The YF-22D was conceptualized in 2007, not long after the end of the Free Erusea movement, as a replacement for the aging F-22A. The aircraft, designed by EASA under commission by ISAF, was meant to perform in all roles, making it a true multi-role aircraft. However, with a protracted development cycle and notorious cost overruns, only two aircraft were initially produced, serial numbers YF22D001 and YF22D002, respectively. Regardless, it would become a mainstay for the ISAAF, becoming the de-facto symbol of ISAF, with its distinctive design.
Advanced Joint Strike Fighter Program
In Strangereal, development of the YF-22D began in 2007, with the launch of the Advanced Joint Strike Fighter program, or AJSF. Entrants for the program were required to have the following additions compared to a standard fighter: Advanced avionics, internal weapons bays, and provisions for an on-board gauss rifle. Of the entrants, designed by various corporations and concerns, only the EASA design, which would become the YF-22, met the overall requirements, despite having an (at the time) unconventional COFFIN system, as opposed to a standard cockpit.
Zone of Endless
The AJSF program sparked new interest in the Zone of Endless artificial intelligence, which had been devised by Belkan scientists along-side the COFFIN during the First Usean Continental War. The Z.O.E program involved assigning AI various roles and ranks with regards to fighter and bomber aircraft, and seeing just what the AI would do when given specific tasks. The second YF-22 prototype, the YF-22Z was painted crimson, a hallmark of Z.O.E aircraft. Unlike the various production variants, the YF-22Z is unarmed, meant to serve solely as a technology demonstrator.
During the development of this highly-advanced fighter, which neared completion in 2023, over a decade after it was commissioned, Osean intelligence operatives had managed to steal certain design documents related to the aircraft, and produced a single copy, which they labeled the XFA-56 Marauder.
By the mid-late 2030's, Neucom, Inc. expressed interest in properly developing the design, and at the 2039 November City Air Exposition, the Neucom interpretation of the fighter, the R-405 Lamna (UPEO reporting name "Super Raptor") was unveiled, and was noted in the media as being the "Ultimate Fighter". At the Air Expo, the R-405 demonstrated advanced low-altitude maneuvers, including the infamous Pugachev's Cobra and Kulbit. While the new aircraft was externally identical to the YF-22D, down to sporting a modified version of Mobius 1's paint scheme, it was vastly different in terms of avionics. It was equipped with a rather unique COFFIN, in that it had the provisions for an additional AI aid. Along with this, it was equipped with full 3D thrust-vectoring nozzles, which allowed for far greater maneuverability than both the YF-22D, and the General Resource F-22C Raptor II.
In Shattered Skies, the origin of the YF-22D is unknown. One of these advanced fighters engaged the number four of Blitz Wing, callsign Knight, over the Archipelago of Hawaii, where the Super Raptor was shot down after a heated dogfight. The ISAC (Independent States Air Command) then procured not the fighter itself, but a replica of the aircraft's paint scheme for use on several of Knight's aircraft, from his F-4E Phantom II, to his YF-23 Black Widow II.
In Strangereal, the YF-22D, FATO reporting name "Mobius Strip" was utilized by the Usean ace Mobius One during the Free Erusian State Insurrection, to great effect. After the Insurrection was quelled, ISAF received an order of assistance from the grossly outnumbered Belkan Air Force, who needed ace pilots after the alleged betrayal of Knight Squadron. Hesitantly, ISAF agreed, and sent five Mobius Squadron pilots to aid the Belkans during the Battle of Dinsmark.
Three years later, the fully-realized F/A-22D, Yuktobanian reporting name "Jackpot", would be used by both sides of the Yuke-Emmerian War. To what extent, however, is unknown.
In Shattered Skies, one YF-22D was deployed by an unknown force during the Inter-Megalithic War. The pilot of this particular craft, callsign M1 (presumed to stand for Mobius 1) was shot down following a brief, but incredibly heated dogfight with Blitz Wing Four, callsign Knight.
Aces and Ace Squadrons
- Mobius 1 (118th TFW "Mobius")
- Nathaniel Zachary (54th TFS "Vigilante")
- Zone of Endless AI
- Maj. Jedidiah "Jeb" Bloomfield (14th Air Defense Squadron "Revenant")
YF-22D - Initial prototype aircraft. Personalized by ISAF for Mobius 1.
YF-22Z - Zone of Endless demonstrator.
F/A-22D - Full scale production variant, with production beginning in 2038.
F/B-22D - Bomber variant with increased payload capacity, but reduced mobility.
F/I-22D - Proposed variant, intended for use as a high-altitude interceptor and low-level Strato Fighter.
R-405 Lamna - Neucom, Inc. produced version sporting highly advanced avionics and an increased service ceiling. Can also be used as electronic warfare to a limited degree.
Despite being an "evolved" form of the F-22A, the F/A-22D is an entirely new aircraft fitting the same role. Because the original design specifications for the Super Raptor have been lost due to war, the following specifications are from Neucom's production run, which modified the aircraft's design slightly:
- Length: 86 feet 9 inches
- Wingspan: 50 feet 5 inches
- Weight: 80'000lbs (empty) 125'000lbs (loaded)
- Height: 16 ft 10 in
- Crew: 1 (YF-22D), 2 (F/A-22D/R-405 Lamna)
- 2x M61A2 Vulcan (1000 rounds)
- General Purpose Missiles
- Semi-Active Air-to-air Missile
- Unguided Bomb - Large
- 22.1mm Excalibur Gauss Autocannon