Grumman A-6 Intruder

TypeAttack aircraft
Country of originUnited States
First flight19 April 1960
Numbers built693
Unit costsUS$43 million (1998)
Max speed563 knots (648 mph, 1,040 km/h)
Max rangeLength: 54 ft 7 in (16.6 m)
Wingspan: 53 ft (16.2 m)
Height: 15 ft 7 in (4.75 m)
Wing area: 529 ft² (49.1 m²)
DimensionsEmpty weight: 25,630 lb (11,630 kg)
Useful load: 34,996 lb (15,870 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 60,626 lb (27,500 kg)
Weight2 x Pratt & Whitney J52-P8B turbojets, 9,300 lbf (41.4 kN) each
Powerplant2 x Pratt & Whitney J52-P8B turbojets, 9,300 lbf (41.4 kN) each
ArmamentHardpoints: 5 total: 4x wing and 1x fuselage with 18,000 lb (8,170 kg) load

2.75 in (70 mm) CRV7 Rocket Pod
5 in (127 mm) Zuni Rocket Pod

AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-air missiles
Air-to-ground missiles
AGM-45 Shrike
AGM-62 Walleye
AGM-65 Maverick
AGM-84 Harpoon

Mk 81 250 lb (113 kg) GP bombs
Mk 82 500 lb (227 kg) GP bombs
Mk 83 1,000 lb (454 kg) GP bombs
Mk-84 2,000 lb (907 kg) GP bombs
Mk-117 750 lb (340 kg) GP bombs
Mk-20 Rockeye II cluster bombs
CBU-89 GATOR mine cluster bombs
Mk 77 750 lb (340 kg) incendiary bombs
GBU-10 Paveway II laser-guided bombs
GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs
GBU-16 Paveway II laser-guided bombs
B61 nuclear bomb
B43 nuclear bomb
Various air-dropped landmines
Various air-dropped underwater mines
Various practice bombs [Mk-76, BDU-45, LGTR, etc.]
OperatorsFormer operator:
United States

The Grumman A-6 Intruder was an all-weather, mid-wing, twin-engine, medium-sized and jet powered attack aircraft which developed by Grumman Aerospace and had served with the United States navy and United States Marine Corps spanning from 1963 to 1997. However, after all A-6s were replaced by the F-14 Tomcat, the electronic warfare variant, the EA-6B Prowler, stayed in service until 2011.

The A-6 Intruder was the main medium and all-weather/night attack aircraft of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps and the KA-6D version was used to perform buddy air-to-air refueling mission.

A-6 Intruders gone into combat while in the Vietnam War. Due to its long range and heavy payload (18,000 pounds or 8,165 kilograms) as well as its capability to fly in all weather made it indispensable for the period of the war.

A-6 Intruders were later employed in support of other operations, for instance the International forces in Lebanon in 1983. Intruders also showed its ability in April 1986 operating from the aircraft carriers USS America and Coral Sea during the Operation El Dorado Canyon dropping bombs against Libyan targets.

In the course of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the U. S. Navy and U. S. Marine Corps A-6s flew around 4,700 combat sorties, presenting close air support, wiping out enemy air defenses, assaulting Iraqi naval units, and striking strategic targets. The A-6 also had several duties over Bosnian War in 1994.

The Design and Development of A-6 Intruder

The United States Navy released preliminary requirements in 1955 for an all-weather carrier-based ground-attack aircraft adhering to the good demonstrating of the propeller-driven AD-6/7 Skyraider in the Korean War. The U. S. Navy revealed an operational requirement document for the desired aircraft in October 1956. The Navy then published a request for proposals in February 1957.

Several companies including Bell, Boeing, Douglas, Grumman, Lockheed, Martin, North American, and Vought submitted their proposals. Right after evaluation of the bids, the Navy publicised the selection of Grumman on 2 January 1958. The company was honored a contract for the development of the A2F-1 in February 1958. The prototype YA2F-1 eventually took its first flight on 19 April 1960.

The jet nozzles were initially intended to rotate downwards for shorter takeoffs and landings, yet this feature was never integrated in prototype or production aircraft. The cockpit makes use of an unusual double pane windscreen and side-by-side seating arrangement in which the pilot sits in the left seat, while the bombardier/navigator has a seat to the right and a little bit lower. The incorporation of an additional crew member with different responsibilities, together with a unique cathode ray tube display that offered a synthetic display of terrain ahead, allowed low-level attack in all weather conditions.

The wing is very effective at subsonic speeds when compared with supersonic fighters such as the F-4 Phantom II, which are also curbed to subsonic speeds when having a payload of bombs. A virtually identical wing would be placed on pivots on Grumman’s later supersonic swing-wing F-14 Tomcat, not to mention similar landing gear. The Intruder was also built with the Deceleron, a type of airbrake on the wings with two panels that open in opposite directions; in cases like this, one panel goes up, while another goes down.

Some Variants of A-6 Intruder

  • YA-6A and A-6A: prototypes and pre-production aircrafts.
  • A-6B: Converted A6-As to provide Navy squadrons with a defense suppression aircraft to attack enemy antiaircraft defense and SAM missile systems.
  • A-6C: Converted A-6As for night atack missions.
  • KA-6D: Built to replace both KA-3B and EA-3B Skywarrior.
  • A-6E: The definitive attack version of the Intruder with vastly upgraded navigation and attack systems.
  • A-6F and A-6G: Advanced version which powered by non-afterburning versions of the General Electric F404 turbofan used in the F/A-18 Hornet.
  • EA-6B Prowler: Electronic warfare versions.

Grumman A-6 Intruder videos

A-6 Intruder

Grumman A-6 Intruder

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