DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION
The DSTO F-123 Falcon is a stealth fighter which incorporates a faceted airframe to reduce their aircraft's radar signature. It was jointly designed and built a multi-national conglomerate of companies - with the Noronnican company Hunter Defence Systems (HDS) taking a leading role.
DSTO F-123 Falcon
Place of Origin: Multi-national Consortium
Cost Per Unit: $140 million
Empty: 18,000 kg
1/2 (Pilot, Co-pilot/WSO)
Radar & Sensors
Active E-Scanned Array (AESA)
2x After-Burning Turbofans
8x Internal Racks
27mm Revolver Cannon
Max. Payload Range
The DSTO F-123 Falcon is a twin-engine all-weather fifth-generation Noronica-led, multi-nationally developed multi-role fighter, being designed by the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO) and Hunter Defence Systems (HDS) with technological assistance from a variety of nations. The aircraft is slated to replace a variety of frontline multi-role fighters within the air forces of the consortium and is being planned to be offered to foreign air forces as well. Noronica, Ostehaar, Corindia, Covonant and Athara Magarat all contributed to the programme.
On 15 December 2010, Noronica's Department for Defence decided to design, develop, and manufacture an indigenous next-generation air-to-air combat fighter which would eventually replace Noronica's F-19 Aingael. Initially, Noronica's Department for Defence extended a funding package of $20 million, which was allocated for a 2-year conceptual design phase that would be performed by the HDS. HDS officials completed the conceptual stage in 2012, with a report being prepared and served to the Chief Executive for approval of the development phase budget and framework. Simultaneously, both the Department for Defence and HDS began to investigate the possibility of foreign investment and the forming of a multi-national consortium to see the aircraft developed. Ostehaar and Noronica's DSTO was the first to be contacted, as Ostehaar's government became interested in the project. The DSTO and HDS created 'Project Falcon', which was to be the springboard for international cooperation over the project. Later, after a series of lengthy and intense discussions, it was decided that the governments of Noronica, Covonant and Keomora would foot much of the bill for its development.
Hunter Defence Systems and Ostehaar's Satre Aerospace led the design, entry and development aspects of the project through the DSTO. HDS also contracted Noronica's Quentin Vehicular Industries which focused primarily on the production and testing of the aircraft's engines - with technical assistance from Covonant's JetAir Devios, while HDS, Athara Magarat's Akash Company and Satre Aerospace developed the airframe and other components. Additional components, including the landing gear, were developed and manufactured by Corindia's Aeromada Incorporada company. HDS was responsible for final assembly. Covonant's Zenork Communications company handled the development and installation of the infrastructure for the communications system.
Prime contractor Hunter Defence Systems manufactured the majority of the airframe and performed final assembly at their assembly plant in Harburgh. F-123 production was split up over many subcontractors across 7 nations in a bid to gain support from both the multi-national consortium and the Albionite government - though this production split may have contributed to increased costs and delays. Many capabilities were deferred to post-service upgrades, reducing the initial cost but increasing total program cost.
The F-123 Falcon is a fifth-generation fighter that is considered more advanced than currently fielded 4.5th generation stealth aircraft technology by the Noronnican Air Force. It is one of the first operational aircraft to combine supercruise, supermaneuverability, stealth, and sensor fusion in a single weapons platform, within the region. The Falcon has clipped delta wings with a reverse sweep on the rear, the notable lack of rear elevators, and a retractable tricycle landing gear. Flight control surfaces include leading-edge flaps, flaperons, ailerons, rudders on the canted vertical stabilisers; these surfaces also serve as speed brakes.
The aircraft's dual afterburning turbofan engines, developed by Quentin Vehicular Industries and JetAir Devios, are closely spaced and incorporate 2D pitch-axis thrust vectoring nozzles with a range of ±35 degrees; each engine has maximum thrust in the 37,500 lbf (167 kN) class. The F-123's thrust-to-weight ratio in typical combat configuration is nearly at unity in maximum military power and 1.25 in full afterburner. Maximum speed without external stores is estimated to be Mach 1.6 during supercruise and greater than Mach 2 with afterburners.
Carrying on the tradition of other HDS aircraft, the F-123 counts itself among the many aircraft that can perform supercruise speeds, or sustain supersonic flight without using fuel-inefficient afterburners; it can intercept targets which subsonic aircraft would lack the speed to pursue and an afterburner-dependent aircraft would lack the fuel to reach. The Falcon's high operating altitude is also a significant tactical advantage over prior fighters. The use of internal weapons bays permits the aircraft to maintain comparatively higher performance over most other combat-configured fighters due to a lack of aerodynamic drag from external stores. The F-123's structure contains a significant amount of high-strength materials to withstand stress and heat of sustained supersonic flight. Respectively, titanium alloys and composites comprise 39% and 24% of the aircraft's structural weight.
The F-123 is highly manoeuvrable at both supersonic and subsonic speeds. Computerised flight control system and full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) make the aircraft highly departure resistant and controllable. The Falcon's relaxed stability and powerful thrust-vectoring engines enable the aircraft to turn tightly and perform very high alpha (angle of attack) manoeuvres such as the Herbst manoeuvre (J-turn) and Pugachev's Cobra. The aircraft is also capable of maintaining over 60° alpha while having some roll control.
The Falcon's aerodynamic performance, sensor fusion, and stealth work together for increased effectiveness. Altitude, speed, and advanced active and passive sensors allow the aircraft to spot targets at considerable ranges and increase weapons range; altitude and speed also complement stealth's ability to increase the aircraft's survivability against ground defences such as surface-to-air missiles.
Single Seat Version - F-123S
The F-123S is a single seat version of the Falcon which is currently under-development.
Navalised Version - F-123N
The F-123N 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 F-123N is also exported as a highly-capable reconnaissance variant, fitted with the FIRRS (Falcon Infra-Red Reconnaissance System).
The DSTO F-123 Falcon was a multi-national effort
to develop and produce a 5th generation fighter