In the mid 2020s, the US govornment was putting extensive efforts into the study of Nuclear power, and it's application in tactical military operations. Nuclear weapons and power had already made it's appearance in strategic warfare long ago, but it's true potential was as of yet unrealized by restricting it to these fields. Although peace was reigning in the world, in the spring of 2032 the US Air Force demanded a new, nuclear powered, long range interceptor. The actual requirements laid down for this new interceptor were for it to have at least one cannon, and 12 underwing pod spaces of weapons, be capable of Mach speeds, while still being nuclear powered. The actual flight trials were held in secret in 2035, but each of these interceptors were entirely too costly, and difficult to maintain. Each of the six aircraft flight tested were turned down for various reasons. As the Air Force was preparing to go to the European Conglomerate for a foreign built fighter, Lockheed stepped in with a late, surprise entry. The Lockheed L.2309. This bird looked almost identical to the F-22 Raptor, which was still in service at that time. This aircraft, lacked the internal weapons bay of the F-22, having been replaced by the large nuclear power system. The expensive RAM and composite construction having been scrapped only 5 years into the production of the F-22, in favor of the French designed electronic stealth system, allowed it's wings to have pylons built in capable of sustaining an assortment of weapons - 16 pod spaces to be exact. (NOTE that the S-Mart Javelin does not have these French designed electronic stealth systems - King Ripley of Desert Star has banned the distribution of stealth technologies, to unallied consumers.) In the side of the nose, was a 20 mm Cannon. The US Air Force classified this aircraft as the F-33.
Although the experts were impressed by Lockheed's entry, as it was much cheaper than the others, and easier to convert over to nuclear power, it's performance was disappointing. The F-33's maximum speed was Mach 1.9, with a service ceiling of 60 thousand feet. What's worse, is that it's thrusters could only carry the bird aloft for 10 hours before needing a cooling period, regardless of how fast these thrusters were pushed. This according to the military experts, was unacceptable as a new age fighter, but would instead serve as a transitional aircraft, to ease the air force in on nuclear powered aircraft. As such, it was accepted on a limited level. Following this decision, 50 of the USAF's F-22Gs were sent to Lockheed to be converted to F-33 standards. Of these, 16 were two seat training aircraft, and the remaining 34 were put on active squadron duty.
The F-33 was an aircraft used primarily during peace time, throughout the Golden Age. Wars were not errupting, and despot leaders were not on the rise. Instead, the marvel of advancing technologies was king during this period. It is because of this reason, that the F-33 did not fire a shot in anger, during it's entire service record. In 2043 the F-33s were finally retired from the USAF. Once they were retired, they were sold to Australia along with 56 other F-33s that had been converted from mothballed F-22Ks. Here, the F-33's were in service until 2080 when Australia replaced them with the Triax XM-280. In the 18 years leading up to the cataclysm following their service's end, it is presumed that most of their number were scrapped or sold to independant parties. Their history ends here, and through the catacalysm their history is long forgotten - one of many ancient airplanes the people of earth struggling to survive could not care less about.
Several hundred years later, in 111 PA, S-Mart was beginning to make arrangements to produce several Pre-RIFTS vehicle types for the defense of Desert Star and for sale to outsiders. When the plans for the F-33 were discovered in the underground complex under Desert Star, Ace Ripley realized it's potential. Not only was it a perfect first stage fighter aircraft for S-Mart to cut it's proverbial teeth on, but it was cheap to produce and could easily be sold at competetive prices! Production of the F-33 was once again resumed in 113PA - under the name of the S-Mart Javelin-A. A total of 64 were initially produced from April of 113 to February of 114. These aircraft were divided up in the following way; 50 of them served in three Squadrons of the embryonic NOMAD Air Force (Desert Star), and the remaining 14 were sold to various independant parties.
As expected, the 50 retained for NOMAD use only served for a year and five months. Again, in this aircraft's history, it was nothing more than a stop gap. By the end of their service in the NOMAD Air Force, four had been removed from service due to accidents, but none were lost in combat. The remaining 46 aircraft were overhauled and split into two groups. Ten were kept and served until March of 117 as advanced fighter trainers, and the remaining 36 were sold to a number of independant kingdoms and mercenary companies.
