The Jaculus Aerospace Corporation P.109, also known as the JAC Vulture, is an early 5th generation combat aircraft design of the late-1990s by Jaculus Aerospace Corporation, designed with a reduced radar signature for multi-role missions.
The JAC P.109 Vulture is the first Albionite stealth fighter to incorporate a faceted airframe to reduce their aircraft's radar signature. It was designed and built by the Albionite company Jaculus Aerospace Corporation (JAC).
Combat Fighter Aircraft
Concept painting of the Vulture,
note the faceted airframe
Stealth/Reduced RCS Fighter
Jaculus Aerospace Corporation
Empty: 13,690 kg
14.1 metres @ 25°
2 (Pilot, Co-pilot/WSO)
Radar & Sensors
Active E-Scanned Array (AESA)
2x After-Burning Turbofans
4x Internal Racks or
27mm Revolver Cannon
Max. Payload Range
The JAC Vulture is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing combat aircraft with a massively reduced radar cross-section using a faceted airframe, which was developed and manufactured by Jaculus Aerospace Corporation in Albion. Swing-role in nature, the Vulture is designed to cover a variety of roles including (but not restrained to) interceptor, strike fighter/bomber, reconnaissance and electronic counter-measures. The Vulture was developed originally planned to be produced by a multi-national consortium led by Albion. The JVulture first flew on 7th November 2003 and was introduced into service in 2008-2010. Due to its multirole nature, it was able to replace several different fleets of aircraft in the adopting air forces.
During the 1960s, aeronautical designers looked to variable-geometry wing designs to gain the manoeuvrability and efficient cruise of straight wings with the speed of swept wing designs. At the time, Albion had cancelled the procurement of several other fighters, leaving only a handful of S/VTOL aircraft in the pipeline. To plug this gap, JAC had initiated the VG (Variable Geometry) project in 1965, but this had ended with the foreseen closing of defence spending cuts of the 1960s. However, after the appointment of a pro-defense government in the last years of the 1960s, the company continued to develop a variable-geometry aircraft similar to the proposed VG, and sought new partners to achieve this.
In 1971, JAC first displayed its proposal to the Union government, who initially liked the idea. After receiving a proposal for over 300 aircraft, JAC quickly began to invest more time and effort into the programme. However, less than two years later, a new government was elected and begun a series of spending cuts. As a consequence, JAC desperately submitted new proposals in order to save the project. Ultimately, the government would purchase the drastically altered aircraft - which no longer featured the angled body, instead opting for a cheaper rounded airframe. It would be another 20 years before JAC re-examined their designs and resubmit a variant.
In 1993, the Commonwealth Government announced that it would be seeking a new aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of strike aircraft. JAC rose to the challenge, submitting several designs are aircraft, including a multi-role version of the Vulture. However, since Albion was already committed to the development of the Forward-Swept-Wing project, Albion instead opted to support the development of a stealth strike aircraft - leaving JAC to continuing funding the multi-role version as a private venture.
The JAC P.109 Vulture is a multirole, twin-engined aircraft designed to excel at the low-level penetration of enemy defences. The mission envisaged during the late 1990s was the delivery of conventional and theoretical nuclear ordnance on enemy forces; this dictated several significant features of the design. Variable wing geometry, allowing for minimal drag during the critical low-level dash towards a well-prepared enemy, had been desired from the project's start. Advanced navigation and flight computers, including the then-innovative fly-by-wire system, greatly reduced the workload of the pilot during low-level flight and eased control of the aircraft. For long range bombing missions, the Vulture has a retractable refuelling probe.
As a multirole aircraft, the Vulture is capable of undertaking more mission profiles than the anticipated strike mission; various operators replaced multiple aircraft types with the Vulture as a common type – the use of dedicated single role aircraft for specialist purposes such as battlefield reconnaissance, maritime patrol duties, or dedicated electronic countermeasures (ECM) were phased out – either by standard Vultures or modified variants, such as the Vulture ECR. The most extensive modification from the base Vulture design was the Vulture ADV, which was armed with long-range anti-aircraft missiles to serve in the interceptor role.
