The F/A-53 can be summed up as a "slugger." Heavy hitting against air and ground targets, the Condor was the result of a USAF program requiring a new nimble and powerful multi-role aircraft with an emphasis on ground attack. The program initially called for a light aircraft, but as the design progressed it rapidly became one of the largest single-seat fighter aircraft to enter service. The USAF has ordered two variants- the A-53, featuring heavier armor and a second crewman for strike missions, and the F/A-53 (pictured) a single seater with emphasis on air-to-air and air to ground. The forward-swept wing ensures a high angle of attack and superb low speed maneuverability.
This F/A-53 belongs to the South Dakota Air National Guard, a vital outfit given its relative proximity to potential hotspot, Quebec. First time with waterslide decals, I am personally very happy with how they came out.
I wanted to fit canards in there somewhere, but it would mean sacrificing the engine intake area- something I didn't want to do.
The F/A-53 can carry a heavy bombload, owing to its twin P&W F135 engines. This aircraft is clearly in a multi-role configuration, sporting AMRAAMs, ATGMs, a targeting pod, and CRV7 pods.
The F/A 53 can carry nearly all weapons required of it, although, for workload issues, the F/A-53 (as opposed to the A-53) is generally restricted to unguided weapons or basic fire and forget types. The aircraft was practically designed around its twin cannon and requirement for two heavy anti-shipping missiles, a common load for ANGs on the East Coast.
Great work on colors (the mix of both greys is just perfect), on the shape and angles (very up to date). I particularly liked your work on missiles, tank and pods: very accurate and clever builds. Wonderful job!!