Grumman YA-6F 'Intruder II'

  Base model:A-6
  Nickname:Intruder II
  Designation System:U.S. Tri-Service
  Designation Period:1962-Present
  Basic role:Attack
  See Also:

Not Yet Available

Known serial numbers
162183 / 162187


Recent comments by our visitors
 Portland, OR
So Grumman made 5 A6-F Intruders...

One is on the Intrepid in New York City.

One is at the Cradle of Naval Aviation Museum on Long Island.

Two are claimed to be "scrapped" by Grumman.

One is unaccounted for....

Does anybody know where the missing A6-F is?

(Note, These are NOT the regular A6-Es...these are 5 special prototype models of a follow-on design that Grumman tried to sell the Navy in the late 1980s/ early 1990s as an alternative to the A-12.)

This "F" version of the A6 has digital avionics, supposedly based on the F16 Falcon's equipment. This gives the aircraft better Ground Attack performance (mainly, better accuracy due to faster computer...the A6-E already had the widest range of attack modes and dropped the greatest array of different weapons than any other aircraft in the inventory)

Original intent was for the A6-F to incorporate the Boeing "Plastic" wing the Navy was using to re-wing worn out A6-Es, but because of production delay, they used the regular metal wings. Good thing too...as it turns out, the Plastic wings were a real radar beacon...they RAISED THE RCS OF THE AIRCRAFT!!! Not a big deal when flying CAS in Afghanistan, but against a real threat, the plastic wings were a bad thing. Likely, the Plastic Wing debacle hastened the retirement of the A6-Eeven though there were supposedly over 200 aircraft re-winged, now stored in the Arizona desert.

The A6-F also used the same engines as the Hornet (minus afterburner) and included many of the fast-engine-change modifications used in the Hornet to allow the A6-F to swap engines in far less time.

With the new engines, the aircraft could carry more ordnance, farther, faster than before on the same fuel.
It also gave the aircraft much better air-to-air performance...basically that First Turn... it's never going to be a fighter....

Note that the A6-E carried 18,000lbs of ordnance.
Up to 28 (30 with inner gear doors removed) 500lb bombs.... Even the huge B52s only carry 56 bombs...
Hornets only carried 5 bombs during the Gulf War, and had only 10-15 minutes Time on Station while the old A6 had an hour or more.

The A6-F would have an additional set of hard points, amd possibly a final modification to put AIM9 rails on the wingtips to free up inboard stations.

We would once again have the ability to deliver the high-drag weapons (i.e. aerial laid anti-ship mines the A6E used to drop)that we no longer can, because the Hornets can't carry them. Heck, on an A6-E, you could accidentally drop 2 mines from the same side of the plane and still have it fly with a 5,000# asymmetric load. Try that with a Hornet...even a Super Hornet.

Bottom line?

The A6-F should have been built in significant quantities. It would have been the perfect aircraft for the air war in Iraq and Afghanistan because of range, payload, and loiter time.

With Iran on the horizon, the ability to do Deep Strike really no longer exists for the Navy and Marine Corps, and we can't count on our mideast "allies" to let the USAF use their bases to defeat Iran. Our tanker assets are worn out. Our heavy bombers are too few (15-20 flying B2s, 30-35 flying B1s, and about 50 flying B52s) Drones are vulnerable. Hornets can't do everything. Time to go back to the layered, multi-aircraft air wings. In addition to the A6-F, time to build another 400 F14-Ds...
01/29/2012 @ 20:22 [ref: 52227]