Yes indeed. Having read Paul Metz's book on the f-23 I would say its main weakness was the weapons bay configuration with less carriage than the Raptor. Also Northrop didn't have enough time in the short flight test program to demonstrate as many capabilities as Lockheed such as weapons release and high angle of attack performance, even though the airframes were capable of it.Demonstration of Northrop Grumman YF-23 Black Widow II . . .
It was a beautiful fighter jet that never got the chance shine the Northrop Grumman YF-23 Black Widow II. While most people know the story of the YF-23 in its heated competition against the jet that would eventually become the F-22.
The YF-23 had better maneuverability and better range than the YF-22 which allow it to take the fight to hostile locations. Its engines were also spread out in a way to reduce radar detection and the windscreen was highly reflective in radar allowing it to remain stealthier in flight. Essentially it was an invisible jet that exceeded the capabilities of the YF-22 but never got the opportunity to serve.
“The final operational version of the F-23 would have offered much better range than the Raptor—especially at supersonic speeds—especially if powered by the YF120. That would have come in handy over the Pacific. It would also have been stealthier and it would have been almost as maneuverable as the Raptor—or possibly more so at different speeds and altitudes.”
Hopefully 6th gen will carry on from where the YF-23 left.