Unconventional Capabilities. Unprecedented Power.
Introduction - Contents - Design - History - Variants - Specifications - Purchase
An F-29A multirole fighter in the United Republic Air Force's 241st Fighter Squadron based in Jameson Air Force Base, Chaleur.
Click for larger image. All credit for the image(s) goes to bagera3005. This image is a modification of the Shenyang J-31 Gyrofalcon lineart and was used with explicit permission. The above image courtesy of Tippercommon
United Republic Air Force (41st Fighter Squadron) United Republic Air Force (241st Fighter Squadron)
Belfrasian Royal Air Force Itailian Air Force New Belhavian Imperial Air Force Phonencian Air Force Western Air Force
- "Multirole Gray" scheme (41st Fighter Squadron "Top Dogs", 325th Fighter Wing, Engle Air Force Base)
- "Strike Black" scheme (302d Fighter Squadron "Sun Devils", 301st Fighter Wing, Archie Gray Air Force Base)
A U.R. Navy F-29C Warrior takes off from the URS Hell's Guardian, an
Ark Royal class super carrier in the Central Ocean.
Role: Fifth-generation stealth multirole fighter
National Origin: United Republic of Emmeria
First flight: April 2, 2002
Introduction: June 5, 2008
Status: Full-scale operational production, in active service
Primary users:Produced: 2002—present
Number built: over 5,000
Developed from: UNADS X-29
- F-29A CTOL: USD $112.3 million (flyaway cost)
- F-29B STOVL: USD $138.4 million (flyaway cost)
- F-29C EMLAR: USD $135.5 million (flyaway cost)
- USD $163.6 billion (development costs)
The UNADS F-29 Warrior is a family of Emmerian fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine, supersonic, supermaneuverable, all-weather stealth multirole fighter jets designed to perform aerial warfare, ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence missions. The F-29A standard Air Force variant, F-29B STOVL Marine Corps variant, and F-29C carrier-capable variant are all designed to replace the previous F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18C/D Hornet, and AV-8B Harrier used by the United Republic of Emmeria and its allies. Built by a large aerospace industry team led by UNADS and Alliance Industries, the jet combines the unique and varied doctrinal requirements across the world into one all-round fighter jet.
The F-29 Warrior is the product of the Joint Dominance Fighter (JDF) program to develop a multiservice, multirole fixed-wing fifth-generation stealth fighter that fit the requirements of all services of the U.R. Defense Force. Although named the "Warrior", the F-29's design has no structural similarity to the previous F-16, which was often called Viper by its aircrews. It physically bears more resemblance to a stealth version of an F-15 Eagle, or more so to the conceptual Mitsubishi ATD-X stealth fighter program.
The F-29 Warrior is claimed by the U.R. Air Force to be a vital component of U.R. tactical air power. Its combination of stealth, speed, agility, precision, situational awareness, and blend of exceptional air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities have led several nations around the world to adopt it as a versatile multirole fighter capable of providing advanced aerial dominance in the rapidly evolving warfare environment today.
The Joint Dominance Fighter (JDF) program was designed to replace a number of 4 and 4.5 generation legacy fighters after a strategic defense review determined that modern aircraft had significant capabilities for upgrade. It was initiated in the early 1990s by the United Republic, whose domestic United Aerospace Defense Systems (UNADS) won the contract to produce the aircraft. Other nations were invited in a joint effort to contribute to the program, including the Democratic Holy Empire of Phonencia, the Yhdistyneet Kansakunnat of Finorskia, the United Socialist States of America, the United Federation of the New Lowlands, and the Fascist Empire of Aquitayne. The American/Phonencian/Finorskian multinational firm Alliance Industries was a major development partner, currently the second-largest producer of parts for the F-29 (second to UNADS). The project dominated military-related politics throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, as the program's rapidly increasing costs controversially conflicted with the shrinking military budgets of all of its participating nations. A large number of issues flared during early testing, leading to further cost overruns and delays, in addition to several nations reducing their order. As issues were slowly resolved, the JDF program finally reached initial operational capability (IOC) in early 2006. This was followed by a number of larger orders, as full operational capability was declared in 2008 and large numbers of aircraft were procured. The cost of each individual aircraft at the time was well over USD $250 million; however, after several large orders, the cost rapidly decreased until it stabilized at roughly USD $97-120 million per aircraft. Although still considered high for a multirole fighter, it is relatively low-cost amidst other similar fifth-generation fighters with comparable capabilities, such as the F-35.
