McDonnell Douglas, which Boeing acquired in 1998, initiated the Bird of Prey project in 1992. During the 1980s, its combat aircraft division was bested in competition with Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop because it had fallen behind in stealth technology. Lockheed had flown its prototype Have Blue, a predecessor to the F-117 Stealth Fighter, in 1977. Lockheed and Boeing were collaborating on the F/A-22 fighter, which will enter service in 2005, and Northrop was building the B-2 bomber. McDonnell Douglas had underestimated the importance of stealth technology to the Pentagon, and in an effort to once again become competitive, it created a single division, Phantom Works, to develop stealth and other cutting-edge technologies.