after the first atomic bomb was dropped successfully, the US Navy
launched a program for a carrier-based attack aircraft that would be
capable of delivering a atomic bomb. The North American AJ Savage won a
Phase 1 competition, a turbo-prop powered aircraft being phase 2, and
the phase 3 was a larger jet-powered attack aircraft.
the Navy requested North American to submit a proposal for development
of the phase 2 aircraft based on the AJ. The A2J Super Savage contract
was received in 1948. While the A2J design was being finalized, a
competition for the phase 3 aircraft which Douglas won with what became
the A3D. Mockup reviews of the XA2J and XA3D designs were held
concurrently in 1949, with the XA2J to adapt the cockpit layout of the
XA3D and its escape chute. With the outbreak of the Korean War, the Navy
could not fund both programs at the same level and elected to favor the
A3D effort although neither aircraft had flown.
The XA2J finally flew in
1952 but, due to engine problems, it had only made five flights. Since
the A2J had been matched only 10% of the planned flight test program,
development contract was terminated in 1953.