One of the intended goals of the program was to develop a high-performance fighter with advanced electronics and avionics systems that can avoid threats using its stealthy nature and defensive aids system, while being extremely survivable if detected. The fighter's abundance of redundancies allows it to stay in the air and land safely even with severe damage to critical components. For long-range interdiction or SEAD, the fighter is effective in that it is extremely difficult to detect due to its stealthy design and materials in construction, as well as its sophisticated sensors and electronic defensive aids which automatically detect incoming threats (such as missile launches or artillery) and act in the best way possible to defeat the threat.
The F-29 is in active service in the U.R. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Colonial Guard, and Air Force Reserve Command. The United Republic operates a total of 2,443 aircraft—1,623 F-29A, 250 F-29B, and 570 F-29C. The largest operator of the F-29 is the Continental Navy of Aurenoria, which operates 58,000 F-29C EMLAR. The aircraft is employed by a number of other nations across the world.
The F-29 is an advanced fighter jet that incorporates stealth technology. Its dual afterburning UNADS F151-UNA (F-29A/C) turbofans or F152-UNA (F-29B) vectoring turbofans both incorporate fluidic thrust vectoring to enhanced maneuverability. In addition, the F-29B has a lift fan that opens up behind the cockpit. The aircraft can supercruise, in which state the F-29A can reliably maintain Mach 1.81 with superior fuel efficiency as compared to fighters without supercruise capability, which must employ the use of afterburners in order to fly at supersonic speeds. The engines are among the most powerful jet engines ever used for a fighter jet (behind the twin-engine PAK FA).
The F-29's incredible agility is supplemented with variable control surfaces, multi-axis fluidic thrust vectoring, and high-effect air brakes. In total, the aircraft consists of over three dozen control surfaces, ranging from multiple wing decelerons, canted vertical stabilizers (that also act as ruddervators and split rudders as an airbrake) with rudders as well, horizontal stabilators, six separate non-dedicated air brakes (using various FCS), intake blocks, and additional wing surface adjustment controls. These are operated by low-maintenance electro-hydrostatic actuators (EHAs) powered by the aircraft's integrated power management system. A majority of flight control surfaces simply act as redundancies as most flight maneuvers can be accomplished with thrust vectoring alone.
The F-29B is designed to be able to perform vertical or short takeoff and landing using its thrust vectoring and lift fan. The primary lift fan, located directly behind the cockpit, opens up when the pilot activates STOVL mode. This fan provides a powerful downwards thrust that helps lift the aircraft off the ground with ease when supplemented with the two rear engines being turned completely downwards. Due to its low fuel efficiency, vertical takeoff mode is usually reserved for short-range missions (or not used at all operationally); short takeoffs, however, are very common, particularly from amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers without catapult launch systems. The URMC uses this capability to land on unimproved surfaces, particularly at forward operating bases. Hover mode is often used when the jet performs close air support, allowing it to aim its cannons at ground forces effectively. It can also be used to exit a stall, allowing the jet to fly at extremely low speeds for close air support operations; however, this leaves it vulnerable to anti-aircraft weapons.
