In 1960, the A-6 Intruder attack aircraft made its first flight and by 1963, the EA-6 Intruder went into flight carrier service as a naval attack aircraft. It was the world’s first all-weather attack bomber. The A-6 Intruder had the ability to deliver nuclear and conventional ordnance on target in zero-visibility due to bad weather or darkness. This was primarily due to the cockpit integrated electronic display that made the aircraft ideal for locating and destroying the enemy under almost any circumstances. In 1967, during the Vietnam War, both the Marine Corps and Navy used the A-6 Intruder as an attack bomber. The Intruder played a major role in the bombing of Libya by U.S. forces in 1986.
The A-6 Intruder was capable of flying at low altitudes and for extended distances with a long-range strike capability. Its long-range strike capability made it extremely versatile for a wide range of missions. It could accurately reach and identify a target, then destroy it with a range of weaponry. With five external store stations, it had the ability to carry all NATO and U.S. air-to-ground weapons.
The last version of the A-6 was the A-6E that featured new versions of its advanced radar and computer system. The A-6 continued its impressive record of accurately delivering laser-guided missiles on target in any kind of weather and in daylight or nighttime operations. On December 19, 1996, the A-6E Intruder launched from an aircraft carrier (the USS Enterprise) for the last time. Though it had served its mission well, the F/A-18 Hornet replaced the A-6E Intruder in 1997 and the Intruder was retired from service.
Maximum speed: 647 mph
Cruise speed: 476 mph
Range: 2,380 nautical miles (ferry), 878 nautical miles (maximum military load)
Ceiling: 42,400 feet
Length: 55 feet
Wingspan: 53 feet
Height: 16 feet
Maximum weight: 58,600 pounds
Empty weight: 26,746 pounds
Engine(s): Two Pratt and Whitney J52-P-8B turbojets
Crew: Two seated side by side (pilot and bombardier-navigator)
Armament: Conventional and nuclear air-to-ground weapons in five external store stations. 18,000 pound payload.
Contractor: Grumman Aerospace
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