|Aircraft PAV-2 is now on display in an outdoor parking area at Northrop Grumman's production facility in El Segundo, California. |
In 1981 the USAF developed a requirement for an Advanced Tactical Fighter as a new air superiority fighter. It would take advantage of the new technologies in fighter design on the horizon including composite materials, lightweight alloys, advanced flight control systems, higher power propulsion systems and stealth technology. Air Force leaders believed these new technologies would make aircraft like the F-15 and F-16 obsolete by the early 21st century. In 1985 the Air Force sent out technical requests for proposals to a number of aircraft manufacturing teams.
Like the YF-22 team, the Northrop team built two YF-23 prototypes, one with General Electric YF-120 engines and the other with Pratt & Whitney YF-119 engines. After extensive flight testing the YF-22 was selected for production.