The airframe is designed with advanced composites and integrated heat distribution systems to enable efficient supersonic flight in atmosphere. The advanced stealth materials (SM) include radar-absorbent materials, infrared signature reduction, and more. The aircraft is less detectable than legacy platforms across the electromagnetic spectrum. RCS-reducing fibers augment these materials, and are designed to reduce the intense heat from friction of air resistance across the airframe, which allows the airframe to withstand extremely high speeds. The airframe is constructed from a basis of advanced metal matrix composites, formed from high strength oxide fibers and a titanium/aluminum laminate matrix. This results in high strength crystal matrices, forming a strong, flexible, and light airframe.
The U.R. Air Force utilizes a "compass ghost" paint scheme, often associated with air superiority fighters, consisting of two shades of grey on the jet. The Navy and Marine Corps use different shades of a "multirole grey" scheme, consisting of solid dark grey. The Marine Corps's scheme is slightly darker. Specific squadrons may be cleared to utilize custom paint schemes, such as the deceptive "Dogfighter" scheme made famous by the Navy's VFA-41 "Black Aces", which gives a similar appearance on both the top and bottom of the aircraft to confuse adversaries during dogfights.
The aircraft is designed with survivability as a major priority. Its EHAs are all double redundant, as are the avionics systems. The landing gear is also full of failsafes, so should the EHAs fail, the wheels are hinged to the rear so that wind resistance can cause them to deploy. The fuel tanks are self-sealing and protected with fire-retardant foam, preventing them from leaking or exploding. The aircraft itself is claimed by UNADS to be able to fly, with assistance from the onboard computers, with half of an entire wing missing (due to its lifting-body principle-based design) and only operating on a single engine. The undercarriage is hardened against rough landings and the engines are ideal for taking off and landing from unprepared landing strips and are resistant to bird strikes. The canopy is bird- and ordnance-resistant, with a thick windscreen. The extensive survivability measures are intended to allow the aircraft to perform close air support at slow speeds effectively against enemy air defenses which, coupled with the aircraft's SPECTRA countermeasures system, makes it an effective replacement for the A-10, particularly in the URMC and U.R. Navy, who do not field the A-10 and rely on the F-29 to provide air defense and ground strike capability.
Overall, the F-29 is highly maneuverable at both high supersonic and low subsonic speeds. Its fluidic thrust vectoring, high thrust-weight ratio, and low wing loading allow it to turn tightly and perform extremely high angle of attack maneuvers such as the Herbst maneuver, Pugachev's Cobra, and the Kulbit. It can also maintain a constant angle of attack of over 60°, while continuing to maintain control of roll. The aircraft is claimed to have a rate of climb greater than that of the F-15, supplementing its overall dogfighting capability.
The use of internal weapons bays allows the aircraft to maintain a comparatively higher performance with a heavy payload as compared to other aircraft due to decreased drag. It can also intercept time-critical or rapidly moving targets that a subsonic aircraft would not have the speed to follow and an afterburner-dependent aircraft would lack fuel to reach, such as missiles or high-speed hypersonic bombers/interceptors.
One of the primary design attributes is the unique low-maintenance design of the aircraft. In order to ease maintenance and parts repair and replacement, almost 91% of the aircraft's parts are "one-deep", meaning no additional parts have to be removed to access the part in question. High-performance composite materials ease maintenance, and all parts are tracked and shared on a global scale as needed. Crew comfort is another major element of the design, with the aircraft being designed for long missions while retaining short-range mission capability.
The F-29 features a complete 50x20 cm panoramic cockpit display (PCD) glass cockpit with a cockpit speech recognition system (DIVOCAR) to improve the pilot's ability to operate the aircraft. The PCD displays all vital flight information, and its information can also be displayed on the pilot's HMD while viewing through EO DAS mode. Its configuration is customizable through a simple menu, allowing the pilot to utilize the display to his or her preferences. The cockpit layout is minimalist and streamlined to be as simple and easy-to-use as possible, allowing the pilot to focus on making tactical decisions rather than be more concerned about controlling basic aircraft functions. The fighter lacks an inbuilt heads-up display (HUD), instead relying entirely on the pilot's helmet-mounted display.
