THE GRUMMAN A-6 INTRUDER. Including KA-6D, EA-6A & EA-6B.
On April 19th, 1960, the prototype Grumman A-6 Intruder, Grumman model G-128 and designated the YA2F-1, BuAer 147864, lifted off from Grumman’s Calverton facility for the first time. Nearly thirty-seven years and 693 Intruders later, on February 28th, 1997, VA-34 the ‘Blue Blasters’, retired the Navy’s last operational A-6E Intruders. The Navy's experience in the Korean War showed the need for a new long-range strike aircraft with high subsonic performance at very low altitude, an aircraft that could penetrate enemy defences and find and destroy small targets in any weather. So, the A-6 Intruder was designed with these needs in mind and was a true ‘bomb truck’. From the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Iraq the Intruder proved its worth, able to carry a plethora of weaponry and pack a mighty punch. The aircraft also served as an airborne tanker with the KA-6D version. The Intruder was highly successful in US Navy service and was also adopted by the US Marine Corps until being replaced, as with the Navy by the F/A-18 Hornet. The Intruder was one of a kind, and we probably never see another aircraft like it, or one as capable. From the Intruder airframe came the EA-6A electronic warfare variant, and then the far more sophisticated EA-6B ‘Prowler’, a four-seat EW variant, packed with jamming equipment and electronics. Like the A-6, the Prowler was used by both the Navy and Marine Corps, and has now also now been retired, its roles now being undertaken by the EA-18G ‘Growler’. The history, variants, systems and war roles of the Intruder and Prowler are detailed in this new MDF Scaled Down, which will be a source of reference for both the enthusiast and modeller alike.