F-19 Stealth Fighter is a combat flight simulator released in 1988 (DOS) and 1990 (Amiga and Atari ST) by MicroProse, featuring a fictional United States military aircraft. It was the 16-bit version of the 1987 game Project Stealth Fighter, which was released for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.
At the time of the game's release there was heavy speculation surrounding a missing aircraft in the United States Air Force's numbering system, the F-19. This game was based on an educated guess about what the new "Stealth fighter" would be like. Subsequent revisions of the game incorporated the actual F-117 Nighthawk as well as the F-19.
In the game, the player takes on the role of a fictional fighter pilot flying missions of varying difficulty over four geographic locations: Libya, the Persian Gulf, the North Cape, and Central Europe. Set in the present-day of 1988, the player was immersed in a Cold War era battlefield, flying missions against Iranian, Libyan, Soviet or Warsaw Pact opponents. The game could be played under conditions of conventional warfare, limited warfare, or cold war (in the latter, even being detected by the enemy could lead to a major diplomatic incident).
Allowing the player to choose appropriate ordnance from a wide range of realistic armaments, the game set standards for realism and authenticity in military aviation simulations, and was noted for the convincing behaviour of AI controlled units such as enemy aircraft, SAM sites and radar stations. These would behave in accordance with the situation - patrolling at first, but launching into a highly aggressive search if the player was detected. Other impressive features of the game were the highly realistic system of radar detection, where the player's varying radar signature was visually compared with the energy of incoming radar pulses at different ranges and powers, and a well thought-out variety of endings appropriate to the outcome of each mission. These included the player being rescued by an V-22 Osprey, a Tass newspaper proclaiming the capture of the pilot, or an outraged ally or neutral nation protesting the destruction of their aircraft. The Pilot Roster in the pre-game menu kept track of the missions, rank, score and medals awarded to each player. Pilot fatalities were permanent, which contributed to the extended campaign feeling of the game.
The original boxed version of the game came with a range of impressive accessories - such as a thick manual full in information and data on the late 80s flying machines of the U.S. and the USSR, various keyboard overlays, a comprehensive manual covering stealth and fighter tactics, and roughly-sketched maps of each warzone.