YF-23 Black Widow II

Night spider
Prototype #1: YF-23 PAV-1, nicknamed "Spider".

White spider
Prototype #2: YF-23 PAV-2, nicknamed "Grey Ghost".

Manufacturer(s) Northrock
Generation 3rd Generation
Role Prototype Stealth-enabled Fighter
Height 19.9m
Engines PAV-1:
General Electronics YFE120-GE-100

Pratts & Witney YFE119-PW-100

Armament(s) XCIWS-2B Close In Weapon System

XAMWS-24 Advanced Multiple Weapon System
Large Close Combat Dagger

Appearance(s) TSFiA

An advanced, prototype 3rd generation Tactical Surface Fighter that competed against the YF-22 in the Advanced Tactical Surface Fighter program, in order to determine which unit would become the United States' next-generation TSF to replace the F-15 Eagle. The Black Widow II is unique amongst American-made TSFs for several traits, such as its close-combat armament.


In 1982, Major-General Ben Brugg of the US Army pushed forth his expectations of total defeat for the BETA within a few decades. Citing the importance of the USA keeping its military above those of other nations, and the need for the country to secure the G-Elements of each Hive, a proposal was submitted for an area-dominance TSF to make sure that the USA could acquire and keep its new holdings on Earth, allowing the nation to continue to pursue its goal of dominance in the eventual space race.

In 1983, the Advanced Tactical Surface Fighter program was proposed, with the goal of developing the next-generation TSF concept suggested by Major-General Brugg. The ATSF program's primary goal was to develop a TSF with a combat performance level that could surpass all 2nd generation TSFs; in addition, the TSF also had to have the following aspects in its performance:

  • The capability to dominate all aspects of an opposing human force, especially when fighting against other TSFs.
  • A superior sensor package to guarantee first-strike advantages in combat, and unmatched search-and-destroy capabilities of designated targets.
  • Radar/electronic stealth
  • Long-range, high-speed economy cruising, and increased combat operation up-time.

The finalists in the competition were Lockweed's YF-22, against Northrock and McDaell Doglam's joint design, the YF-23 Black Widow II.

In combat trials versus the YF-22, the YF-23 had the lead with 18 wins, 14 losses, 5 ties, and 3 nulls when two YF-23 units were pitted against two YF-22 units. The board concluded that the YF-22 and YF-23 possessed similar levels of stealth and target finding capability, and as a result most of the battles between the YF-22 and YF-23 became close quarters dogfights where the superior maneuverability and advanced melee/close-quarters capabilities of the YF-23 had the advantage. The only notable advantage of the YF-22 was its prolonged combat operating time and higher fuel efficiency.

Similarly, when pitted against the BETA in JIVES simulations, the YF-23 turned out to be the stronger of the two, dominating the matches with its anti-BETA loadout and design, with a higher kill count and deeper Hive penetration percentage during a standard Hive infiltration JIVES simulation when compared with the YF-22.

On March 6, 1990, much to everyone's surprise, the YF-22 was officially announced the winner of the ATSF competition, and the YF-23 rejected. The rejection was on the basis that the YF-23 did not meet US combat doctrine and future requirements, as well as the YF-22's advantages over the YF-23 in the form of cheaper manufacturing cost, longer uptime, and greater ease of maintenance.

The technology pioneered by Frank Heinemann in the development of the Black Widow II was later used in the construction of the Shiranui Second Phase 3.

Features Edit

Compared to the YF-22, the Black Widow II had been designed with increased emphasis on mid-to-close range combat, quite unlike most American TSFs. It was even equipped with its own Melee Halberd, the XCIWS-2B, a weapon not previously found on standard American TSFs; and a unique bayonet-equipped Assault Cannon model, the XAMWS-24, with increased carrying capability for 20% more 120mm cannon rounds and 30% more chaingun rounds compared to the AMWS-21. Each of the YF-23's forearms were also equipped with multi-purpose sheaths for storing Close Combat Daggers; as a unique case, the YF-23's arm sheaths could even be modified to hold Blade Motors or Blade/Spike Vanes as well.

In light of expectations that a fully-developed YF-23 would be expected to deploy deep into BETA territory, and to solve the ever-present issue of immediate ammunition logistics when faced against inserting troops in behind BETA lines, the YF-23 could also equip up to four of its unique shoulder armor-mounted universal blade and rifle Mount Pylons, for a total usage capacity of up to six XAMWS-24 rifles or six of any combination of weapons as required. Additionally, the ankles of the TSF can house blades to cut at any BETA swarming down below.


Muv-Luv Alternative - New Century TSFs

The contenders of the USA's Advanced Tactical Surface Fighter program.

Both YF-23 units never saw large-scale active combat deployment after their test runs, and were stripped of the majority of their electronics and systems before stored in the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base for a time, where both units were derided as "the most expensive piece of scrap in the world". Later, both units underwent visual restoration before being transported to a museum and made available for exhibition and public viewing, although it is not know for how long they were displayed as museum pieces.

Sometime later, both units were reassembled and restored, and on the 11th of July, 1993, they were used in a covert operation to extract a target, which was only specified as "a girl used as a sensor component". Both YF-23 units were launched from disguised carrier craft near the Finnish-Soviet border, and fought their way into Murmansk.[1]


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Manufacturer(s) Northrock
Generation 3rd Generation
Role Carrier-Based Prototype Stealth-enabled Fighter Concept

In order to compensate for the loss caused by the rejection of the YF-23 from the ATSF program, Northrock Grunnan tried to produce a Navy replacement for the F-14 Tomcat.

However, the US Navy felt exactly the same way as the US Army did about the changes the YF-23 made to existing military doctrine and tactics. Combined with the fact that the A-12 Avenger was using up most of the available funds the Navy had, and their decision to replace the F-14 with the less expensive F-18 Hornet and its Super Hornet upgrade, the development plan of the YF-23N was axed after only a brief review period, dooming this variant to remain existing only as a concept.


  • Unlike the real-life YF-23, the Muv-Luv version adopts the name of Black Widow II as its official name. This name was an unofficial nickname originally reserved for the PAV-1 variant of the YF-23 (which was given the name of both Black Widow II and Spider), which explains the red hourglass marking seen on both the real-life and Muv-Luv versions of YF-23 PAV-1.
  • One of the YF-23's off-cited reasons for its rejection in the real-world was its lack of maneuverability compared to the YF-22, whereas its Muv-Luv version was noted to possess superior maneuverability to the YF-22 prototypes.
  • The YF-23's design bears resemblance to Sufoni's Su-27 Zhuravlik series of TSFs, hinting at Northrock's secret deals to Sufoni during the development of the Su-27.
    • According to the Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse Art Book, the YF-23 is most closely related to the F-15E in its design as well as concerning what data was most used to create the prototype.
  • Trust me, the Shiranui Second doesn't look like the YF-23 at all - A reference to the denial from the characters present in the Total Eclipse VN, when US authorities launched investigations into the appearance of the Shiranui Second Phase 3.


  1. TSFIA #77: Gray Ghost