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In 1956, the Navy issued a requirement for a low-level, long range and all weather attack aircraft, to take over the medium bomber role from the legendary A-1 Skyraider. The A-6 quickly found itself in combat and proved to be a capable platform.
It gained a reputation for being able to carry large loads deep into North Vietnam at night when no other American aircraft could.
First flown in 1970, the A-6E brought improved radar and nav/system computer systems to improve reliability. The new model was produced with almost half new builds, the rest were made from the conversion of older A-6s, as was the case with this A-6.
The A-6E received continual system improvements over its career to enable it to deliver the latest weapons in the Navy inventory. In the end however, it became a victim of the post-Cold War draw down and wing fatigue problems, and the A-6 was retired in 1997.
Service History of 155644
Delivered: December 13, 1968
Dec 1968 - VA-128 NAS Whidbey Island, WA
Aug 1969 - VA-165 NAS Whidbey Island, USS America & USS Constellation
Nov 1975 - VA-145 NAS Whidbey Island, NADEP Alameda, CA & USS Ranger
Jan 1976 - VA-128 NAS Whidbey Island
May 1976 - NARF Norfolk, VA
April 1977 - Converted to A-6E NPRO Rep Bethpage, NY
Oct 1977 - VA-34 NAS Oceana, VA, USS Kennedy, USS Eisenhower
Sept 1981 - NPRO Rep Bethpage, NY
Dec 1981 - VMA(AW)-242 MCAS El Toro, CA, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, NADEP Alameda
May 1984 - VMA(AW)-121 MCAS El Toro
Mar 1988 - NADEP Alameda
June 1991 - VA-196 NAS Whidbey Island
Sept 1991 - VA-115 NAF Atsugi, Japan, USS Independence
Stricken: Oct 1994
First Produced: 1970
Powerplant: (2) P&W J52-P-8B
Thrust: 9,300 lbs each
Service Ceiling: 47,500 ft
Cruise: 477 mph
Top Speed: 793 mph
Range: 2,723 miles
Empty Weight: 26,746 lbs
Gross Weight: 60,400 lbs
Wing Span: 53’
Wing Area: 528.9 sq. ft
Armament: 18,000 lbs of external
Number Built: 693 total
450 E models through
conversion or new build