The F/A-37 Talon is a near-future, single-seat fighter aircraft of the U.S. Navy, similar in design to the EDI UCAV.
In the film's fictional world, the only Talons are operating as a three-plane flight for field evaluation, from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (although actually filmed on the USS Carl Vinson in place of the Abraham Lincoln).
The Talon is capable of hypersonic flight with two combined Pulse Detonation/Scramjet engines. As the film's title suggests, the Talon has stealth capability, along with movable, forward sweep, switchblade wings, an internal cannon for close-in fights, and an internal rotary launcher with a wide variety of ordnance, including GAU-12 Equalizer, AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missiles, AGM-130C air-to-surface missiles (called "Blue Ferret" in the film), FAEs, or fuel air explosives, of an unknown variety, and Truncheon implosion bombs.
It has a Common Integrated Processor (CIP), a central "brain" capable of making damage assessments, not just on enemy forces, but on collateral and civilian casualties as well. The CIP can make complex calculations, like estimating nuclear fallout, or projecting odds of survival.
The Talon is capable of precise attacks with minimal destruction. Each pilot has a view-screen for each wingman. Controls are streamlined; the computer communicates through voice and projection displays. The Talons had transponders that directly linked with the pilots homebase or a carrier's advanced flight center. The Talon has a self-destruct system in case of system failure.
Behind the scenes
F/A-37 unique switch-wing design closely resembles patent #5,984,231 for "Aircraft with variable forward-sweep wing", issued to Northrop Grumman Corporation in 1999. This patent caused a wave of rumors about actual aircraft build with that design, with fictional name "Switchblade", that was publicized in November 2000 issue of Popular Science magazine. Moreover, according to aerospace journalist Steve Douglass, Northrop Grumman was one of the technical advisors for the Stealth film. Yet another plane sharing design characteristics with the Talon is the VF-19 Excalibur.
The cinema Talons also can perform a front-to-back flip-over (Pugachev Cobra) while in flight, per the Russian Su 37 Flanker-F. However, the Talon does it as a complete 360 roll, at high-G. The game Empire Earth features a fighter called the Talon in the "Digital Age Epoch". It is almost identical to the F/A-37, although it is a white land-based fighter instead of a black carrier-based one.
Technically, the F/A-37 should be called "Talon II", as the name "Talon" has already been assigned to the T-38 trainer aircraft.
- ↑ 040618-N-8497H-031 Pacific Ocean (June 18, 2004) – Sailors assigned to the Air Department division aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), move a fictitious jet aircraft during filming of the motion picture "Stealth," starring Jessica Biel, Josh Lucas and Jamie Foxx. Lincoln was conducting local operations in preparation for an upcoming scheduled deployment after 10 months of dry docked Planned Incremental Availability (PIA). U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements (RELEASED)