The STOL and Maneuver Technology Program, formally titled the “STOL Fighter Technology Program” has as its objective to demonstrate through flight test a short takeoff and landing capability on a supersonic fighter while enhancing its performance capability in all other segments of the air-to-air mission. Specific task is to takeoff and land on a 1500 by 50 foot runway at night and during ad verse weather conditions.
To accomplish this task without sacrificing performance requires the integration of advanced technologies into the aircraft. The technologies included in this effort are: a two dimensional thrust vectoring/reversing exhaust nozzle; integrated flight/propulsion control; cockpit displays and controls for all weather STOL operations; and rough/soft field landing gear.
As presently structured, the program will modify an existing fighter like the F-15, F-16, or F-18. A contract will be awarded in late summer of 1983 and first flight is scheduled for the fall of 1987.
This technology thrust is directed at one possible solution to the runway interdiction problem facing our main operating bases in Europe. The program is structured to provide technology options in the design of the next generation fighter but could have derivative applications to current fighters.