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A-6 Intruder

Definition/Scope: The A-6 Intruder was an all-weather, two seat, subsonic, carrier-based attack aircraft. The subsonic A-6 has no spectacular performance or design features but is superbly suited to the particular attack role for which it so carefully tailored. The A-6 Intruder had developed a work-horse reputation and was the subject of many tales of daring aviation during its 34-year career. The strengths of the Intruder included its capability to fly in all weather and its heavy weapons payload -- two traits illuminated on the big screen in the popular action film "Flight of the Intruder." The A-6E proved that it was the best all-weather precision bomber in the world in the joint strike on Libyan terrorist-related targets in 1986. With Air Force FB-111s, A-6E Intruders penetrated the sophisticated Libyan air defense systems, which had been alerted by the high level of diplomatic tension and by rumors of impending attacks. Evading over 100 guided missiles, the strike force flew at low levels in complete darkness, and accurately delivered laser-guided and other ordnance on target. No guns of any kind are carried aboard the A-6, and the aircraft has no internal bomb bay. A wide variety of stores, however, can be mounted externally; these include both conventional and nuclear bombs, fuel tanks, and an assortment of rockets and missiles. The A-6E is capable of a maximum speed of 653 miles per hour (Mach 0.86) at sea level and a cruising speed of 390 miles per hour. Although the wing loading of the A-6E is over 40 percent higher than that of the A-4E, the stalling speeds of the two aircraft are nearly the same, which attests to the effectiveness of the highlift devices on the A-6. The zero-lift drag coefficient of the A-6E is about 20 percent higher than that of the B-57B; however, the maximum lift-drag ratios of the two aircraft are about the same. The higher-aspect-ratio wing of the A-6E compensates for its higher zero-lift drag coefficient in determining the maximum lift-drag ratio.

Used For:

Intruder (aircraft)

Broader Terms:

attack aircraft
Close Air Support

Related Terms:

A-37 Dragonfly
A-4 Skyhawk
attack aircraft
EA-6A Intruder
EA-6B Prowler
Fantan Q-5 / A-5
naval aircraft

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008