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"Unknown aircraft approaching ... It's a fighter. A fast one!"
AWACS Ghost Eye during Operation Free Gracemeria

The CFA-44 Nosferatu[a] is a sixth-generation carrier-based stealth aircraft, renowned for its distinct, powerful arsenal and high mobility.[1]

The CFA-44 made its debut in Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, as one of the final boss battles in the game, and has been featured in every console game since; it was added as post-launch DLC for Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, and available in a post-launch update for Ace Combat Infinity.

Since the CFA-44 has appeared in multiple continuities, its development history has adapted to each one. In the Strangereal universe, an Estovakian state-run company, Albastru-Electrice, developed the CFA-44 as an experimental weapons platform.[2] In the Assault Horizon universe, the CFA-44 was portrayed as Russia's next-generation fighter aircraft, which led to the in-universe development of the ASF-X Shinden II.[3] In the Infinity universe, the aircraft was used by the USEA Federation to defend Excalibur[4] and modified to be used as the Butterfly Master's QFA-44 unmanned drone.[5][6]

Etymology

"CFA" stands for "Carrier Fighter Attacker". "44" is a reference to the .44 Magnum, a cartridge designed for revolvers, due to the aircraft's Purgatorio EMLs being equipped like dual-wielding guns.[1]

"Nosferatu" is a term used in popular culture to refer to vampires. In the Strangereal universe, where the aircraft first appeared, the development of the CFA-44 put a massive strain on the Estovakian economy. This led many critics to compare it to an actual vampire sucking taxpayer money.[2]

Design

Body

CFA-44 Emmeria (Lower Approach)

The CFA-44 is a twin-engine carrier fighter aircraft using a delta wing configuration, which gives it a distinctive "kite" shape, with outer-canted twin tails.[7] The twin engines are made of highly-durable single-crystal blades, which achieve thrust vectoring through special two-dimensional rudders, similar to those seen on the Rockwell-MBB X-31 demonstrator. The CFA-44's canards enhance its mobility, providing it with an aggressive front profile. The wingtips use protruding leading edge extensions, while the wings themselves use wide slats and can be folded for aircraft carrier use. It also features arresting landing gear for carrier operations. In total, built out of light alloy and carbon materials,[8] this angular design allows for high degrees of mobility and increased cruising speeds but severely reduces the aircraft's stability.[2]

AC6 CFA-44 First Person View

A CFA-44 Nosferatu's cockpit in Ace Combat 6

The cockpit uses a panoramic display system, similar to the one in the F-35 Lightning II, including a digital interface that monitors the physical condition and weapons of the aircraft. In Assault Horizon, like other Russian aircraft, the CFA-44's vocal warnings are in Russian. CFA-44s in the Assault Horizon universe are equipped with internal explosives to destroy the cockpit in emergency situations.[9]

The CFA-44 features porous ceramics[2] and electromagnetic wave-absorbing meta-materials in its body,[8] which are more light and durable than conventional stealth coatings. The aircraft's configuration can be modified in relation to special characteristics of enemy radar systems, further enhancing the CFA-44's stealth capabilities.[2] However, the gap between the main body and the canards and the angle they form does not allow for complete stealth.[10] Additionally, if the ECM pods are activated, the CFA-44 loses all of its stealth in favor of radar jamming.[2]

In the Assault Horizon universe, NATO intelligence photographed two variants of the CFA-44: the "Fandance-A", the same design as the playable CFA-44; and the "Fandance-B", where its wings and canards are placed higher on the airframe and the wings feature a greater leading edge extension, along with an exposed right-hand gun compartment.[11]

Weapons

CFA-44 Nosferatu Color 3-6 ADMM

A CFA-44 firing its All Direction Multi-Purpose Missiles in Assault Horizon

The CFA-44's standard weaponry consists of dual anti-air autocannons and external pylons on the wings for carrying missiles. In the Assault Horizon universe, NATO believes the CFA-44's dual machine guns are probably based off of the Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1, but this is not confirmed.[10] The aircraft's experimental weapons are housed in internal bays: two above the intakes, designed after the British English Electric Lightning and Jaguar,[1] and one on the underside between the intakes. These bays can store four different weapons:

