The SM-39 is a next generation air dominance fighter and fighter-bomber. Designed to perform the missions of the F-22, F-15, F/A-18E/F and the now retired F-14 Tomcat, A-5 Vigilante and A-6 Intruder, the SM-39 is a twin engine, piloted or unpiloted autonomous, low observable aircraft. With two internal weapon bays, all moving horizontal stabilizers with no vertical tail, double slotted flaps with boundary layer blowing, thrust vectoring nozzles and titanium foam metal sandwich construction, the SM-39 is a sixth generation fighter and a direct bridge between atmospheric aircraft and future reusable space fighters.
Of radical planform, the SM-39 is a triple fuselage design featuring a streamlined center, high fineness ratio primary fuselage accompanied laterally by right and left mounted secondary fuselages. The secondary fuselages begin as highly swept wing strakes into which the aircraft wing, empennage, an a single ventral air intake and engine nacelle is blended. This planform configuration results in a significant reduction in supersonic wave-drag, allowing the aircraft to have a volume distribution that is very near the Sears-Haack ideal. Designed for supercruise, this configuration places the wing leading edge within the shock cone of the secondary fuselage wing strakes at high Mach numbers.
In addition to reducing wave drag, the SM-39’s triple fuselage design allows for a an efficient distribution of primary aircraft systems. The center fuselage houses principal avionics, including the radome and AESA radar, as well as the cockpit, nose landing gear and two internal weapons bays. The secondary fuselages are home to a high pressure recovery, serpentine variable geometry internal compression air intake, a single variable cycle afterburning powerplant and the main landing gear. Both the center and secondary fuselages house internal fuel tanks, sensors and electronic countermeasures. Distributing aircraft systems laterally as well as longitudinally, the three fuselages result in greater internal volume with lower overall wave drag than any supersonic fighter in service today.