Joint Strike Fighter F-35 Lightning II - (Page 59)
The U.S. Air Force’s SHARC (Subsonic, High-Alpha Research Conﬁguration) was one of the studies undertaken while the Air Force was pursuing a Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) program. MRF was one of the several programs that eventually became the JSF program. The faceted stealth shaping of the day is readily apparent in the wind-tunnel model.
aircraft to replace the Grumman A-6 in the carrier-based, medium-attack role. Designated as the A-12 “Avenger II,” the replacement aircraft would incorporate stealth technology and could be deployed from an aircraft carrier. In January 1988, the McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics team was selected over a Northrop team to develop the ATA. The unique ﬂying wing design was to be a long-range, subsonic aircraft with a large internal weapons load, including air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons. However, the program was canceled in early January 1991 following what service histories describe as “the disclosure of severe cost and schedule overruns and technical problems.”
The early 1990s also witnessed congressional guidance under which the Navy agreed to evaluate a “navalized” version of the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) – now the F-22 – as a possible replacement for their F-14s. The exploration program was identiﬁed as the Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF). As described in GAO reports at the time, “The ATF and the Navy variant are to be twin-engine, all-weather aircraft capable of day or night operations over land or sea. Both are expected to have many new or expanded capabilities, such as maintenance of supersonic speeds over long distances and lower detectability through the use of stealth technologies. Two airframe contractor teams and two engine contractors are involved in the
Photo courtesy of NASA
JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER
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