Grumman A-6E Intruder

The US Navy's basic all-weather attack-bomber for 30 years, A-6 were recently retired from service after a historically lengthy and notable career. This one is a veteran of Vietnam, Libya, and Desert Storm, operating from the deck of the nuclear carrier USS Admiral Nimitz (CVN-68), and was delivered to us (yes, by air) from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station on 12 November 1996. Other than for being stripped of armament and some of its key electronics, it's ready to fly should the Navy suddenly decide to put the old A-6s back in emergency service. Well,... it may need a bit more.



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Specifications

Manufacturer: Grumman
Year/Model: 1968 A-6E Intruder
S/N:  
Tail Number: 154171
Power Plant: Two 9,300-lb Pratt & Whitney J52-P turbojets
Wingspan: 53 feet 0 inches
Length: 54 feet 7 inches
Height: 15 feet 4 inches
Gross Weight: 60,626 pounds (Empty weight: 25,563 pounds)
Maximum Speed: 645 mph
Maximum Range: 1,920 statute miles
Service Ceiling: 41,600 feet
Crew: 2
Status: Static Display, On loan
Owner: US Naval Air Museum, Pensacola, FLA

History

A two-place night hunter, the A-6 first saw combat service in the Vietnam War, where it quickly became popular for its precision bombing capabilities, and evolved into the four-place EA-6B Prowler.

The A-6E was an all-weather, two seat, subsonic, carrier-based attack aircraft. It was equipped with a microminiaturized digital computer, a solid state weapons release system, and a single, integrated track and search radar. The target recognition/attack multi-sensor (TRAM) version of the A-6E was introduced to the fleet in 1979. It was equipped with a chin turret containing a forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) system and a laser designator and receiver.

The A-6E proved once again that it was the best all-weather precision bomber in the world in the joint strike on Libyan terrorist-related targets in 1986. With Air Force F-111's, (F-111Es, F-111Fs & EF-111s), A-6E Intruders penetrated the sophisticated Libyan air defense systems, which had been alerted by the high level of diplomatic tension and by rumors of impending attacks. Evading over 100 guided missiles, the strike force flew at low levels in complete darkness, and accurately delivered laser-guided and other ordnance on target. Composite wing replacement and systems/weapons improvement programs maintained full A-6E combat systems capability, with initial operational capability realized in FY 88 with VA-75 deployment onboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67).

The flight of the Intruder


1968 Apr Manufactured 04/25/68, Bethpage NY
1968 Apr VA-65
1971 Jan VA-115 "Arabs"
1971 Dec VMA-242
1974 May* Grumman, Bethpage NY
1974-1982 VA-52 "The Knightriders"
1975 Apr NARF North -?- (unreadable)
1975 Nov VA-176
1977 Jun VA-128 "Golden Intruders"
1978 Dec NASC
Nov 1982-Nov 1983 NVC China Lake
1983 Mar Grumman, Bethpage NY
1983 Mar VA-165 "Boomers"
1983 Nov VMAT-202
1985 Feb VA-196 "Main Battery"
1985 May VA-196 "Main Battery"
1985 Jul VA-115 "Arabs"
1986 Mar VA-165 "Boomers"
1985 Sep VA-165 "Boomers"
1987 May VA-128 "Golden Intruders"
1987 Jul VA-128 "Golden Intruders"
1988 Dec VA-165 "Boomers"
1989 Jan NA Depot
1990 Nov VA-165 "Boomers"
1990 Oct (no further data, but assignment aboard carrier Admiral Nimitz in this period)
NAS Whidbey Island WA
1995 Nov Estrella Warbirds Museum
* Second date listing is extra log entries, unexplained; possibly TDYs or base group assignments, and factory mods.

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