  • All Direction Multi-Purpose Missiles, codenamed "Inferno",[12] are stored in all three bays and can lock on to up to 12 targets simultaneously.[2]
  • Electromagnetic Launchers, codenamed "Purgatorio",[12] are stored in the two upper bays while a battery unit is housed in the lower bay, allowing the two railguns to rapidly fire.[2]
  • Electronic Countermeasure pods, codenamed "Cocytus",[12] serve as conventional jammers but can also emit powerful beams that can burn enemy missile sensors and blind enemy pilots.[2]
  • UAV-45s, codenamed "Malebolge",[13] can be stored inside the weapons bays for long-range deployments. The CFA-44's integrated sensors allow for a feature called "cloud shooting", which provides seamless links with numerous autonomous Malebolge UAVs at once. These UAVs can also mimic the CFA-44's radar reflection to confuse enemy radar systems.[2]

The unique weapons bays, in conjunction with the aircraft's engines and landing gear, require the CFA-44 to use complex air intakes described as "crude" and "poor" by NATO officers in the Assault Horizon universe. The increased weight from the weapons bays worsens the CFA-44's already-poor stability, and its body design makes the use of conformal fuel tanks impossible. This all results in a small operational radius in exchange for maximum weapons performance.[8]

Specifications

The CFA-44 has different specifications depending on the continuity.

Strangereal[2] Assault Horizon[9]
Length 24.04 m
(78.87 ft)
20.40 m
(66.93 ft)
Wingspan 14.58 m
(47.83 ft)
12.40 m
(40.68 ft)
Height 5.03 m
(16.50 ft)
3.99 m
(13.09 ft)
Weight 18,500 kg
(40,800 pounds)
N/A
Engines 2× Marte-type 11 unknown Saturn engines
90 kN each (est.)
Combat radius 1,360 km
(850 miles)
N/A
Top speed Mach 2.2
(2,695 km/h; 1,675 mph; 1,455 kn)
Subsonic (est.)

History

Strangereal

Development

CFA-44 Prototype Rear

A prototype CFA-44 Nosferatu

Development of the CFA-44 began on June 1, 2005, in Estovakia. It began development as a carrier-based fighter under a national project involving several weapons manufacturing firms. Central to the project was the state-run Albastru-Electrice, who aimed to create an aerial arsenal ship capable of seamless datalink with autonomous Malebolge UAV-45s.[2] Eventually, a prototype was developed, with its main focus being the successful integration of an Electromagnetic Launcher on a fighter.[14]

The project put a massive strain on the Estovakian economy, which was still struggling due to the Ulysses Impact Event decimating the country. Estovakian mass media corporations often mocked the aircraft's nickname, "Nosferatu," by comparing the project to an actual vampire sucking up taxpayer money. Following the outbreak of the Estovakian Civil War in 2007, the Eastern Faction continued the project's development. Under the Eastern Faction's rule, free speech was almost non-existent in Estovakia, and many reporters went missing during the project's development.[2]

The CFA-44 was utilized as a stable platform for testing experimental weapons such as the Purgatorio Electromagnetic Launcher. One of the prototype CFA-44s was later modified by Ilya Pasternak in favor of more speed and agility, as well as to more heavily utilize both Inferno All Direction Multi-Purpose Missiles and control systems for Malebolge UAVs.[14][12]

Deployment

Pasternak and Toscha

Ilya Pasternak's CFA-44

CFA-44s with All Direction Multi-Purpose Missiles were deployed by the Eastern Faction during the Estovakian Civil War, where the weapons proved highly effective against rival factions.[2]

At the onset of the Emmeria-Estovakia War, the Estovakian military initially planned for multiple CFA-44s to be deployed with the Aerial Fleet, however, development issues resulted in only a few being experimentally deployed in the early stages of the war.[2]

