How This Weaponless Plane Became America’s Most Feared Aircraft

How This Weaponless Plane Became America’s Most Feared Aircraft | Frontline Videos

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How can an electronic attack aircraft that has not fired a single round of ammo be respected by its adversaries? 

A-6 Intruder

The A-6 Intruder revolutionized aerial bombing with its all-weather operational capability and its ability to deliver conventional and nuclear bombs at zero visibility. But with the introduction of newer advanced fighters, it was only a matter of time before a much faster and more capable “guardian” was needed.

Improving The Intruder

Northrop Grumman decided to improve the Intruder into an advanced tactical and jamming aircraft they called the EA-6A Intruder. It entered service in 1965 as an electronic countermeasure aircraft and proved its capabilities during Operation Rolling Thunder in North Vietnam.

Best Version Yet?

The EA-6B Prowler, introduced in 1971, featured state-of-the-art systems designed to dominate electronic warfare. It was redesigned to accommodate four crew members: a pilot and three electronic countermeasure officers (ECMOs) and housed a bigger system, resulting in the airframe incurring more weight. 

After its retirement in 2019, the EA-6B’s impeccable track record as the Navy and Marine Corps’s primary tactical radar jamming aircraft proved just how successful the Prowler was.


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