I find myself a man with ten thousand enemies, but I will not know fear, for the Lord does sustain me
Psalm 3:6, Holy Roman New Century Bible
Following the reopening of hostilities in Holy Roman Europe in the 1992 Spanish-Roman War, it became clear to Roman High Command in the German heartland that the war in the air had progressed beyond the classical dogfight. In 1994, a secret proposal was extended to six aircraft manufacturers- extensive funding from the Hansa for the creation of an aircraft capable of fulfilling the role of ambush predator in air-to-air combat- unseen until the fight is already won. Junkers and Adenauer declared the concept of a radar invisible fighter impractical, and refused to participate, and Dassault failed to contribute due to extensive revolt in Holy Roman France. This left three competitors to produce entries in the contract- German manufacturers Messerschmitt-Heinkel and Dornier, and Fiat from Imperial-occupied Italy.
Due to anti-Italian sentiment in the German-dominated Roman High Command, Fiat failed to receive full funding and was unable to continue research into their expensive electronic countermeasures prototype by 1996, falling out of the race. Messerschmitt-Heinkel and Dornier, fully supported by the Hanseatic Commission, both based their proposals around the mathematics concepts published by socialist physicist Peter Churchill ten years earlier in 1986. Churchill's paper Physical Diffraction Theory in Relation to Edge Wave Methodology
was used as the basis for complex computer programs capable of determining the optimal radar cross section for a stealth aircraft.
By 1998, both Messerschmitt-Heinkel and Dornier had developed several flight capable prototypes and submitted final testbed aircraft to the Imperial Proving Wing in Wittmundhafen. Though High Command initially preferred Dornier's supercruise capable Project Have Six, repeated engine setbacks lead to rushed development. This would in turn cause the death of highly decorated Holy Roman test pilot Andre Stolfo, who perished after the Have Six test frame spontaneously caught fire and burned up on landing. The loss of Have Six, Stolfo's death, and Dornier's inability to provide a consistently working supercruise platform lead to a shift in opinion towards Messerschmitt-Heinkel's Project 3060.
Project 3060, codenamed the Man With Ten Thousand Enemies for coincidentally sharing a numerical designation with Psalm 3:6, was a multirole platform rather than a dedicated air superiority fighter. Though it had a higher radar cross section and could only achieve supersonic speed with the costly use of afterburners, the Man With Ten Thousand Enemies was approved for service in the final months of 1999 and adopted by the Holy Roman Air Army as the MeHe 36Z (Z for zerstörer, German for destroyer, denoting its' role as both fighter and attacker)
Though the Cold War never went hot, the emergence of the Alptraum as the first true fifth generation stealth fighter caused great alarm in both the Union of North Sea Socialist Republics and their allies in the North American Treaty Organization, who christened the Alptraum with the reporting name Foolproof. In a theoretical escalation scenario, the Alptraum was to bypass the air defense capabilities the UNSSR's Airnet London and Airnet Copenhagen, allowing for unrestricted air war capability against the North Sea's inferior American-made F-17 Cobra aircraft. As an attacker, the MeHe 36Z had essential strike capabilities against both nuclear launch sites in Scotia and Eire, and vulnerable merchant shipping that was essential for connecting Red Scandinavia and Great Britain.
In 2005, a selection of aircraft were upgraded to the iconic flash-white 36N standard, capable of delivering tactical nuclear payloads deep into the heart of Red England. As of 2021, these remain the only Alptraum fighters in service in the west, with the traditional multiroles having been largely replaced by speciality air superiority fighters firmly entrenched in the fifth generation. An additional wing continues to operate out of Imperial Russia, bought by the Tsar well aged in 2017. Despite being largely retired, the MeHe 36Z remains a well known figure as the first fifth generation fighter aircraft in Holy Roman Europe, and a trendsetter for the development of stealth aircraft worldwide.