The A-12 never amounted to more than a mockup, but the consequences of this unfortunate program are going to affect the size and composition of Naval Aviation for years to come.
On 20 February 1998, Judge Robert Hodges of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ended almost seven years of trial proceedings when he ordered the Clerk of the Court to enter an approximately $3.9 billion judgment in favor of the two A-12 contractors. Of this amount, roughly $2.6 billion already had been paid to the contractors during performance, meaning that the government now will have to pay an additional almost $1.4 billion. To this amount will be added interest, currently totaling in excess of $500 million, and continuing to run at nearly $200,000 per day. As of February 1999, the total amount payable on the judgment is just under $2 billion. Since a decision in the government's appeal (to be argued on 1 February) is not likely until the end of the calendar year, this amount will increase about $60 million.
The A-12 Legacy: It Wasn't an Airplane - It Was a Train Wreck
By Herbert L. Fenster