A-6 Intruder in Action (Aircraft 138)
By Joe Michaels
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc. 1993 50 Pages
PDF 19 MB
During 1955 the Navy's Long Range Objectives Study Group staff recognized that there was a need for a new attack aircraft. This aircraft would supplement the Douglas A-l Skyraider and Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, in service with the light attack squadrons and the Douglas A-3 Skywarrior and North American A-5 Vigilante in use with the heavy attack squadrons. The Navy wanted an attack aircraft that could fly faster, higher, and carry a bigger and more sophisticated variety of weapons over a greater distance than the venerable A-l Skyraider or the lightweight A-4. One of the capabilities that the new design was to feature was the ability to fly low-level missions at night and under all weather conditions. This requirement was considered to be of paramount importance.
In February of 1957 Grumman received Type Specification 149 along with Boeing, Douglas, Vought, Martin, Lockheed, Bell and North American Aviation. All of these companies presented their proposed designs and by December of 1957 the competition had been reduced to Douglas, Grumman and Vought. On 30 December 1957 the Navy announced that the Grumman Aircraft Corporation, led by the design team composed of Lawrence M. Mead, Robert Nafis and Bruce Tuttle, had won the design competition.