The F-29's cockpit with its
panoramic cockpit display
(top) compared with
a traditional glass cockpit
in an F-22 with several
(bottom). Click to enlarge.
The canopy is made of thick bullet-resistant polycarbonate with liquid glass coating and a stealthy tint, protecting the occupant from solar rays, laser dazzles, and electronic interference. It also provides limited protection against enemy fire. It is a frameless single-piece bird-proof bubble canopy uniquely hinged on the front, with no bow frame to increase visibility. The frontal portion is tapered to be thicker to allow resistance to bird-strikes and even ballistics. In addition, the ejection seat is elevated to provide a large field of vision to the pilot, and it is reclined to increase pilot resistance to G-forces. The canopy shatters upon ejection using integrated explosives, allowing the pilot to eject at extremely low speed, including while the aircraft is parked on the ground; this is referred to as "zero-zero" capability.
Joint Aviator Combat Engagement System (JACES), consisting of a flight suit and helmet. This ensemble allows the pilot to view the battlefield through the aircraft's EO DAS system, providing him with a complete spherical view of the space around the aircraft in enhanced full-color or infrared mode. This system is preferred for use only during combat operations and provides pilots and CSOs with unparalleled situational awareness. The aircraft is designed without a built-in HUD display, instead relying completely on the pilot's HMD. The JACES is also capable of locking on to multiple targets simultaneously with simple controls, giving pilots significant overall combat capabilities. It projects a display that provides the pilot with vital flight information without looking down at the cockpit, providing the pilot with the ability to focus primarily on flying the jet. In addition, the G-suit provides resistance to G-forces of up to 9 g.
The helmet, in order to reduce weight and ensure compatibility with the Laertes IV ejection seat, is constructed from a metal matrix composite chassis with a carbon fiber polymer shell, and features lightweight polymer foam on the inside for shock absorbance. The helmet is connected via a short tube to the Laertes IV's suspended headrest, which in turn links with the seat's oxygen supply that is connected to the aircraft's facilities. This further reduces the weight load on the pilot's head to enhance endurance with high-g maneuvers.
The HMD provides the pilot with all necessary symbology required to fly the aircraft. The latest increment 2.7.4 software further updates the HMD for a unique "airstrike" mode which aids the pilot in operating air-to-ground weapons successfully. This system provides the pilot with the optimum airspeed and angle to perform an airstrike effectively, displaying the appropriate symbology on the HMD. The system also displays an "air highway", or "lanes" in the HMD, for the pilot to fly through in order to reach the necessary objective, thus reducing the need for the pilot to navigate manually. The software was developed initially for the United Nations Alliance's F-29s, although a subsequent software upgrade (i2.7.4) was distributed to all operators of the aircraft by UNADS that included the system ready for use.
The F-29 does not need to be pointing at its target for successful guided weapon deployment. Sensors on the aircraft can track, prioritize, and target nearby aircraft or ground units from all directions all the time, providing the information to the pilot. High off-boresight missiles allow the aircraft to aggressively attack hostile aircraft or ground units anywhere around the F-29, although this can significantly affect the range of the weapon. Sensors utilize combined radio frequency and situational awareness infrared search-and-track (SAIRST) to constantly track hostile aircraft and select and prioritize targets through the JACES. The pilot may select specific targets for lock simply by looking at them, pointing the HMD's reticle symbology at the target to achieve a lock.
These systems provide the F-29 with an edge in the OODA loop; its stealth and advanced sensors enhance observation while making the same difficult for the enemy, automated target tracking aids in orientation, sensor fusion drastically simplifies the incoming information to ease decision making, and the aircraft's fluid, simple controls allow the pilot to keep their focus on the targets rather than on controlling the aircraft.
