Cracks in the Black Dike: Secrecy, the Media, and the F-117A

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1991


In November 1988 a decade of secrecy was lifted from one of the most enigmatic aircraft projects of all time: the Lockheed F-117A stealth fighter. In the 10 years since the program was officially announced by the Carter administration, numerous reports have been published in both the technical and popular media about the aircraft. Now that the program has moved out of the "black" (secrecy) realm, it is possible to review the reports on the project, assess their accuracy, and discuss whether or not they compromised the aircraft's technology or operational capabilities.