The F-117A Nighthawk is the world's first
operational aircraft designed to exploit low-observable stealth technology.
The unique design of the single-seat F-117A
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-117A was delivered in 1982,
and the last delivery was in the summer of 1990. The F-117A production
decision was made in 1978 with a contract awarded to Lockheed Advanced
Development Projects, the "Skunk Works," in Burbank, Calif.
The first flight was in 1981, only 31 months after the full-scale development
decision. Air Combat Command's only F-117A unit, the 4450th Tactical
Group, (now the 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico), 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-117A 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, Calif., the F-117A is kept at the forefront of technology through
a planned weapon system improvement program located at USAF Plant 42
at Palmdale, California.
Primary Function: Fighter/attack
Contractor: Lockheed Aeronautical Systems
Power Plant: Two General Electric F404
Length: 65 feet, 11 inches (20.3 meters)
Height: 12 feet, 5 inches (3.8 meters)
Weight: 52,500 pounds (23,625 kilograms)
Wingspan: 43 feet, 4 inches (13.3 meters)
Speed: High subsonic
Range: Unlimited with air refueling
Armament: Internal weapons carriage
Unit Cost: $45 million
Date Deployed: 1982
Inventory: Active force, 54; ANG, 0; Reserve,
Point Of Contact
Air Combat Command , Public Affairs Office;
115 Thompson Street, Suite 211; Langley AFB, VA 23665; DSN 574-5014
or (804) 764-5014; e-mail: email@example.com