The controls of an F-29 are arranged in a Hands On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) side-stick configuration, allowing the pilot to operate almost all aircraft functions without taking his hands off the throttle and stick. The stick is usually to the right-hand side and the throttle left, although these can be switched with ease according to the pilot's preference. The cockpit features very few cockpit buttons and no analog flight instruments, with a majority of flight controls available via touchscreen, controls on the sticks, or direct voice input. Voice control is utilized for simpler maintenance and other tasks, while combat tasks utilize more conventional controls due to the split-second decision making required to perform them effectively.
F-29 fighter jets now feature a Symmetriad Laertes IV fourth-generation ejection seat, designated the SJU-20/A, produced under license by Universal Air Systems. This replaces the previous UAS SJU-19/B third-generation ejection seat in early production versions. The Laertes IV employs hybrid rocket propulsion for safe ejection, further utilizing protective netting to allow ejection at higher altitudes and airspeeds.
One of the seat's prime features is its enhanced ergonomics. It is adjustable in all three axes in order to accommodate almost any fighter pilot. It also features "G feedback", a special feature designed to optimize the ejection seat's position and actions depending on the present g forces. The armrests move alongside the rest of the arm according to the g forces acting upon the pilot at the time, allowing the pilot to move his arms without overwhelming difficulty. The seat also reclines during high-g or negative-g maneuvers while simultaneously moving forward to allow the pilot to maintain access to the controls, reducing the overall effects of g forces on the pilot.
The F-29 contains two primary flight computers: one redundant system and a liquid state primary system, all ruggedized and hardened against potential threats. The computers utilize a fly-by-light system that uses fiber optics, which is highly resistant to damage and interference, and is itself double redundant; this system is supplemented with a redundant hardened fly-by-light system. A primary advantage to using fiber optics rather than traditional wires (fly-by-wire) is that fiber optics transfer information faster and more efficiently, and their lighter weight reduces a significant amount of weight inside the aircraft.
The avionics are supported by all-purpose GPS with interference protection. It also features an array of cyber warfare systems designed to protect the fighter and can act as electronic warfare computers to jam enemy systems. This allows the aircraft to act as a dedicated electronic warfare platform without modification, although additional electronic warfare systems can be mounted in the aircraft's gun pods or hardpoints as well.
The primary sensor system is the Rayzero AN/APG-90 Sensory Combat AESA Network (SCAN), a multi-mode AESA radar system. This phased array radar is a highly advanced radar that is smaller than conventional radars and has no need for physical motion, making it more reliable and less demanding of maintenance than legacy systems. Its increased field of view, extremely rapid scanning rate, increased range, and the ability to track and engage a large number of air and surface targets simultaneously, in addition to its low probability of interception or detection and ability to function as an electronic warfare jamming system make it extremely capable. The system's synthetic aperture radar mode make it well suited for anti-ground warfare; although incapable of actually simultaneously tracking air and ground targets, the radar switches between the two so rapidly that it seems simultaneous to the pilot. The radar consists of a primary array in the nose and two secondary arrays in the cheeks, providing a wide angle of coverage. An additional rear-facing radar augments this capability, providing a large coverage zone to detect threats anywhere around the aircraft. The radar features several modes, ranging from stealth modes to aerial combat to air-to-ground. It also features "look down/shoot down" capability, meaning it can detect, track, and engage a target beyond the horizon, and it also is able to engage targets below the aircraft from long range. Three dimensional radar views or "situational awareness" 3D visual views (using LIDAR and radar as well as the EO DAS sensors) can be projected onto the HMD.
The radars are supported by an AN/ALR-82 radar warning receiver, which features antennas facing 45, 135, 225, and 315 degrees, providing 360° RWR coverage for maximum threat detection and interception.
