Grumman A-6 Intruder
All-weather attack aircraft, entered service in 1963. The A-6 is an ugly mid-wing aircraft, with side-by-side seating in a blunt nose. The subsonic A-6 is a true all-wheater attack aircraft; it has good range and carries a heavier load than any previous USN attack aircraft. It is still in service, but near the end of its career. Over 660 were built. 51 were converted to KA-6D trainers. The A-attack aircraft was the basis for two electronic warfare versions, the two-seat EA-6A and the four-seat EA-6B Prowler. The EA-6B carries up to five AN/ALQ-99 pods, each with two jamming transmitters.
Aircraft Mission and Capabilities
The A-6E is the U.S. Navy's heavy payload attack aircraft that provides all-weather, day or night, long-range strike capability. It has recently been modified with a composite wing to extend the plane's operational fatigue life another 20 years and is equipped with an all-weather multiple-mode radar, DRS (Detecting and Range Set), and a self-contained carrier airborne inertial navigation system. The APQ-156 integrated radar provides the capabilities of search, target tracking, airborne moving target identification, and beacon interrogation. The high resolution, real beam ground mapping radar, complemented by the Tactical Altitude Director (TAD) system, also provides terrain clearance and avoidance for low-level navigation. The DRS contains a FLIR, laser range-finder designator, and forward air control (FAC) receiver located beneath the nose in a sensor turret for precision attacks against tactical targets at night and in adverse weather. The A-6E can deliver the Navy's entire arsenal of available air-to-ground weapons from general purpose bombs to ground attack missiles, and the AIM-9L/M air-to-air missile. The SWIP (Systems Weapons Improvement Program) is the latest upgrade that enables the Intruder, through a MIL-STD-1553 avionics multiplex databus to employ multiple advanced precision guided missiles against land- and sea-based targets and emitters. Most A-6Es have been further modified to night multi-place attacks. The integrated attack navigation weapon system coupled with a two man, side-by-side crew, significantly enhances crew coordination, situational awareness, and safety of flight by reducing data saturation associated with the real world tactical environment.
The A-6E was removed from U.S. Naval Air Forces in February 1997. One hundred (100) aircraft are stored in War Reserve and the additional excess aircraft are stored for potential Foreign Military Sales (FMS) all of the SWIP composite wing configuration. The A-6F, the next generation Intruder, started development in 1984 incorporating General Electric F404 engines, an inverse synthetic aperture radar with air-to-air mode, and improved structural changes. This program was cancelled in 1989 with 5 prototypes built.
The A-6 has played an essential part in the changes that have reshaped the world: Vietnam War - 1963-1971, Lebanon/Libya/Grenada - 1971-1986, and Operation Desert Storm in 1991. A total of 693 production A-6s were built, including 488 A-6As, 95 A-6Es, 71 A-6E TRAM, 34 A-6E SWIP and 5 A-6Fs. Over its 33 year history, the A-6 has been in active service in 17 U.S. Navy and 7 U.S. Marine Corps squadrons.
Presently the attack version and/or the Tanking Version (KA-6E) are being offered by the U.S. Navy for FMS.
GRUMMAN A-6E INTRUDER
Wing span 53 ft / 16.15 m Wing span (folded) 25 ft 2 in / 7.67 m Overall length 54 ft 7 in / 16.64 m Height 16 ft 2 in / 4.93 m
Crew 2 Power Plant Number 2 Manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Type J52-P-B/C Turbojet Rating 9,300 lb / 41.1 kN
Maximum speed 560 kt / 1,037 km/hr Average cruise speed 412 kt / 763 km/hr Approach speed 122 kt / 226 km/hr Min. T.O. distance 4,820 ft / 1,469 m Min. landing distance 2,700 ft / 823 m Service ceiling 41,000 ft./12,496 m Ferry range 2,380 naut mi / 4,408 km
Weight empty 27,892 lb / 12,649 kg Internal fuel 15,939 lb / 7,230 kg External fuel (5 300 gal drop tanks) 10,025 lb / 4,546 kg External stores maximum capacity 18,000 lb / 8,165 kg
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