Pasternak flew a modified CFA-44 into battle on March 31, 2016, against Garuda Team during the Emmerians' liberation of Gracemeria. Despite his overwhelming firepower, Talisman shot him down after a prolonged battle, destroying the aircraft and killing Pasternak along with it.[13] By the end of the war, Emmeria had captured at least one CFA-44 Nosferatu.[15]

Postwar service

Following the Emmeria-Estovakia War, CFA-44 Nosferatus continued to be manufactured and fielded by Estovakia in limited quantities.[2]

Assault Horizon universe

CFA-44 Flyby AH Master File

A Soviet CFA-44 Nosferatu in flight

Initial construction

In the Horizon universe, the CFA-44 was developed by the former Soviet Union in the second half of the 20th century by an unknown manufacturer. The aircraft was produced in factories in the provinces of Romania, then under Soviet control. It is unknown whether it was indigenously produced by Romania, or if it was lent to them by Russia.[8]

The existence of the aircraft remained unknown to the Western Bloc untl the early '80s, when a Nosferatu was spotted by satellites over the coast of Romania near the Black Sea. Initially, the Nosferatu was not believed to be a vehicle by Western officers because of its shape, only being determined as such after checking its shadows on nearby clouds. Because no other aircraft in the Soviet air force matched its characteristics, special attention was placed on this particular jet.[7]

Soon after the initial sighting, satellite imagery detected other CFA-44s at bases in Romania and Ukraine, which gave the West a clearer view of the aircraft. Their upper weapons bays were discovered as heat signatures by infrared systems. NATO member states began to obtain intelligence on the newly discovered aircraft, but the images were not believed to warrant a performance assessment. Mikoyan-Gurevich and Sukhoi were suspected as its developers; however, the true origins of the Nosferatu, even whether it had been created by Russia or another republic under Soviet control, remained a mystery.[7]

The CFA-44 was soon given names by the Western Bloc. The Air Standardization Coordinating Committee (ASCC) of NATO named it "Fandance" after a type of dance,[9] in reference to its wing shape. In the other hand, the US Department of Defense (DoD), which used stricter naming conventions, designated it "Uni-D", or "Unidentified Delta". Between 1983 and 1985, as the MiG-29 Fulcrum and the Su-27 Flanker respectively entered mass production, it disappeared from Western eyes.[16]

Combat service

CFA-44 (Master File)

A Soviet CFA-44 with Emmerian markings

Believed to be in response to the United States' reveal of the F-117A Nighthawk in 1988, the Fandance was deployed by Russia in conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Advances in visual technology allowed to obtain more detailed images of the enigmatic aircraft. During operatons in the mid-1990s, it gained the attention of the West for using experimental weaponry against enemy aircraft. A pilot who was engaged by a CFA-44 described its Electromagnetic Launcher as "a type of laser weapon," due to the lack of missile alert. As well, it was said that the Fandance tended to intermittently vanish from ground radar.[9]

During a flight over Africa, a CFA-44 produced in the Romanian Constanta province, serial number 44-025388, suffered mechanical failure and crashed, killing the pilot. The accident occurred in a country within the Western sphere of influence, and its remains were soon recovered by NATO, becoming the first unit in Western hands. The following investigation provided insight on the design of the aircraft, revealing details on its engines, weaponry and avionics. However, the cockpit was destroyed by a self-destruct device, making an autopsy unfeasible.[8]

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, classified information on Russian weapons was leaked to the black market. The analysis carried out by NATO identified the avionics and design flaws of the aircraft, but also assumed the possibility that the Nosferatu could be replicated by other nations, and thus constituted a major threat to Western aviation.[9][17]

Modern era

NRF CFA-44 Nosferatu In Formation Master File

Two CFA-44s flying in formation

In the year 2002, two CFA-44s were responsible for an unauthorized flight over the Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Kyushu. However, the aircraft could not be properly identified as such, as they only appeared as blurry shapes in American satellites. Due to this incident, which occurred during the heightened worldwide state of alert following the September 11 attacks, Japan saw fit to create a next-generation aircraft to protect its borders. This led to the development of the ASF-X Shinden II.[3]

