"Robert Gates, is that you??" sublight
- Jun 17, 2008
- Reaction score
Wait.....we were talking about engine flame-out right?flateric said:as Paul Metz once said - not exact citation, but factually close -'we <at Northrop> still can't understand the reasons why we lost' Well, I suppose they were asking, but didn't get answers, yeah? And they were much more appropriate people to get the answers than we are.
There are many sources on the net discussing the possible reasons, many opinions coming from people who was directly involved (check old rec.aviation board archives for example) I don't feel we need make reposting these old sceletons here. In short, possible reasons could be proposed and expected by decision makers R&D costs, manufacturing base and flyaway costs, comparison of EMD and FSD configurations (you know how F-22 does look like and how it differs fron YF-22, now, what about how much would cost remake YF-23 to EMD? to NATF? May be, they just saw NATF-23 and took a decision momentally? Take into consideration current companies position on the market - who needs contract? Who just got a contract and have problems with performing it nice (Northrop B-2 RCS = not as advertised, MDA ATA = very bad). Lockheed needs some white job, it has almost nothing in nearest future to do. Etc, etc.
Anyway, did Paul Metz really said that? Isn't it the rule that they suppose to know why they lost? The evaluation team must justify their decision to the competitor, and the competitor has the right to file a contest to the decision. If Northrop didn't recieve the information why they lost, they would have sued the Air Force already, ain't it?
I'm pretty sure they know. And it's no secret why they lost (though the details, as we all know, are still not released). Article released in 1991 where then president of Mcdonnell Douglas commented on why it lost, and also a similar perspective from a senior Air Force official:
COPYRIGHT 1991 Access Intelligence, LLC.
MCDONNELL PRESIDENT SAYS F-23 TEAM STRAYED FROM ATF PROPOSAL
If there is one important lesson the McDonnell Douglas Corp. learned from the Air Force Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition, it is that the prototype aircraft must match the proposal offered to the service, according to company President Gerzy Johnston.
Both the aircraft and the content of the proposal get evaluated by the customer, Johnston said in an interview with Defense Daily.
"In the future we will pay a lot more attention to our proposal documentation. We relearned a lesson that often is one you have to re-learn (and that) is what is in the proposal gets evaluated ... I think we could probably have done a better job there," he said.
Indeed, a senior Air Force official told Defense Daily late last month that the service placed greater emphasis on the competing contractor teams' ability to perform as advertised than on the performance of their respective air vehicle prototypes during the fly-off (Defense Daily, May 1). "We're looking for confidence in the proposals," the official said at that time.
On April 23 the Air Force selected the Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics F-22 team over the Northrop/McDonnell Douglas F-23 team to develop the ATF (Defense Daily, April 24).
One example where the F-23 team was not strong in its proposal was software development, Johnston said. "For instance, we believe we were very good on software development. We just had a review and talked about the discipline in that area as being one of the best. And yet in the proposal we did not write it well enough to have that kind of evaluation come out that we were strong in that area."
Johnston said he could not be specific about various aspects of the F-23 team's proposal due to its sensitive nature.