Author Topic: Intruders and Electric Jets  (Read 614 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Intruders and Electric Jets
« on: March 13, 2022, 12:42:28 PM »
Intruders and Electric Jets
by GTX and Apophenia


In 1963 Australia placed an order for 24 F-111 aircraft to replace their English Electric Canberra bombers.  The immensely complex and ambitious F-111 design and construction process quickly resulted in delays.  While the first F-111 was officially handed over in 1968, program delays continued.  These were exacerbated by problems discovered with the wing attachment points and air intakes.  As such, the aircraft were soon put in in storage at Fort Worth until these flaws could be rectified.  The RAAF subsequently evaluated the F-4E Phantom II, Blackburn Buccaneer, LTV A-7 Corsair II and Grumman A-6 Intruder as possible replacements/gap-fillers for the F-111.
 
Although many in the RAAF advocated the F-4E, it was quickly recognised that the A-6 provided the closest analogue to the planned F-111 with its focus on precision attack, terrain following capability and side-by-side seating for the crew.  Moreover, its J52 engines were also in the RANís A-4G Skyhawks just entering service, thus offering potential for some cost savings.
 
In 1970 the Australian Cabinet agreed to Minister for Defence Malcolm Fraser's recommendation that an interim lease of 24 Grumman A-6A Intruders be taken up.  The first of these aircraft arrived 6mths later.  The USN designated this project Peace Reef. The terms of the lease agreement allowed the Australian Government to purchase the Intruders outright if the F-111 program was cancelled, but also allowed the USN to demand the immediate return of the aircraft and their support equipment in the event of a national emergency.   The RAAF Intruders stood out from their USN/USMC counterparts due to their green/brown camouflage and black radomes but in all other aspects were identical.
 
Also of surprise to many was that in parallel to the A-6 lease, the RAAF also received 6 of the related EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft.  These introduced a totally new capability to the RAAF and operated alongside the more conventional bomber variant including in the dedicated SEAD role.
 
Over the next 3years, they provided stellar service and proved a good stepping stone to the F-111C when it eventually arrived in 1973/74.  At this point they were handed back to the USN and were re-incorporated into service there.
 
The influence of the Intruder/Prowler did not end there however.  A few years later in 1980, in perhaps an unsurprising move, the RAAF decided to expand its F-111 fleet with 6 of the new EF-111 electronic attack variant.  Obviously the brief experience with the Prowler left its markÖ



All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Intruders and Electric Jets
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2022, 12:43:06 PM »
Stephen and I took the opportunity of the weekend extension to slip another quick collaboration in... ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Buzzbomb

  • Low Concentration Span, oft wanders betwixt projects
  • Accurate Scale representations of fictional stuff
    • Club and my stuff site
Re: Intruders and Electric Jets
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2022, 01:27:34 PM »
Super !
The Intruder platform may have made quite at bit of sense for the RAAF as an operator, certainly in these roles which was neglected in this time frame

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Intruders and Electric Jets
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2022, 12:17:48 AM »
I agree - I have long felt that the A-6 would have made a far better interim stepping stone for the RAAF going from the Canberra to the F-111 than the F-4E.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2022, 01:15:10 AM by GTX_Admin »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: Intruders and Electric Jets
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2022, 01:13:11 AM »
I agree - I have long felt that the A-4 would have made a far better interim stepping stone for the RAAF going from the Canberra to the F-111 than the F-4E.

Methinks thou meanest A-6 ;)

... but you're right, it would have. :smiley:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Intruders and Electric Jets
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2022, 01:15:21 AM »
Doh!!  Fixed
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Buzzbomb

  • Low Concentration Span, oft wanders betwixt projects
  • Accurate Scale representations of fictional stuff
    • Club and my stuff site
Re: Intruders and Electric Jets
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2022, 06:08:48 AM »
If you could not have the Buccaneer, you may as well have the next best thing the A-6