About This File
Saab-Fairchild F-13A Draken for STRIKE FIGHTERS 2
This is a very fictional 'what if' Saab-Fairchild F-13A Draken in USAF service and with markings for the following units;
1. 125th FW Florida ANG
2. 177th FW New Jersey ANG
3. 4451st TS Tonopah Test Range, Nevada
I've used the excellent Draken J35D 'David' from the Draken pack uploaded at CombatACE by lindr2 to create this 'what if' RAF Draken but heartily recommend the Draken pack which has no less than 8 Drakens and is a superb effort by all concerned.
During mid-1965 with attrition rates rising as the Vietnam conflict progressed (sic) the USAF's plans for re-equipping the ADC and ANG interceptor squadrons with F-4C's fell apart. Undaunted they launched a quick study into an off-the-shelf purchase of an alternative interceptor looking at the BAC Lightning F.6, Dassault Mirage IIIC, Saab Draken and the homegrown Lockheed Starfighter 'ADC' (a 'G' optimised for air-defense duties). With some considerable weighting given to low cost in the detailed analysis the Saab Draken soon became the front-runner being the only aircraft with a fly-away price below $1M but, in fact, the USAF study team scored the Draken highly in most areas.
In July 1966 the USAF announced that Saab's outstanding J-35F was the winner of the competition and that Fairchild, who had recently taken over Republic Aviation, were to partner Saab in producing the aircraft by
now redesignated F-13 (despite objections from Fairchild to the 'unlucky' number although Saab didn't seem too bothered). Entering service with the Florida Air National Guard in March 1968 the F-13 was initially viewed as the poor relation by the F-106 squadrons, a situation that soon changed with the success of the F-13 in the 1969 and 1970 William Tell competitions. F-13's served until the mid-1980's when they were generally replaced by F-16A's although one squadron remained in service until 1990 at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada in a ruse designed to mask operations of the F-117 Stealth Fighter.
During the flight-testing and the early service years of the F-117A 'Nighthawk' the F-13A Draken was used as a surrogate aircraft to maintain pilot proficiency and to provide a cover story for the existence of the 4450th
Tactical Group. Whilst in no way similar to the shape of the F-117A the rakish lines of the Draken did have an unusual planform and was therefore chosen as the 'cover' aircraft for the specially created 4451st Tactical Squadron based at Tonopah. It is believed that 18 F-13A's were given a modest refurbishment to extend their operational lives and a two-tone grey scheme to give them more of an operational 'front-line' appearance.
F-13A's entered service with the 4451st TS at Nellis AFB in May 1981 and wore 'LV' tailcodes due to their proximity to Las Vegas. It is believed that some F-13A's were operated from Tonopah almost immediately to coincide with the F-117A test programme and it became a deliberate policy to park F-13A's out in the open so as to give the impression that Tonopah was simply a normal operational F-13A base. At least four derelict ex-Florida ANG F-13A's arrived by low-loader and were given a coat of matt grey paint on the upper surfaces to maintain this impression.
The F-13A's were extremely popular with the pilots of the 4451st TS and were often used as 'Red' assets in Red Flag exercises and even made the occasional guest appearance in 'Constant Peg' operations when MiG's became unserviceable or simply to provide dissimilar bogeys. As the F-117A gradually moved from 'black' to 'grey' towards the end of the 1980's the 4451st TS's F-13A operations slowly dwindled and the unit was disbanded on June 30th, 1989.
1. From the AIRCRAFT folder drag and drop the F-13A_Draken folder into your Aircraft folder.
2. From the DECALS folder sprinkle the contents into your main Decals folder.
I've lifted these credits from the Draken pack and also from the skin I've used. If I've left anyone out then please accept my apology and do not hesitate to contact me to allow me to amend this download.
Lud von Pipper -- Lead 3D Modeller
BPAO -- Additional 3D Modeling
Sony Tuckson -- Textures and Decals
Crab_02 -- Weapon and Drop Tank Models
column5 -- Flight Model and INI files
Matthew Ouellette -- Bare Metal Skin
Grey 'Austrian' Skin - Hoarmurath (used here for the 'Tonopah' aircraft)
Jug - Landing lights, Taxi lights, ECM, Flares and Chaff mod.
BIG THANKS to TK for the continuous improvement of a great little game/sim.
And, finally, thanks to everyone in the wider Third Wire community.
Version 2 - 29/05/10