual means. However, the R-5D is known to make a distinctive double-bang noise when it is in the vicinity, and this sound is 50% likely to be heard when the R-5D is within 50 kilometers. Though it takes very specific atmospheric conditions, R-5D are also known to leave a distinctive "doughnuts-on-a-rope" contrail, a set of contrail rings connected by a slim, though conventional contrail. Though the R-5D could burn regular jet fuel, best performance was achieved on a liquid hydrogen/methane mix, and speed is limited to one half the values below unless the special fuel is used. The only external hardpoints are for drop tanks; if these tanks are carried, all speeds are limited to one-half the maximum speeds, and stealth efficacy if reduced by two levels. The remaining stores are kept in weapons bays. It is not believed that any R-5Ds were shot down, though 2 were lost in accidents before the war; a total of 6 are known for sure to have been built, though there may have been as many as twice this number in existence.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$23,028,004

AvG, or H/M

3.83 tons

32.5 tons

2

80

Radar, LIDAR, FLIR, VAS

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

(H/M) 6600, (AvG) 3300

(H/M) 1650, (AvG) 825, (175)

NA  (H/M) 413/(AvG) 207  5/4  50/40

20400

(H/M) 23520, (AvG) 47040

40000

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers, HUD Interface, IR Uncage, Look-Down Radar, Auto Track, Track While Scan, Target ID, ECM, IRCM, All-Weather Flight, Satcom Radio, Secure Radios, Deception Jamming, Laser Designator, ELINT Gear

2800/1500m Hardened Runway

+5

2 Hardpoints (Drop Tanks Only), 6 Weapon Bays

None

 

Su-47 Flatfoot

     Country of Manufacture: Russia/Soviet Union

     Aircraft Type: Fighter/Bomber

     Note: Though based on a real experimental aircraft (the S-37 Berkut), this treatment is a work of fiction.  Whether or not the Russians will ever have the money to take the Berkut out of what is basically an advanced prototype stage is anybody's guess, though they have already assigned the designation "Su-47" to any possible future production version, and Sukhoi is reportedly working hard to come up with the money to make a production version a reality.

     Fictional Notes: Known to the Russians as the Berkut (Golden Eagle), the Su-47 was a mysterious aircraft until late in the Twilight War, with isolated sightings being made here and there in encounters that were usually to the detriment of NATO or Coalition pilots. Mostly employed in Europe, some Berkuts were encountered in the Middle East, and there were even a few reported over Alaska and western Canada. Estimates of the total number available to the Russians range from about 10 to over 25. Captain Pamela Wagner, the Twilight War’s highest-scoring ace, claims that a tangle with a Berkut lead to her being downed over Poland in August of 1999. The Berkut is a radical design that draws from stolen data on the X-29 program in the US, using composite construction, swept forward wings, and an unstable configuration controlled by computers. The Su-47 has an internal weapon bay that can carry 1.5 tons. The fuselage is a modified Su-37 Flanker series, and thrust vectoring has been added to the exhaust. The Berkut has a RAM (Radar-Absorbent Material) coating to its fuselage that gives a one level detriment to attempts to detect or guide radar weapons to it. Avionics are perhaps the most advanced of any applied to a Russian fighter. The Su-47 has been reported flying in angles of attack of up to 70 degrees, and is capable of extremely difficult maneuvers such as Pougachev’s Cobra and the Herbst Angle of Attack Maneuver. All in all, the Su-47 was a fighter much dreaded by Western pilots, and thankfully, not often seen. The four conformal underfuselage hardpoints may only be used for air-to-air missiles; the two on the wingtips may only be used for air-to-air missiles or electronics pods.

 

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$15,357,864

AvG

8 tons

34 tons

1

48

Radar, FLIR, VAS

Enclosed

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

4976

1244 (110)

NA  311  13/8  130/80

13860

14666

18000

 

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

All-Weather Flight, Radar Warning Receiver, Flare/Chaff Dispensers (20), ECM, Auto Track, HUD Interface, Look-Down Radar, IR Uncage, Track While Scan, Secure Radios, Multitarget (6), Target ID, IR Suppression, Stealth 2, ECM 2, IR Stealth 1, VG Nozzles, Active Jamming

1200/750m Hardened Runway

+4

GSh-301 30mm-3 Autocannon, 1 Weapon Bay,14 Hardpoints

150x30mm