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.
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 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 FB-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
|Power plant:||Two 9,300-lb Pratt & Whitney J52-P turbojets|
|Wing area:||529 sf|
|Empty weight:||25,563 lbs|
|Gross weight:||60,626 lbs|
|Maximum speed:||645 mph|
|Cruising speed:||475 mph|
|Landing speed:||97 mph|
|Range:||1,920 statute miles|