In addition, the aircraft features an AN/AAQ-38 electro-optical distributed aperture system (EO DAS) that provides a 360° "sphere" of situational awareness through the use of an array of advanced sensors that provide hybrid thermal, visual, and light-intensified data. These sensors, placed around the aircraft, are integrated with laser warning receivers, infrared missile approach warning systems, and other sensors to provide maximum situational awareness without compromising the aircraft's stealth design. This serves many functions; it alerts the pilot or CSO of any threats and triangulates the location of the threats (such as the launch point or even potential launch point of a surface-to-air missile), predicts the target, provides information for the elimination of the threat, or reacts to the threat by deploying appropriate countermeasures automatically. In addition, connecting to the pilot or CSO's HMD, the system provides a spherical view of the battlefield with all vital navigation and target data, allowing advanced tracking and enhanced night operations capability. The system also contains several modes for pilot viewing; these include "full view" which replaces the entire view of the pilot with a spherical view through the EO DAS and a "canopy view" which provides superior visibility in all directions while retaining the aircraft's flight controls and displays in the cockpit.
EO DAS sensors form the basis of the aircraft's entire countermeasures suite, AN/ALQ-43 SPECTRA (self-protection electronic countermeasures, tracking, and response, aircraft). SPECTRA is an advanced self-protection system that greatly enhances an aircraft's survivability by using various methods of detection (EO DAS and STRIKE), jamming, and decoying to passively or actively defeat airborne and ground threats. It employs the aircraft's AN/ASQ-392 electronic warfare system, developed by Southard-Ackerman, and integrates the onboard Vehicle Countermeasures Package (VCP) (more information below) to defend the aircraft. In addition, the system features active radar cancellation, detecting wavelengths and intensity of incoming waves and generating matching waves of opposite phase that actively cancel the radar through destructive interference (part of the VCP). This process is entirely computer-controlled due to its complexity. SPECTRA as an overall self-protection system allows the aircraft to perform large-scale operations with little need to execute suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD). This enhances the F-29's ability to perform interdiction missions, as it is able to strike deep within the enemy's territory while using SPECTRA to defend itself. SPECTRA also greatly enhances an aircraft's SEAD capability, useful when friendly aircraft cannot operate safely with enemy air defenses. SPECTRA is developed by an aerospace industry team led by Southard-Ackerman and Alliance Industries.
The aircraft features a Vehicle Countermeasures Package (VCP), which is a standardized countermeasure package. It features AN/VLE-10 laser dazzlers that deploy decoy laser beams; AN/VLQ-11 infrared countermeasures that emit modulating dazzling laser beams; AN/VLE-12 active radar cancellation systems; and AN/VLE-13 decoy launchers that can deploy high-powered infrared flares, ion flares, radar-defeating smoke generators, and chaffs.
When combined with advanced sensor fusion in the F-29's fusion engine, the fighter's sensory and avionics array makes it a comparatively difficult target to detect and destroy. The fighter alerts the pilot of threats (such as a missile launch) and their location (both through symbology on the HMD and through an auditory voice cue), and relays this information through datalinks to other allied units (including other F-29s) in the vicinity. The fusion engine then combines the array of sensory information to easily triangulate the launch point for the threat, attempts to determine the nature of the threat (IR missile, SAM, etc.), and provides the pilot with a recommended solution to evade the threat as well as deploying countermeasures (such as infrared dazzlers and flares for IR-guided missiles or employment of active cancellation and chaffs for radar-guided missiles). The goal is to simplify the information that must be processed by the pilot by attempting to perform a significant portion of the processing (such as combination of SAIRST, triangulation of missile launch points, etc.) through computer systems and providing the pilot with the output. The result is a significantly-reduced workload for the pilot (one of the key goals of the JDF program), allowing the pilot to commit to making tactical decisions on a fast-paced battlefield.
Embedded in the right wingroot is a GAU-12 25 mm rotary cannon that is present on all models except the F-29B. However, it may be mounted in the form of a low-drag external gun pod on the belly of the aircraft in between the two weapon bays. Alternatively, the weapon may be removed and replaced with a comparable 20 mm or 30 mm rotary cannon.
