General Dynamics Agile Falcon

Last revised March 19, 2000


In 1984, General Dynamics proposed the Agile Falcon as a counter to new Soviet fighters such as the MiG-29 and the Su-27. It was designed to make use of some of the already-planned improvements to the Fighting Falcon known as MSIP IV. In addition, it had a 25-percent larger wing and was powered by an improved General Electric F110-GE-129 or Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine. Very little interest was attracted at that time.

Not giving up easily, General Dynamics proposed the Agile Falcon as a low-cost alternative to the F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter. It was intended for the US and the four original F-16 NATO members, General Dynamics arguing that the new European fighters such as the Dassault Rafale and the SAAB Gripen lacked the performance and avionics to deal with the MiG-29/Su-27 threat.

In October 1987, the USAF announced that they might develop the Agile Falcon on its own even if the European partners backed out of the program. However, in the current military drawdown, the Agile Falcon program remains in limbo, and is unlikely to proceed any further.

Sources:


  1. Combat Aircraft F-16, Doug Richardson, Crescent, 1992.

  2. General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  3. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  4. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  5. F-16 Fighting Falcon--A Major Review of the West's Universal Warplane, Robert F. Dorr, World Airpower Journal, Spring 1991.

  6. The World's Great Interceptor Aircraft, Gallery, 1989.

  7. Modern Military Aircraft--F-16 Viper, Lou Drendel, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1992.

  8. Lockheed F-16 Variants, Part 1, World Airpower Journal, Volume 21, Summer 1995.

  9. E-mail from Ben Marselis