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A-12 Avenger II Advanced Tactical Aircraft

A-12 Avenger II Advanced Tactical Aircraft
The A-12 Avenger II, unique flying wing style was to be a long-range subsonic aircraft with a large internal weapons load as well air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons. Plans for the Navy's A-12 combat aircraft called for incorporating more advanced stealthy characteristics than were employed in the F-117A, also considerably greater payload capabilities. The Navy's A-12 Avenger II Advanced Technology Aircraft was slated to exchange current A-6s on aircraft carriers in the mid-1990's.

The US Navy Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) program began in 1983 as a proposed long range, low observable, high payload medium-attack aircraft to exchange the Grumman A-6 in the carrier-based, medium-attack role. On January 13, 1988 the McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics team was selected over a Northrop team to develop the ATA. development contract was a fixed-price incentive contract with a target value of $4.38 billion and ceiling value of $4.84 billion. The contract included development and delivery of eight full-scale development aircraft and four test articles.

But on 7 January 1991, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney canceled the program, in the largest contract termination in DoD history. By one estimate the A-12 had become very expensive that it might have consumed up 70 percent of the Navy's aircraft budget within 3 years.