The Warrior has two internal weapons bays along the bottom and sides of the fuselage (each containing three hardpoints), in addition to four underwing hardpoints and two near-wingtip hardpoints. Each hardpoint is rated for approximately 1150 kg, giving the F-29 a total payload capacity of about 9,200 kg, allowing it to store the heaviest of ordnance effectively; this makes the jet very capable in air-to-air or air-to-surface combat. The near-wingtip hardpoints are limited to a single air-to-air missile each, primarily short-to-mid range missiles such as the AIM-9X Sidewinder. The other pylons can carry these as well as the AIM-120D AMRAAM, other air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, guided or unguided bombs, gun pods, guided or unguided rocket pods, equipment stores, and 1,800 L and 2,300 L external fuel tanks.
Internal weapon bays can also store a variety of ordnance. Up to two 2,000-lb (910 kg) bombs or four 1,000-lb (450 kg) bombs can be stored internally in the two bays combined. The bays also usually carry two smaller weapons, usually AIM-120D AMRAAM or AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles. Smaller bombs may be carried as well. Missiles are usually designed to fit in these bays, often with smaller foldout fins and advanced TVN. Using internal bays entirely, an air-to-air configuration of four AIM-120D AMRAAM missiles and four AIM-9X Python missiles is possible. Additionally, an air-to-ground configuration of two AIM-120D, two AIM-9X (for personal defense), and two 2,000-lb bombs is possible as well.
The F-29 is compatible with almost any missile or bomb designed to be operated with aircraft. This includes the MBDA Meteor missile, IRIS-T, JSOW, and more. Missiles stored inside its internal bays often have clipped or folding fins in order to maximize space efficiency.
The F-29's Sustainability Concept is designed to reduce the stress and cost of maintenance and parts replacement. All F-29 maintenance systems are "paperless" and all F-29 parts are tracked and shared on a global scale for rapid, efficient parts replacement. 91% of all parts are "one-deep", allowing maintenance and engineer crews to access a majority of systems without first removing other systems or parts. The entire aircraft is built in a "quick assembly" system, allowing major parts such as the entire fuselage to be removed and replaced. This allows damaged aircraft to more easily be returned to service, or provides the capability to easily scavenge surviving parts on damaged aircraft. The aircraft is built using more advanced composites and structural fiber mat, reducing the required maintenance. The maturation of several technologies has led to the reduced need for fragile materials such as stealthy coatings that are designed to overcome modern radars.
The F-29 contains a Self-diagnosis System (SDS) which tracks the status of all parts and systems, and it is capable of anticipating damages or the need for replacement; it then automatically orders the part that needs to be replaced. This reduces the cost of maintaining large stores of spare parts, with only limited stores required for immediate part replacement due to unanticipated damage. With the extensive logistics system associated with the aircraft, parts can be made available extremely quickly; in many cases, replacement parts were available on base before the aircraft even landed after diagnosing it to need replacement. The system also diagnoses parts damages that can be repaired by the maintenance crew, and provides all necessary data, including how to fix it, to the maintenance crew as soon as the damage is detected.
Companies that manufacture parts are also responsible for managing spare parts inventory and providing sustainment support. Each part contains an anticipated operating time, and the aircraft's operating time is tracked. The companies then manufacture specific parts as the ones on the aircraft approach the end of their operational life cycle. All parts and supplies are placed on the Logistics Information System, with their location and status tracked. This performance-based logistics system is enhanced and optimized for providing a minimal cost and maximum sustainability for the F-29.
Overall, the improved and networked maintenance systems, integrated pilot and maintenance training, the use of open-source software and programming, and parts commonality between services, are intended to reduce the aircraft's overall operating costs by 54%, as well as reducing the required maintenance to a mere 60 man hours per flight hour.
Upgrades to the F-29 are installed in increasing increments, with the current operating software being Increment 2.7.4. Three separate operational variants exist for the F-29.
Since its introduction into active service in the U.R. Defense Force in 2008, the F-29 has served in a vital operational capacity for the United Republic, serving in every major operation involving air units, particularly alongside legacy fighters.
