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Must Watch: This Great Film About The Capabilities of the A-6E Intruder

Many Times You Didn’t Know the Intruder Was Aiming For You Until It Was Too Late

A-6Es via US Navy

The film “A-6E Intruder…Any Weather AnyTime” was made not long after the Vietnam debacle had ended and the Navy and Marine Corps were taking a close look at their force structures and figuring out what they could do without. Grumman’s A-6 Intruder attack bomber had entered service right about the same time Vietnam really became a war and had proven its capabilities in Southeast Asia over and over again. By the time the A-6E variant trapped aboard a carrier for its first deployment in 1971, the Navy and Marine Corps knew they had the finest attack aircraft ever taken to sea. Featuring VA-34 Blue Blasters with a host of other Intruder squadrons supporting, this film was uploaded to YouTube by PeriscopeFilm. Enjoy!

A-6E via US Navy

Grumman built a total of 445 A-6Es. More than half of them were previously manufactured variants that were reworked to bring them to A-6E specification. At first it was difficult for a casual observer to discern the differences between the variants of the Intruder. Later (after the film was produced- beginning in the early 1980’s) the A-6E received the Target Recognition and Attack Multisensor (TRAM) turret installed under the radome and just ahead of the forward landing gear. In addition to TRAM, the A-6E radar was upgraded to the new Norden AN/APQ-156 radar. By that point there were few other Intruder variants left in service.

A-6E via US Navy

Continuously upgraded throughout their service lives, Grumman A-6E Intruders were retired and replaced by the end of 1997. The Navy decommissioned most of their 24 Intruder-equipped squadrons during the 1990s, but today VA-34 Blue Blasters and VA-115 Eagles fly variants of the McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet. Originally the Intruders largely replaced the Navy’s Douglas A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft and were themselves eventually replaced, at least for a time,  by Grumman F-14 Bombcats. The Marines traded their Intruders for F/A-18D Hornets. Five of the original six Marine Corps Intruder squadrons are still flying.

CAG A-6Es via US Navy

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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