In 1983, 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 aquire and keep its new holdings on Earth, allowing the nation to continue to pursue its goal of dominance in the eventual renewal of the space race.
The requirement of a new TSF suited for the new battlefront was deemed necessary, with a possible future requirement and expansion for operations in Space and Other Planetary bodies, with added consideration as a possible working platform to mount and field working conventional energy based weaponry due to foreseeable future breakthroughs through the use of G-Elements. And thus, the ATSF project was born.
In 1983, the requirement of a new TSF with improved anti-BETA and anti-TSF capabilities was made known to all US TSF manufacturers.
In addition to surpassing all aspects of the average 2nd generation TSFs, the new TSF was required to have the following:
- Anti-human capability; it must be able to dominate all aspects of an opposing human force.
- Superior sensor package guaranteeing a successful "first-strike" advantage and unmatched "search-and-destroy" capabilities.
- Radar/electronic stealth
- Long-range, high-speed cruising capabilities and increased combat operation uptime; the new TSF must not burn significantly larger amounts of fuel to achieve a higher speed and longer area-loiter performance.
In the combat trials, 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-quarter dogfights where the superior maneuverability and advanced close-quarter and melee 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 effeciency.
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 penetration during a standard Hive infiltration JIVES simulation when compared with the YF-22.
On March 6th, 1990, the YF-22 was declared the winner, much to everyone's surprise. The decision was made on the basis that the YF-23 did not meet US combat doctrine, future operation requirements, and could not match up to the YF-22's cheaper manufacturing cost, longer operation uptime, and greater ease of maintenance.
It should be noted that a major factor in the ATSF competition was the politicial ramifications of G-bomb usage in Operation Lucifer; the successful deployment of such powerful weapons resulted in the cancellation of the XG-70, and caused a revision in the usage of the ATSF's final product.