Manufacturer: Severski Aviatsiya (Republic Aviation)

Model: unknown

Name: Gromsokol (Thunderhawk)

Type: Jet fighter

Date: 1964

Status: Operational

Country: United States of America / Northern Arabistan

Service: U.S. Air Force / Northern Arabistan Air Arm

Designation: Se-13 (YF-119)


The Republic F-119 Thunderhawk was developed by Republic at a time when the company was at a loss for work, just before Fairchild took over. The F-105 Thunderchief was aging fast and the successful A-10 Thunderbolt II had not even been designed yet. The Thunderhawk was designed on company funds in the hope of getting the U.S. Air Force interested, which was a risky bet.

The Air Force allocated the F-119 designation to the project, and a tentative first flight date was planned for February 1965. Yet this never came to be. The CIA obtained photographic evidence that the Soviets were developing the exact same aircraft and pressured for the Air Force to immediately bring the program to a halt.

The story behind the design ending up in the hands of the Soviets goes as follows: When Alexander de Seversky settled in America in the early 1930s, he employed some workers of Russian origin. Some of these continued to work for the company after it became Republic, but one of them secretly sent data to the USSR after the war, where a parallel Severski Aviatsiya company (the "i" in the Western transcription reflecting that difference) had been set up by other family members.

When the Severski Se-13 Gromsokol ("Thunderhawk" in Russian) was discovered by the West, it became clear that there was a mole within the company, and all work was halted on the never-finished US prototype. The Soviet copy was demonstrated but to remove some of the Cold War tensions, the Kremlin decided not to use the aircraft in service.

Some Seceding Muslim republics of the Russian block managed to form an alliance and create a new country called Arabistan. Unfortunately dissensions within soon led to the country being divided into a Norther Arabistan that enjoyed pacified relationships with Russia, while the south became fundamentalist and was backed up by Iran, notably.

The few examples of the Gromsokol that had already been built (14 of them) were sold to Northern Arabistan and successfully operated throughout the 1980s, until lack of support condemned them to early retirement... Second before last profile shows a Gromsokol of the famous "Spiders of Islam" ("Restlessly spinning our web over enemy territory" being their motto).


The Thunderhawk/Gromsokol is a composite from a Republic F-105 Thunderchief, a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, a Saab J37 Viggen... and even a cockpit from an F-18 Hornet.

Viewers' comments:
  • Oh yes! Love the SE-13 Gromsokol. (SPINNERS)
  • The SE-13 is very inventive! (Taiidantomcat)
  • Interesting mix (Bagera3005)
  • Love the SE-13! (Arc3371)
  • Congratulations on your SE-13 invention (Tophe)
  • That is a really smooth amalgamation/blending of three different machines. Where do you get the wonderful inspiration? I like it!" (Kerrillc)
  • Super Cool! (arenafighter)
  • Looks good, although I'd make the air intakes larger, if I was the designer. (ArmamentDawg)

My comments:

If the aircraft's design is rather plausible, the story behind it (a parallel Severski company and spies stealing designs from one to help the other) is certainly far-fetched... The most improbable aspect of the story, however, is the notion that certain republics of the Russian Federation could have seceded as early as the early 1970s... When we know how Russia tried to crush similar rebellions even after the demise of the Soviet Union, there is absolutely NO WAY it could have tolerated the secession of any republic at that time!