Several years later, in 2016, CFA-44s were engaged under unknown circumstances by ASF-X Shinden II pilots. JASDF pilots Kei Nagase and Wataru Asano were involved in combat against them.[18]

Infinity universe

In the Infinity universe, the CFA-44 was produced in unknown circumstances by an undetermined country, though some assume it was still developed by Russia. Several units were acquired by the USEA Federation; some were modified to be remotely operated through the Connection for Flight Interface system as the "QFA-44 Carmilla", while many others were assigned to protect Excalibur.[19] The original model was later included by Wernher and Noah Enterprises to the Advanced Automated Aviation Plant system repertoire during the conflict in Eurasia, allowing the United Nations Forces to purchase and operate it.[20]

Game Analysis

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

How to Unlock

The CFA-44 Nosferatu will be available for purchase in Autumn 2020.[21]

Gallery

Ace Combat Infinity

"This next-generation, carrier-based stealth aircraft has been developed using cutting-edge technology. Its left and right 2DCD thrust-vectoring nozzles provide outstanding maneuverability. Various onboard experimental weapon technologies include a powerful rail gun and ADMM missiles. The Nosferatu has the potential to turn the tide in any battle in the hands of an experienced ace pilot."
Hangar

How to Unlock

The CFA-44 is available through the Aircraft Tree.
Stats and Prices Lv.1-10
Lv. Cst SP MO ST AA AG DF Price
1 825 C+ C+ B B+ C+ C 4,590,000
2 874 C+ C+ B B+ B C+ 2,727,000
3 923 B B B+ B+ B C+ 3,942,000
4 972 B+ B+ B+ A B+ B 4,644,000
5 1021 A B+ A A B+ B+ 7,047,000
6 1070 A A A A+ B+ A 14,850,000
7 1119 A+ A+ A A+ A A+ 7,290,000
8 1168 A+ A+ A+ S A S 8,100,000
9 1217 S S A+ S A S+ 8,910,000
10 1266 S S A+ S A+ S+ 9,990,000
Stats and Prices Lv.11-20
Lv. Cst SP MO ST AA AG DF Price
11 1317 S+ S+ S S A+ S+ 11,070,000
12 1368 S+ S+ S S+ A+ S+ 12,690,000
13 1419 S+ S+ S S+ S S+ 13,500,000
14 1470 S+ S+ S+ S+ S S++ 15,525,000
15 1521 S+ S+ S+ S+ S S++ 17,010,000
16 1591 S+ S+ S+ S+ S+ S++ 22,464,000
17 1654 S+ S+ S+ S+ S+ S++ 25,650,000
18 1717 S++ S+ S+ S+ S+ S++ 28,863,000
19 1780 S++ S+ S+ S+ S+ S+++ 36,882,000
20 1843 S++ S+ S+ S+ S+ S+++ 46,521,000


Credit Price Calculator
The calculator is not available on the mobile version of the wiki.

Weapon Ammo Lv.1-10
Lv. GUN MSL ADMM EML ECM
1 520 124 3
2 590 126 3
3 660 128 4
4 730 130 4 4
5 800 132 4 5
6 856 134 5 6
7 912 136 5 7 14
8 968 138 6 8 15
9 1024 140 6 9 16
10 1080 142 7 10 17
Weapon Ammo Lv.11-20
Lv. GUN MSL ADMM EML ECM
11 1136 146 8 11 18
12 1192 150 8 12 19
13 1248 154 9 13 20
14 1304 158 9 14 21
15 1360 162 10 16 22
16 1416 164 11 17 23
17 1472 166 11 18 24
18 1528 168 12 19 25
19 1584 170 12 20 26
20 1640 172 13 22 27

Part Slots
These are the minimum / maximum part slots this aircraft carried at the respective levels. Part slots could be added until they reach maximum by repeatedly sortieing with the aircraft; see Tuning for more information. A maximum of 7 parts could be equipped at any time, regardless of available slots.

