This is the production version of the Prototype LAFR 2, the F-48A Owl. This will be my primary entry into the contest, as it is the most developed of the designs I have come up with. The aircraft is obviously a descendant of the LAFR 2, but is noticeably different in size and layout.
As this side view dictates, the F-48 is slightly longer than the prototype, with a streamlined and elongated nose to hold a more powerful radar, longer tale section to hold more avionics and fuel and provisions for two "stealth pods," which hold munitions in a covert and low fashion. Not visible from this angle is the considerable increased wing area of the F-48 and the larger horizontal stabilizer. Internally, the F-48 has an updated FBW system, allowing for greater maneuverability and more stability at higher speeds, which was an issue with the YF-48. The F-48 also features blown war load and STO flaps that greatly improve low speeds handling and allow rotation with a full war load 70 knots with a 45 degree nozzle deflection.
WEAPONS AND TACTICS
Internally, the LARF Features two powerful 30mm cannons, the RM-01, a RyanAircraft weapons design that fires the potent GAU-8/A round, famous for its fantastic balistics and frightening power. Together the weapons are capable of outputting 20 rounds per second. Not nearly as fast as the original GAU avenger, which could fire 3000 rounds per minute, but a cannon of that size would stop the LAFR dead in its tracks when fired.
Externally, the F-48 carries two "stealth pods" or other wing-mounted munition. The stealth pods can carry 4 stingers each, 4 hellfires each, or 15 unguided rockets each, with a very minimal penalty in RCS as the faceted, RAM covered pod is stealth in itself. For a larger penalty in stealth, other types of weapons can be hung from two hardpoints on the wings. These include GBU, CBU, Conventional iron bombs, AIM-9s, AGM-65s, or external gun pods. AIM-120s and other radar guided missiles might be mated in the future, but as of now the F-48 does not possess the avionics to fire such missiles as a weight saving precaution.
The F-48A is powered by one RJ-84 Turbofan, capable or outputting 23,000lbs or thrust at max augmentation. The RJ-84 has a SFC or .500 and a spool up time of an impressive 2 seconds, allowing for quick correction when hovering. The YF-48 also used the RJ-84, only without some of the redundant systems installed on the production vehicle. In tests the engine has proved to be reliable and efficient, which is necessary with the F-48s small fuel capacity.
The F-48 can go 500 miles at 100 ft ASL with half fuel and a load of stingers and full cannon ammunition, or 1200 miles at 25,000 ft ASL with full fuel and full war load. This might seem slightly short legged, but the LAFR design is made to operate from un developed fields near front lines, for quick, surgical strikes. Long range is not a necessity... the 1200 miles would probably only be used to deploy to one of the said bases. It can turn at 9gs at 450 knots, keeping up with an F-16, and it cruises around 550 knots. Corner velocity is 300-400knots. It can operate from most any runway surface: grass, dirt, gravel, anywhere there is a level clearing. I have successfully landed it on the decks of carriers, frigates, Oil Rigs, and building roof tops.