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Secret aircraft of the USAF:

The A-12 was intended to be a subsonic highly stealthy strike aircraft aimed at replacing both the US Navy's A-6 Intruders and USAF's F-111s. The A-12 was cancelled in 1991 allegedly because of cost overruns and the reduction in tension caused by the end of the Cold War and the break-up of the Soviet Union. Although at least $2 billion, and perhaps as much as $4 billion, was spent on the A-12, no hardware has been seen for the money. Yet, it is one of many US avionics project which was used by skeptics to incorrectly dismiss UFO observations.

A-12 Avenger II

The A-12 proved to be the most troubled of the new American stealth aircraft in large part because of problems found in the extensive use of composites in its structure. These composites did not result in anticipated weight savings, and some structural elements had to be replaced with heavier metal components. The weight of each aircraft exceeded 30 tons, 30% over design specification, and close to the limits that could be accommodated on aircraft carriers.

The program also experienced problems with its complex Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar system, as well as delays in its advanced avionics components.

On 7 January 1991, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney cancelled the program, in the largest contract termination in DoD history. By one estimate the A-12 had become so expensive that it would have consumed up 70 percent of the Navy's aircraft budget within three years.

At first blush, the A-12's performance capabilities would have been in roughly the same class as existing aircraft. The key improvement over existing aircraft, not inherently obvious when comparing specifications, was stealth.

Pictures:

A real size model of the General Dynamics / McDonnell Douglas A-12 Avenger II was shown to the public for the first time on June 29 & 30, 1996, at the Carswell JRB Open House in Fort Worth, Texas.

A-12

A-12 top view.

A-12

A-12 front view.

UFOs are not A-12:

Data:

Prime Contractors:

General Dynamics Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas. McDonnell Aircraft Company, St. Louis, Missouri (a Division of McDonnell Douglas Corporation).

Type:

Two seat, two engine, carrier-based medium fighter for air-to-air or air-to-ground all weather day or night attack.

Power Plant:

Two General Electric F412-400 non-afterburning turbofan engines, each developing approximately 13,000 pounds of thrust.

Planned armament:

Up to two AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM).
Up to two High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM)
Planned to accommodate a full range of air-to-ground ordnance including the MK 82 and "smart" weapons.

Planned avionics:

Westinghouse AN/APQ-183 Multimode Radar.
IBM Mission Control Computer with VHSIC (Very High Speed Integrated Circuit) technology.
Kaiser wide field of view holographic Head Up Display (HUD).
Kaiser Multifunction Display (MFD) screens (7).
General Electric IRSTS (Infrared Search and Track System).
Integrated Electronic Warfare System.
AN/ALD-I I ESM (Electronic Surveillance Module) set.

Dimensions:

Wing Span - Overall: 70 feet 3 inches
Wing Span - Folded: 36 feet 3.25 inches
Length: 37 feet 3 inches
Aspect Ratio: 3.75
Wheel Base: 19 feet 2.25 inches
Wheel Track 22 feet
Speed: 580 mph at sea level
Height (Overall): 11 feet 3.375 inches
Height (Folded): 12 feet 6.25 inches
Wing Area: 1,308 square feet
Design Load Factor: 9 Gs
Empty Weight: 39,000 pounds
Gross Weight: 80,000 pounds
Combat Radius: 920 miles

Program Status:

The A-12 program was cancelled by the Department of Defense on 5 January 1991.

More "secret planes:"

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This page was last updated on February 22, 2001