When war broke out in Tolkeen, in the May of 117PA, Tolkeen's air force was sorely outmatched. All that stood between the Coalition's Army Air Forces and total air superiority was a hodge podge of Techno-Wizard Vintage Air Force aircraft (See Rifter #5, pg. 56-62), TW Battle Streakers (WB: 16, Federation of Magic, pg. 122), service weary Golden Age Weaponsmiths modified F-14s (SB: 4, Coalition Navy, pg. 92 & 93), and a mere few IHA Gray Falcons (Mercenaries, pg. 113-114) purchased before New Kenkora fell. Thus after New Kenkora's fall and Northern Gun's offical alliance to the Coalition States, the situation in Tolkeen seemed grim.
Seeing the Tolkeenite's burden in regards to the entire war effort, and having more than a little sympathy for their cause - the Allied Nations made the proposition of joining the Alliance to Tolkeen, which would allow the Allied Nations to provide assistance, while expecting something in return at a later date. This would not only be mutually benefitial to both Tolkeen and to the Alliance, but it would further go to show a great deal in the politics of North America. Once Tolkeen accepted, they shockingly settled on purchasing the "Budget Fighter" S-Mart produces, the Javelin - rather than the vastly superior Skyhawk. Regardless of motivation or reason, the initial production order was for 165 Javelins. Unlike the NOMAD Javelin though, there would be two different versions supplied. The first, was the Javelin-A, identical in every way to the NOMAD variety. The second was a night fighting version with a specially designed Virtual Reality interface, using two turret mounted swiveling cameras slaved to the pilot's helmet, gather information and interpretting it onto the face shield of the pilot's helmet as though he were flying in broad daylight. This new version would be called the Javelin-B. All told, between June of 117PA and July of 119PA a total of 274 Javelins were purchased by the Royal Tolkeen Air Force, of those 228 were Javelin-As and 46 were Javelin-Bs.
The service record of the Javelin in Tolkeenite service was remarkable to say the least. The CS Aircraft it faced in regular combat were typically faster, more heavily armored and armed. Despite this, squadrons learned how to use their aircraft to the best of their capabilities. They learned how to destroy Sky & Rocket Cycles without exposing one's own aircraft to the short range weapons they carried. They learned how to use Nape of the Earth flight, to sneak up on Nightwings and later Talons, Shrikes, Sea Strikers, and Daggers. However, most remarkable was the development of the "Ghost Project Equipment", as was standard issue for the 9th RTAF Fighter Squadron aptly named "Ghost Squadron". These aircraft were outfitted with a Techno-Wizard device that would allow them to turn invisible with the flip of a switch, using energy from a pair of PPE batteries, rather than requiring a mage to pilot it and use his own energies. With this system, the Javelin became a deadly hunter that could chose the field of battle it fought upon, without detection. It could strike, and oftentimes escape by simply "cloaking" again. The CS took heavy losses from this unit, and although they developed countermeasures it as too little and too late. Later the indiginous Skydart design that replaced the Javelin in RTAF service also used these systems, making it an equally effective hunter.
Only THREE of those Javelins in Royal Tolkeen Air Force service flew out of Tolkeen and sought refuge elsewhere. The first of which was a deserter from the 9th RTAF Fighter Squadron, 2nd Lt. Teika Egawa, who flew to Northern Gun, claiming to be an independant mercenary. She sold her Javelin to the corporate heads at Northern Gun and walked away with cash in her pocket. The second, was an instructor pilot, 2nd Lt. Trayton Ransom-Bridges, who resigned from his post in early 119PA and was given a Javelin to replace his personal aircraft which was lost back in 117PA. He eventually made his way to New Camelot, where he became a valued member of King Arthuu's court, and the head of the future New Camelot Air Arm. Meanwhile, Trayton's Javelin is the ONLY true fighter plane in service there. The last Javelin, was the last Tolkeenite fighter plane to fly out of Tolkeen. It was involved in the very last air battle over Tolkeen, piloted by a member of the 1st RTAF Fighter Squadron named Major Sir Donald "Mad Dog" Lopez (Skyknight). He flew to the Hope Barony after he could fight no longer - on August 27th, 119PA! His fighter was later purchased by the same collector that purchased Major Sir Adolf Galland's Skyhawk. All three aircraft were of the A variety.
The future of the type is quite prosperous. Hundreds of air kills were made by the Javelins during all phases of the war, which naturally makes it popular. As such, S-Mart is prepared to pump out an additional 20-60 aircraft for sale of either variant, to try to counter portions of the debt Tolkeen owed Desert Star at the time that it capitulated. However, S-Mart is not the only company planning to capitalize on this market! Northern Gun is planning to introduce their own fighter design based on the Javelin's air frame, and Bandito Arms recovered enough wreckage at the end of the conflict to knock off the type - which will be called the Sky Halberd, when it is released in the mid 120s.