U.R. Air Force F-29A CTOL fighters were deployed to their first combat action in early 2012 to Mektavia to support the current regime against the Eastern Mektavian People's Army (EMPA) insurgents, aiding U.R. special forces units in the country in accomplishing their objectives. During the conflict the F-29 fighters flew a total of 1,300 sorties, mostly airstrikes against insurgent positions. An estimated 90% of the ordnance dropped by the fighters were laser-guided bombs. Due to their electronic warfare systems, stealthy nature, and the lack of sophisticated EMPA air defenses, no Emmerian fighters were shot down during the conflict.
A number of URN F-29C fighters were deployed aboard the carrier URS Orion to the People's Republic of Trotskytopia during the 2012 Trotskytopian Crisis after the coup to maintain a strike capability in the area should one be necessary. Although their sortie rate dropped after the de-escalation of tensions between ICE member nations and Trotskytopia, two fighters saw limited action during a last-ditch airstrike to eliminate a large number of Yandian rebels ambushing a convoy consisting of several Emmerian diplomats and Leo Transinsky, the self-proclaimed leader of Trotskytopia. Although considered "danger close", the airstrike was successful in drastically reducing the resistance facing the Emmerian body guards and Trotskytopian soldiers, who were later relieved by a Trotskytopian armored battalion.
The ensuing nuclear threat in Trotskytopia prompted the subsequent use of F-29 fighters to perform airstrikes on further rebel positions in Trotskytopia as U.R. special operations forces aided a newly formed Trotskytopian special forces branch to hunt down the nuclear terrorists.
F-29B and C fighters were then used as part of a multinational naval task force to enforce a no-fly zone over the Dominion of Bodobol Minor to prevent a conflict between both Bodobol Minor and the Empire of Myrten. The no-fly zone, which resulted in a total of over 10,000 sorties by F-29 Warriors, was successful in de-escalating the conflict and deterring both nations from entering a nuclear war.
A number of F-29A, F-29B, and F-29C fighters were deployed to the Territory of Kasavia, a Emmerian unincorporated unorganized territory on the Continent of Verktha. They are reportedly part of the ongoing Invasion of Kiska, a joint ICE invasion of the Old Beringian colony of Kiska along the southern border of Kasavia.
Operation Eagle Fury
- Operator(s): United Republic Air Force
- Location: Mechanical Hivemind of Mektavia
- Status: Completed
- Details: Performed airstrikes against EMPA rebel positions in support of Mektavian and Emmerian special forces. No losses.
Trotskytopian Civil War
- Operator(s): United Republic Navy
- Location: People's Republic of Trotskytopia
- Status: Completed
- Details: Performed airstrikes against Yandian rebel positions in support of an Emmerian diplomatic envoy and later in support of Emmerian special forces. No losses.
Operation Iron Goddess
- Operator(s): United Republic Navy, United Republic Marine Corps
- Location: Dominion of Bodobol Minor (now part of the Republic of Bodobol)
- Status: Completed
- Details: Deterred nuclear war between Bodobol Minor and the Empire of Myrten through airstrikes and forced escorted landings. No losses.
Operation Abyssal Liberty (part of ICE Operation Exodus)
- Operator(s): United Republic Air Force, United Republic Navy
- Location: Territory of Kasavia, Continent of Verktha
- Status: Ongoing
- Details: Actively supporting ICE invasion of Old Beringia.
- Operator(s): Erucian Navy
- Location: Aristocratic Empire of Adwest
- Status: Completed
- Details: Erucian F-29Cs deployed to aid ground forces against San Silvacian. Four SAM sites destroyed, one radar destroyed, five tanks destroyed. Disrupted enemy landing. Two losses to hostile SAM fire from San-Silvacian S-400 40N6s.
[OOC: If you use the F-29 in an operation and would like it to be listed here, please inform me. Thank you.]