Old and ugly, like me…

Sure, this is an Army-centric blog, but we have a soft spot in our hearts for Naval Aviation, in particular, the Grumman A-6 Intruder. That’s the plane that took dear old Dad to war and brought him home.

panther

Our favorite Hornette driver, NeptunusLex points us to an Air&Space Magazine article on the “Tadpole.”

When the Intruder entered service in the mid-1960s, it brought a new capability to carrier air power- the ability to locate and attack targets day or night, in any kind of weather.  It may seem hard to believe, but well into the 1990s, few of our airplanes could locate targets except by using the human eyeball.  In the Intruder, a very high resolution radar, coupled with a then-exotic inertial navigation system allowed their crews to fly at 200 feet above the ground, find their targets, and plaster them with a massive payload of bombs.  During Desert Storm, the Intruder was pretty much the only Navy plane capable of deploying smart-bombs like laser guided bombs.

All good things come to an end, however. In the mid 1990s, the Navy retired the Intruder, replacing it in the strike role with F-14 Tomcats, and later, the F/A-18E/F SuperHornet.

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6 thoughts on “Old and ugly, like me…”

  1. I did three tours in Intruders as Airframes and Phase LPO. One in 145 and two in 128. It was a bear to work on sometimes. But it always worked. And as a deck launched tanker the old K version was above all. Ever seen an A7 with a drop and buddy store?
    I heard a rumour awhile back that the Tanker was getting a second look at returning to the Fleet. After all it could hold alot of gas.
    I still miss the old bird and I haven’t touched one since early in 91 in my last tour at 128.

  2. Glenn, I heard rumors several times that they were looking at “K’ing” old EA-6Bs by pulling all the ECM and putting a hose/drouge in the birdcage. Nothing ever came of it…

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