|“|| Stealth fighter ready for fly by!|
|“|| I'll leave no trail...|
- Nighthawk on the move
During the period of rearmament of the US Armed Forces in response to a growing global presence of near-peer military adversaries and the threat posed by ever more sophisticated low-frequency radars and tracking systems, the US military requested a design for a new optionally manned strike bomber. The demands were that the new aircraft would be at least as stealthy as Northrop Grumman's B-21 Raider and less expensive than the F/B-40 Aurora, and would be capable for aircraft carrier deployment. Lockheed Martin and Boeing submitted two final designs, a less expensive but slower variant for the US Air Force and a higher speed penetration bomber for the US Navy. The first model was named the A-19 Nighthawk II. Its blended wing body design and advanced jamming devices make it extremely difficult to detect with nearly any radar or infrared system, and the Nighthawk II in both variants is capable of carrying up to the heaviest forms of JDAMs, missiles, and laser-guided munitions. To save costs, both variants of the Nighthawk II use off-the-shelf avionics from the F-35, and the A-19 variant uses high-bypass versions of the F/A-18E's F414 engine.
The F/B-19 Nighthawk II is the version used by the US Navy. It is carrier capable and is geared towards high altitude, high speed penetration bombing. To that end, its fuselage is designed for high speed operations and it uses the afterburner-capable versions of the F414 engine. It retains the jamming suite and large weapons bay of the A-19 variant. Given the US Navy's greater usage of drone aircraft, such as Northrop Grumman's MQ-25 Stingray, the F/B-19 is often employed in the AI controlled format for maximum range and flight endurance.
|Order the unit to attack the target area.|
|“|| Payin' a surprise visit!|
- Nighthawk attacking
By utilizing the Nighthawks, one can systematically pick away at the opposition's outermost defenses as 2 Nighthawks can destroy any defensive structure. Whenever there are no stealth detectors, Nighthawks can bomb a target without any opposition; making them a great hazard to any opponents' unprepared base. Nighthawks can more often than not make it back to base in one piece, aided by the fact that it's still stealthed when dropping their payload and can be upgraded with Countermeasures to confuse incoming missiles as well become more resistant to anti-air fire. Equipped with a Bunker Buster bomb, the Nighthawk is able to easily eliminate all garrisoned troops inside most buildings with a single bomb, and its increased punch from a direct hit also makes it a valuable asset in defending a base from an incoming tank column. The Nighthawks' payload is also very potent against buildings as 5 Nighthawks can take out a superweapon structure like the Particle Cannon.
The Nighthawk however is not as fast as the Raptor and its armor is only average for a plane, so even with its stealth capabilities, care must be taken to avoid areas with stealth detection and a heavy AA presence.
- The Nighthawk receives a design change in 1.87, along with adding a new variant used in Tech Airstrikes (see Gallery).