The McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II was a proposed American attack aircraft from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics.The navy wanted to replace aging A-6s with a new state of the art specialized attack aircraft that would have low observablility – aka stealth: The jet would be able to approach enemy vessels or targets as close as 10 miles before being potentionally detected.
Certainly a tall order Like all government bids for these secret military projects, it was our usual suspects.McDonell Douglas partnered with General Dynamics on one side and their competitors were Northrop Grumman and Vought.
During initial developments, both sides worked on stealth awircraft concepts but when it came to the deadline only Mcdonell Douglas submitted a bid – surprisingly Northrop and friends didn’t even submit a concept.ANd thus the A-12 flying dorito was selected by default.An easy victory, or perhaps the first red flag of a doomed program.
The aircraft was to be powered by two General Electric F412-D5F2 turbofan engines, each producing about 13,000 pounds-force (58 kN) of thrust. The government felt the contractors could not complete the program and instructed them to repay most of the $2 billion that had been spent on A-12 development.