The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's (USAF) air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets. Designed and manufactured by Convair, 1,000 F-102s were built.
A member of the Century Series, the F-102 was the first operational supersonic interceptor and delta-wing fighter of the USAF. It used an internal weapons bay to carry both guided missiles and rockets. As originally designed, it could not achieve Mach 1 supersonic flight until redesigned with area ruling. The F-102 replaced subsonic fighter types such as the Northrop F-89 Scorpion, and by the 1960s, it saw limited service in the Vietnam War in bomber escort and ground-attack roles. It was supplemented by McDonnell F-101 Voodoos and, later, by McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs. Many of the F-102s were transferred to United States Air National Guard duty by the mid-to-late 1960s, and the type was retired from operational service in 1976. The follow-on replacement was the Mach-2 Convair F-106 Delta Dart, which was an extensive redesign of the F-102.