Vulture operators have chosen to undertake various life extension and upgrade programmes to keep their Vulture fleets as viable frontline aircraft for the foreseeable future. The UCAF have upgraded their Vultures to increase combat effectiveness, while proposed exported aircraft will undergo periodic upgrades under the multi-stage ASSV (Avionics System Software Vulture) programme. With these upgrades, as of 2011, it is projected that the Vulture shall be in service until 2030, more than 25 years after the first prototype took flight.
In order for the Vulture to perform well as a low-level supersonic strike aircraft, it was considered necessary for it to possess good high-speed and low-speed flight characteristics. To achieve high-speed performance, a swept or delta wing is typically adopted, but these wing designs are inefficient at low speeds. To operate at both high and low speeds with great effectiveness, the Vulture uses a variable-sweep wing. This approach had been adopted by earlier aircraft, such as the American General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark strike fighter, and the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 fighter. The F-111 has many similarities with the smaller Vulture; however, the Vulture differs in being a multi-role aircraft with more advanced onboard systems and avionics.
The level of wing sweep, the angle of the wings in relation to the fuselage, can be altered in flight at the pilot's control. The variable wing can adopt any sweep angle between 25 degrees and 67 degrees, with a corresponding speed range for each angle; however, all Vulture aircraft are also outfitted with an automatic wing sweep system to reduce pilot workload. When the wings are swept back, the exposed wing area is lowered and drag is significantly decreased, which is conducive to performing high-speed low-level flight. The weapons pylons pivot with the angle of the variable-sweep wings so that the stores point in the direction of flight and do not hinder any wing positions.
In development, significant attention was given to the Vulture's short-field take-off and landing (STOL) performance. The Albionite Navy, in particular, encouraged this design aspect. For shorter take-off and landing distances, the Vulture can sweep its wings forwards to the 25-degree position, and deploy its full-span flaps and leading edge slats to allow the aircraft to fly at slower speeds. These features, in combination with the thrust reverser-equipped engines, gives the Vulture excellent low-speed handling and landing characteristics.
Air Defence Version - P.109ADV
The P.109ADV (air defence variant) was an interceptor variant of the Vulture, developed for the export market as a private venture. The Vulture P.109ADV has inferior agility in comparison to fighters like the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Eagle, but it was not intended as a dog-fighter. Instead, it was designed as a long-endurance interceptor to counter the threat from long-range bombers. However, an upgrade program in 2012 saw the engine and avionics upgraded further, along with new control surfaces installed. Although the P.109ADV had 80% parts commonality with the Vulture standard variants, the P.109ADV had greater acceleration and fuel capacity.
Electronic-Warfare Version - P.109E
Operated by the UCAF, the P.109E is a Vulture variant devoted to Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) missions. It was first delivered on 20th February 2011. The P.109E has sensors to detect radar usage and is equipped with anti-radiation AGM-88 HARM missiles. The UCAF's 12 P.109Es were delivered new, while it is possible to field convert standard variants. The UCAF P.109Es do not carry a cannon.
Navalised Version - P.109N
The P.109N is the most common export variant embodies the true multirole nature of the aircraft. The Vulture P.109N was a specialised anti-shipping variant of the standard vulture - a total conversion usually requiring only an hour to install variations of software and a few pieces hardware added. The P.109N is also exported as a highly-capable reconnaissance variant, fitted with the VIRRS (Vulture Infra-Red Reconnaissance System), replacing one of the cannon slots.
The Jiandān Aviation Vulture was designed as a stealth multi-role fighter for
the early 21st century, to be introduced as the first iteration of a 5th generation fighter
Often seen in its iconic grey camoflague, Albion continues to use
the Vulture to fulfil its dedicated interceptor role
Atnaia, wishing to seek commonality with its Mesder neighbour,
was one of the first foreign nations to take delivery of the Vulture
As the first non-Commonwealth nation to order the Vulture,
Keomora has nevertheless been a long-standing supporter of its development