BODY / Max ARMS / Max MISC / Max
Lv.1-5 37 / 38 35 / 38 36 / 38
Lv.6-14 39 / 40 37 / 40 38 / 40
Lv.15-19 40 / 41 38 / 41 39 / 41
Lv.20 41 / 42 39 / 42 40 / 42

Nicknames
Upgrading this aircraft to these levels unlocked the respective nicknames for use at any time.

  • Lv.3: Missile Circus
  • Lv.10: Rail Gun
  • Lv.15: Daywalker
  • Lv.20: Hades

Skins

  • Default: Gray body

Gallery

Mach Storm

How to Unlock

The CFA-44 is the only playable aircraft in Mach Storm, given to the player in every mission.

Special Weapons

Gallery

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

"This next-generation, carrier-based stealth aircraft has been developed using cutting-edge technology. Its left and right 2DCD thrust-vectoring nozzles provide outstanding maneuverability. Various onboard experimental weapon technologies include a powerful rail gun and ADMM missiles. The Nosferatu has the potential to turn the tide in any battle in the hands of an experienced ace pilot."
Hangar

How to Unlock

The CFA-44 can only be obtained via the "Online Map Pack", which also contains Tokyo, Honolulu, and the AV-8B Harrier II plus.

Statistics

Nosferatu ah stats

Special Weapons

Colors

  • Color 1: Gray body
  • Color 2: "Prototype" livery
  • Color 3: Strigon Team camouflage

Gallery

Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation

"The "Nosferatu" is Estovakia's next-generation carrier-based stealth aircraft. Various onboard experimental weapon technologies include a rail gun, ADMM missiles and a fully integrated electronic support system. In the hands of an experienced pilot, this aircraft truly knows no bounds. Complete dominance over all other aircraft in speed, acceleration, and maneuverability is hindered only by its instability. Outfitted with the latest in experimental weaponry, it knows no match from the land or air. The aircraft's true potential can only be achieved by a technologically minded ace with the battle skills to match."
Hangar

How to Unlock

The CFA-44 will be unlocked after completing the main campaign on Hard difficulty, regardless of first playthrough or afterward. It costs 229,500 credits.

Statistics

CFA-44 Nosferatu AC6 Stats

Special Weapons

Colors

  • Emmeria: Gray body
  • Estovakia: Strigon Team camouflage (Unlock: Purchase all three base colors on all other aircraft, then clear any mission)
  • Estovakia SP: Purple-blue body and leading trim with white wings and vertical tails (Unlock: Earn 15 Service Medals)
  • CFA-44 -PROTOTYPE-: DLC, white body with blue trims
  • CFA-44 -RAZGRIZ-: DLC, black body with red trims
  • ACES: DLC

Gallery

Trivia

Footnotes

  1. NATO: Fandance; Japanese: CFA-44 ノスフェラトゥ; Russian: КИБ-44 Носферату

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 File:Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown - 25th Anniversary Interview & Gameplay
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Aces At War: A History 2019, page 69.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Master File, page 26.
  4. Excalibur Onslaught III and IV, Ace Combat Infinity.
  5. Far Eastern Front, Ace Combat Infinity.
  6. Area B7R, Ace Combat Infinity.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Master File, page 104.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Master File, page 108.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Master File, page 106.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Master File, page 109.
  11. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Master File, page 111.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Aces At War: A History 2019, page 68.
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Liberation of Gracemeria. Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation.
  14. 14.0 14.1 CFA-44 -PROTOTYPE- description. Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation.
  15. Masato Kanno's tweet regarding whether Emmeria has CFA-44s.
  16. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Master File, page 105.
  17. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Master File, page 110.
  18. Ace Combat: Ikaros in the Sky
  19. Ace Combat Infinity
  20. Ace Combat Infinity - Operation Future Prospect trailer
  21. File:Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown - 25th Anniversary DLC
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