Grumman Intruder A-6E military plane at Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum

Plane Details

Plane: A-6 Intruder
Manufacturer:  Grumman
Unit: VMA(AW)-242
Tail Code: DT

Grumman A-6E Intruder History:

A-6A BuNo 154170 was accepted by the Navy in 1968 and first served with Attack Squadron 65 (VA-65) deploying to Vietnam aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). It next served with VA-115 making multiple deployments aboard USS Midway (CV-41) and participating in Operation Linebacker, Operation Eagle Pull and supporting the evacuation of Saigon in Operation Frequent Wind.

‘170 was upgraded to an E model and in 1978 was sent to VA-196 deploying aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43). It joined the Marine Corps in 1984 with the “Bats” of VMA(AW)-242 at MCAS El Toro. In 1998 it became a weapons systems test platform with the “Vampires” of Air Development Squadron 5 (VX-5) and Naval Warfare Center at NAF China Lake, CA. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Description Story

The primary mission of the A-6 was acquiring and destroying surface targets in any weather, day or night.

The A-6 provided Marines with an all weather strike capability for the first time. The cockpit used an unusual double pane windscreen and side-by- side seating arrangement in which the pilot sat in the left seat, while the bombardier/navigator sat to the right and slightly below. The incorporation of an additional crew member with separate responsibilities, along with a unique Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) display that provided a synthetic display of terrain ahead enabled low-level attack in all weather conditions. A total of 693 A-6s were built; 488 A-6As, 95 A-6Es, 71 A-6E TRAM (Target Recognition and Attack Multi-Sensor), 34 A-6E SWIP (Systems/Weapons Improvement Program), and 5 A-6Fs.

The first A-6 entered Marine Corps serice with Marine Attack Squadron (All Weather) 242 (VMA(AW)- 242) in May 1966, replacing the A 4 Skyhawk. Seven Marine attack squadrons flew the Intruder supporting Marine Corps operations starting in Vietnam and concluding with Operation Desert Storm. All of the squadrons transitioned to the F/A-18D in the early 90’s with the “Moonlighters” of VMA(AW)-
332 the last unit to fly the Intruder.


Power Plant:
Two 9,300-lb (4218-kg) static thrust Pratt & Whitney J52-P-8A or -8B turbojets
Wingspan: 53.00 ft
Length: 55 ft
Height: 16 ft
Empty 25,684
Gross Weight 60,400 lbs
Max Speed: 644 mph
Maximum Range: 1,081 miles (base)
Service Ceiling: ‎44,619 feet
Armament: Up to 18,000 lbs of mission specific ordnance, bombs, missiles