F-117 Nighthawk Bomber
F117 A; F117 B; F117 N; YF117


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BattleFleet Pacific War Naval Strategy Game
Battleship Game is a turn-based strategy naval game, extension to classic Battleship game, where ships, submarines and planes can move!
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The F-117 was a black project, an ultra-secret program for much of its life, until the late 1980s. The project began with a model called "The Hopeless Diamond" (a wordplay on the Hope Diamond) in 1975 due to its bizarre appearance. In 1977 Lockheed produced two 60% scale models under the Have Blue contract. The Have Blue program was a stealth technology demonstrator that lasted from 1976 to 1979. The success of Have Blue lead the Air Force to create the Senior Trend program which developed the F-117.
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Battleship Game - WW2 Naval Strategy: the best choice among aircraft carrier games and submarine and battleship games.

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F-117 Nighthawk Bomber

F-117 Bomber

The United States Air Force's F117 Nighthawk is the world's first operational aircraft designed to exploit low-observable stealth technology. Before it was given an official name, the engineers and test pilots referred to the ungainly aircraft, which went into hiding during daylight to avoid detection by Soviet satellites, as "Cockroaches", a name that is still sometimes used.

Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk
Single-seat fighter and attack plane
F117 Powerplant
Two General Electric F404-F1D2 turbofan engines (96.0 kN)
F117 Dimensions
Length 20.08 m (65 ft 11 in)
Wingspan 13.20 m (43 ft 4 in)
Height 3.78 m (12 ft 5 in)
Wing area 73 m2 (784 ft2)
F-117 Weights
Empty 13,381 kg (29,500 lb)
Maximum take-off 23,814 kg (52,500 lb)
F117 Performance
Maximum speed 1040 km/h (646 mph)
Operative range 2110 km (1140 nm)
Service ceiling unknown
F117 Armament
F-117 missiles None
F-117 bombs up to two GBU-10 Paveway II or GBU-27 LGB or BLU-109 LGB
F117 Variants
Have Blue (XST) prototype (2 built)
Y F-117 A Pre-Production version
F-117 A Production version 59 built
F-117 B Proposed improvement
F-117 N Proposed naval version

The F117 Nighthawk is classified as a fighter (the "F-" designation), but it was designed primarily as a ground attack aircraft. A few websites claim that the F-117 can carry Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, but this seems contrary to the rest of the plane's design and reported missions.

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The "F-" designation has never been officially explained. However, military organizations have never been quick to embrace new technologies, and the USAF in particular has always been most proud of its fighters ("F-" aircraft), slightly less so of its strategic bombers ("B-" designations), and has never been enthusiastic about providing direct support of ground troops ("A-" type attack planes). It is possible that an aircraft of radically new design would win support more easily if it was a "sexy" fighter rather than "just" an attack plane.

One of the more common explanations for the "F-" designation of the Nighthawk was that it was for security reasons. The aircraft does not exhibit the characteristics of an attack ("A-" designation) aircraft in that it does not have a gun, nor rockets to engage enemy ground targets and provide close-in air support (CAS) for friendly personnel on the ground. Also, the typical role of an attack jet is to operate during daylight hours and/or at low altitudes, which is contradictory to the concept of this platform. The Nighthawk is by default and definition, a strategic aircraft and deserving of the "B-" designation for bombers. The given reasoning behind the misleading title Stealth "Fighter" was to disuade and misdirect possible foreign espionage attempts to gather accurate intelligence on the project.

The unique design of the single-seat F-117 provides exceptional combat capabilities. About the size of an F-15 Eagle, the twin-engine aircraft is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines and has quadruple redundant fly-by-wire flight controls. Air refuelable, it supports worldwide commitments and adds to the deterrent strength of the U.S. military forces.

The F-117A can employ a variety of weapons and is equipped with sophisticated navigation and attack systems integrated into a state-of-the-art digital avionics suite that increases mission effectiveness and reduces pilot workload. Detailed planning for missions into highly defended target areas is accomplished by an automated mission planning system developed, specifically, to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the F-117A.

The first F-117 was delivered in 1982, and the last delivery was in the summer of 1990. The F117-A production decision was made in 1978 with a contract awarded to Lockheed Advanced Development Projects, the "Skunk Works," in Burbank, California. The first flight was in 1981, only 31 months after the full-scale development decision. Air Combat Command's only F-117-A unit, the F117 4450th Tactical Group, (now the 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.), achieved operational capability in October 1983.

Streamlined management by Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, combined breakthrough stealth technology with concurrent development and production to rapidly field the aircraft.

The F-117 program has demonstrated that a stealth aircraft can be designed for reliability and maintainability. The aircraft maintenance statistics are comparable to other tactical fighters of similar complexity. Logistically supported by Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan AFB, California, the F117 is kept at the forefront of technology through a planned weapon system improvement program located at USAF Plant 42 at Palmdale, California.

