Type: Multirole Fighter
Place of origin: Noronica
Manufacturer: Hunter Defence Systems
Unit cost: $120,000,000
Length: 15.27 m (50.1 ft)
Wingspan: 10.80 m (35.4 ft)
Height: 5.34 m (17.5 ft)
- 10,300 kg (22,700 lb) (D)
- 9,850 kg (21,720 lb) (S)
- 10,600 kg (23,400 lb) (N)
Loaded weight: 15,000 kg
Max. takeoff weight: 24,500 kg
Fuel Capacity: 4,700 kg (S); 4,400 kg (D)
Powerplant: 2 × Quentin NQ400 afterburning turbofans
Maximum speed: Mach 2
Supercruise: Mach 1.5
Ferry range: 3,700+ km
Combat range: 1,852+ km
Service ceiling: 15,235 m
- Guns: 1 × 30 mm autocannon (125 rounds)
- Hardpoints: 14 (F-19 S/D), 13 (F-19 N)
-- Nuclear Deterrence
Due to the Civil War and the economic collapse that occurred afterwards, the Noronnican Government budget had to be severely reduced with cuts occurring in several key areas. The most notable cuts were within the military budget, with the Department for Defence considering the importance of each branch of the military. The report that followed showed that the threat of aerial attack was very limited and the need for a large air force was no longer necessary. Gael and Argus had reached a calm period and therefore it was thought necessary to cut back on the Noronnican Air Force, a controversial move to the public and the Chiefs of Air Staff who both felt the branch was being 'disgraced'. What followed was a period of cutbacks and low-cost aircraft plaguing the Air Force and the Naval Air Arm. However, the F-18 Viper, introduced in 1995, was seen as a revolutionary spark that would reignite the nation's air force. This prediction was correct as the Air Force began to expand, utilising new systems and branching into new capabilities again. The partnership with Corindia and several C6 members allowed Noronica to develop better aircraft and soon the Noronnican Air Force was becoming increasingly more relevant in the defence of the nation.
In 2000, the F-18 suffered a setback as its systems were too old and unreliable, with most of it being bought from several foreign companies and the material of the aircraft being dangerously worn. Instead of a regeneration of the aircraft, the Air Force and the Department for Defence sought to use an entirely domestic aircraft to protect Noronica's skies. As the Air Force had too many types of fighters, it desired a fighter that could perform a very wide-variety of roles. The report described an 'omnirole' aircraft that would be able to dominate the skies and battlefield instead of various types of aircraft performing different roles. The Noronnican Navy had similar wishes for a new type of aircraft, so the Department for Defence created a dual-proposal for a fighter that could fit both branches' desires, such as the Navy's wish for a carrier-capable aircraft. The proposal for a new multirole fighter jet was set out in 2001. Noronica was to be the sole developer of the Aingael's airframe, avionics, propulsion system and armament. The media dubbed the new project as the Noronnican Air Force's 'Success Story' which would show Noronica's ability to design a completely domestic-built fighter with very powerful capabilities.
Several companies lobbied for their involvement in the project, with Hunter Defence Systems winning the contract. They immediately began research under the codename, 'Aingael'. Out of the four designs that were proposed, one was the most popular with the configuration that involved the combination of canards, delta wings and a single vertical tail-fin. The Department for Defence asked for a technology demonstrator to be built which would be named as the X-19 (pictured below). The X-19, on its maiden flight, managed to reach Mach 2 and the design proved to be very popular with the Department for Defence. The Secretary for Defence Harold Guinn announced the going-ahead of the project and Hunter Defence Systems was tasked with creating prototypes for a single-seat and dual-seat variant. The first Aingael was introduced in 2006.
The Naval variant was produced several years later, constructed with a strengthened airframe, a longer nose gear leg to provide a more nose-up attitude, a larger tailhook between the engines, and a built-in boarding ladder. It was introduced in 2010, alongside the announcement of the new Devastator Class Aircraft Carrier which was going to be a CATOBAR carrier.
The F-19 Aingael was developed to be and is still considered a highly agile modern jet fighter at both supersonic or low speeds. This is achieved by the aircraft having a relaxed stability design. The Aingael uses a digital fly-by-wire control system to maintain an artificial stability to avoid manual operation which would not be able to compensate. To maximise maneuverability, the Aingael combines a delta wing with active close-coupled canards. The Aingael is also capable of withstanding from −3.6g to 9g but can be extended to 10.5g for solo display and a maximum of 11g in the case of an emergency. The aircraft's canards also act to reduce the minimum landing speed to 213 km/h (132 mph). While in flight, it is possible to achieve airspeeds as low as 28 km/h, (17 mph). According to test reports, the Aingael has sufficient low-speed performance to be used from STOBAR aircraft carriers and can also be used from ski-jumps.
Despite the fact that Aingael is not a 'full-aspect' stealth fighter, the Aingael was designed to reduce the radar cross-section and infrared signature. So as to reduce the radar cross-section, there had to be changes made to the X-19 technology demonstrator which included the reduction of the size of the tail-fin, fuselage reshaping, repositioning of the engine air inlets to be underneath the wing, and the generous use of composite materials and serrated patterns for the construction of the trailing edges of the wings and canards. As such, 70% of the Aingael's surface area is composite.
Designed around the principle of data fusion, the Aingael's glass cockpit uses a central computer which intelligently selects and prioritises information to display to pilots. The primary flight controls are arranged in a voice and hands-on throttle and stick (Voice+HOTAS) configuration, which includes a centre stick (or control stick) and left hand throttles. The seat is tilted backward at an angle of 29° to allow for better g-force tolerance and it allows a less restricted pilot view.
The core avionics systems of the Aingael utilise an integrated modular avionics (IMA), called modular data processing unit (MDPU). The architecture hosts all the main functions of the aircraft; the flight management system, data fusion, fire control, and the man-machine interface. The IMA reportedly aids combat operations via data fusion; the continuous integration and analysis of the different sensor systems in the aircraft. To allow for the aircraft to be upgraded throughout its life, the IMA is built for allowing new avionics systems to be installed. Alongside the other systems, the Aingael features an integrated defensive-aids system named the System for the Protection and Avoidance of Enemy Fire-Control (SPAEF). The system incorporates several methods of detection, jamming, and decoying. The system has also been designed to be able to be reprogrammed for addressing new threats and incorporating additional sub-systems later in the aircraft's life. The Aingael's ground attack capability is very reliant on sensory targeting pods. These systems provide targeting information, enable tactical reconnaissance missions, and are integrated within the IMA architecture to provide analysed data feeds.
The Aingael is equipped with two Quentin NQ400 engines, each capable of providing up to 60 kN (13,500 lbf) of dry thrust and >90 kN (20,230 lbf) with afterburners. The engines feature several advances, including a non-polluting combustion chamber, single-crystal turbine blades, powder metallurgy disks, and technology to reduce radar and infrared signatures.
F-19D: Two-seater version for the Noronnican Air Force.
F-19S: Single-seat version for the Noronnican Air Force.
F-19ECR: Single-seat version built with extended Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance systems.
F-19N: Carrier-borne version for the Noronnican Naval Air Wing. The F-19N weighs about 500 kg more than the F-19S.