EA-6B Prowler

TypeElectronic warfare/Attack aircraft
Country of originUnited States
ManufacturerGrumman
Northrop Grumman
First flight25 May 1968
IntroducedJuly 1971
Produced1966
Numbers built170
Unit costsUS$52 million
Max speedMaximum speed: 566 knots (651 mph, 1,050 km/h)
Cruise speed: 418 kt (481 mph, 774 km/h)
Max rangeRange: 2,022 mi (tanks kept) / 2,400 mi (tanks dropped) (3,254 km / 3,861 km)
Service ceiling: 37,600 ft (11,500 m)
DimensionsLength: 59 ft 10 in (17.7 m)
Wingspan: 53 ft (15.9 m)
Height: 16 ft 8 in (4.9 m)
Wing area: 528.9 ft² (49.1 m²)
WeightEmpty weight: 31,160 lb (15,130 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 61,500 lb (27,900 kg)
Powerplant2 × Pratt & Whitney J52-P408A turbojet, 10,400 lbf (46 kN) each
ArmamentGuns: None

Hardpoints: 5 total: 1× centreline/under-fuselage plus 4× under-wing pylon stations with a capacity of 18,000 pounds (8,164.7 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
Missiles: Up to 4× AGM-45 Shrike or AGM-88 HARM Anti-radiation missiles

Other:
Up to 4× 300 US gallons (1,100 L) external drop tanks (only pylon stations 1, 2, 4, 5 are wet-plumbed)
Up to 5× AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) external pods

Avionics:
AN/ALQ-99 on board receiver (OBS), AN/ALQ-99 pod mounted jamming system (TJS)
USQ-113 communications jamming system
OperatorsUnited States
The Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler was developed from the A-6 Intruder airframe. The EA-6B is an electronic warfare aircraft featuring twin-engine and mid-wing. This aircraft is manned by 4 personnel: one pilot and Electronic Countermeasures Officers (ECMO). The U. S. Armed Forces has been operating the EA-6B from 1971 up to the present day. Throughout its service, it has performed many missions for jamming enemy radar systems, and in obtaining radio intelligence on the enemy radar and air defense systems. Furthermore, the EA-6B is effective at firing anti-radiation missiles (ARM), including the Shrike missile and the HARM missile.

As the United States Air Force EF-111 Raven electronic warfare aircraft had retired, the EA-6B had been the only specialist for aerial electronic warfare missions readily available for the U. S. Navy, the U. S. Marine Corps, and the U. S. Air Forceas of the U. S. Navy started operating the EA-18G Growler in 2009.

The Design and Development of EA-6B Prowler

The EA-6A “Electric Intruder” was designed to replace the U. S. Marine Corps’ EF-10B Skyknights in 1960s. The EA-6A was a direct transformation of the standard A-6 Intruder airframe, featuring twin-seat and electronic warfare equipment. The EA-6A was operated by three Marine Corps squadrons throughout the Vietnam War.

The considerably more sophisticated and extensively redesigned EA-6B was constructed in 1966 to replace the EKA-3B Skywarriors for the U. S. Navy.

The EA-6B is a completely integrated electronic warfare system incorporating long-range, all-weather capabilities with enhanced electronic countermeasures and designed as a carrier-based aircraft. Even its vertical fin is designed to house additional avionics equipment. As of today, the EA-6B remains the main electronic warfare aircraft for the U. S Navy, U. S. Marine Corps, and U. S. Air Force. The most important mission of the EA-6B is to assist ground-attack strikes by breaking up enemy electromagnetic activity. The secondary mission is to round up tactical electronic intelligence within a combat zone and to strike enemy radar sites with anti-radiation missiles.

The EA-6B is powered by two non-afterburning Pratt & Whitney J52-P-408A turbojet engines, so the aircraft can reach the speeds of up to 590 miles per hour (950 km/h) with a range of 1, 140 miles (1, 840 km).

The aircraft features an asymmetrical refueling probe, leaning to the right. The probe includes an antenna near its root. The canopy has a covering of gold to shield the crew from the radio emissions that the electronic warfare equipment releases.

As a result of its extensive electronic warfare operations, the EA-6B is a high-maintenance aircraft, and it also has gone through more recurrent equipment enhancements than any other aircraft in the Navy or Marine Corps. Despite the fact that it is designed as an electronic warfare and command-and-control aircraft for air strike missions, the EA-6B is additionally competent at assaulting some surface targets on its own, in particular enemy radar sites and surface-to-air missile launchers. Furthermore, the EA-6B is perfect for collecting electronic signals intelligence.

The EA-6B Prowler has been constantly upgraded over the years. The first of which was known as “expanded capability” (EXCAP) commencing in 1973. Then followed by “improved capability” (ICAP) in 1976 and ICAP II in 1980. The ICAP II upgrade made the EA-6B to be able to fire Shrike missiles and AGM-88 HARM missiles.

EA-6B Prowler videos

EA-6B Prowler Carrier Flight OPS with the Cougars

 

EA-6B Prowler Biofuel Flight

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  1. Grumman A-6 Intruder – an American, twin jet-engine, mid-wing attack aircraft built by Grumman Aerospace. » Fighter Aircraft

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