F117 Operational History

During the program's early years, from 1984 to mid-1992, the F-117A fleet was based at Tonopah Test Range Airport, Nevada where it served under the 4450th Tactical Group. Because the F-117 was classified during this time, the 4450th Tactical Group was "officially" located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and equipped with A-7 Corsair II aircraft. The 4450th was absorbed by the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing in 1989. In 1992, the entire fleet was transferred to Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, where it was placed under the command of the 49th Fighter Wing. The move eliminated Key Air flights, which flew 22,000 passenger trips on 300 flights from Nellis to Tonopah per month.

The F-117 has been used several times in war. Its first mission was during the United States invasion of Panama in 1989.[29] During that invasion two F117-A Nighthawks dropped two bombs on Rio Hato airfield.

During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the F-117A flew approximately 1,300 sorties and scored direct hits on 1,600 high-value targets in Iraq[1] while flying 6,905 combat flying hours.[30] The F-117 comprised only 2.5% of the American aircraft in Iraq yet struck more than 40% of the strategic targets.[31] "During their mission, the F117-A pilots delivered over 2,000 tons of precision-guided ordnance with a hit rate of better than 80 percent. Although the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing Provisional and its 42 stealth fighters represented just 2 1/2 percent of all allied fighter and attack aircraft in the Gulf, the F-117As were assigned against more than 31 percent of the strategic Iraqi military targets attacked during the first 24 hours of the air campaign." During the war, it performed poorly dropping smart bombs on military targets, achieving a success rate of only 40%.

It was among the only U.S. or coalition aircraft to strike targets in downtown Baghdad. Among the aircraft with which the Nighthawk shared this distinction were the F-16s which attacked Baghdad during daylight on 19 January 1991 during the "Package Q" mission—the largest single strike flown during the war.

Since moving to Holloman AFB in 1992, the F117-A and the men and women of the 49th Fighter Wing have deployed to Southwest Asia more than once. On their first trip, the F-117s flew non-stop from Holloman to Kuwait, a flight of approximately 18.5 hours – a record for single-seat fighters that stands today.

It has since been used in Operation Allied Force in 1999, Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

F117 Combat losses

One F-117 has been lost in combat, to Serbian forces. On 27 March 1999, during the Kosovo War, the 3rd Battalion of the 250th Missile Brigade under the command of Colonel Zoltan Dani, equipped with the Isayev S-125 'Neve' (NATO designation SA-3 'Goa') anti-aircraft missile system, downed a F-117A callsign "Vega 31," serial number 82-806 with a Serbian improved Neva-M missile.[26][27] According to NATO Commander Wesley Clark and other NATO generals, Serb air defenses found that they could detect F-117s with their radars operating on unusually long wavelengths. This made them visible on radar screens for short times. The pilot survived and was later rescued by U.S. Air Force Pararescue personnel. However, the wreckage of the F-117 was not promptly bombed, due to possible media fallout from news footage of civilians around the wreckage. The Serbs are believed to have invited Russian personnel to inspect the remains, inevitably compromising the then 25-year old U.S. stealth technology.[28] Since the United States did not destroy the wreckage, the remains can still be seen by civilians today at the Museum of Aviation in Belgrade close to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. An error of assumption was made by many as to the identity of the pilot. While the name "Capt Ken 'Wiz' Dwelle" was painted on the canopy, it was made public in 2007 that the actual pilot was Lt Col. Dale Zelko, USAF.

Reportedly several SA-3s were launched, one of which detonated in close proximity to the F-117A, forcing the pilot to eject. According to an interview, Zoltán Dani was able to keep most of his missile sites intact and had a number of spotters spread out looking for F-117s and other NATO aircraft. The commanders and crews of the SAMs guessed the flight paths of earlier F-117A strikes from rare radar spottings and positioned their SAM launchers and spotters accordingly. It is believed that the SA-3 crews and spotters were able to locate and track F-117A 82-806 visually, probably with the help of infra-red and night vision systems. He also claimed that his battery shot down an F-16 as well.

Some American sources acknowledge that a second F-117A was also damaged during a raid in the same campaign, and although it made it back to its base, it supposedly never flew again

The decision to produce the F-117A was made on 1 November 1978, and a contract awarded to Lockheed Advanced Development Projects, popularly known as the Skunk Works, in Burbank, California. The program was led by Ben Rich. Rich called on Bill Schroeder, a Lockheed mathematician, and Denys Overholser, a computer scientist, to exploit Ufimtsev's work. They designed a computer program called Echo, which made it possible to design an airplane with flat panels, called facets, which were arranged so as to scatter over 99% of a radar's signal energy "painting" the airplane.

The F-117 first flew in June 1981, only 31 months after the full-scale development decision. The first production F-117A was delivered in 1982, operational capability was achieved in October 1983, and the last of 59 airplanes was delivered in the summer of 1990.[9] The Air Force denied the existence of the aircraft until 1988, when a grainy photograph was released to the public. In April 1990 two were flown into Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, arriving during daylight and visible to a crowd of tens of thousands.
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F-117 Nighthawk Bomber