This rescued A-6 Intruder video is a gem of Vietnam-era flying footage. The film is set somewhere between 1974 and 1975.
The color is a bit rough in spots, but the material is fantastic if you are an A-6 Intruder fan.
The film shows USS Vogelgesang (DD-862).
Capt Bob Mandeville (USN), the first pilot to log more than 2,000 flight hours in the aircraft, is in the video. He is wearing his ATKRON 34 hat since he was with the VA-34 Blue Blasters on the carrier John F. Kennedy CV-67 that we see in the video.
We see many other aircraft in the video: F-14 Tomcat, F-4 Phantom, and S-3 Viking,
Cdr Bill Westerman (USN) provides his opinion about the A-6 Intruder.
A lot of John F. Kennedy CV-67 deck operations footage is shown.
Marines coming onto the beach and USMC helicopters are shown.
Short field operations and very low flight is demonstrated.
Capt David Pennyfeather from the Royal Marine Corps provides feedback on the role of the Forward Air Controller.
Capt Tom Nicholson, USMC, also describes how well the FAC and A-6 work together.
Others to appear are Lt Col Dan Lyttle, USMC, Lt Peel Dillard, USMC, Capt Paul Hanover, USMC, Maj Charlie Carr, USMC, Lt Col Jesse T. Randall, USMC, Lcdr Joe Prueher, USN, Maj Jim Henshaw, USMC,
Pilots describe the low altitude 300-foot attack runs. The pilots talk about avoiding surface-to-air missiles.
Cockpit operations and flight video is shown from multiple angles. The video brags about the FLIR capabilities and Condor missile.
These items are provided for historical and reference use only. RareAviation.com assumes no liability for any loss or damage resulting from or in any way connected to other use of this information. Not for commercial use or further dissemination.
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Mhm mm, mm hmm.
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Mhm mm, mm hmm.
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For all the hopes of detente shuttle diplomacy, new treaties, and trade agreements, conflicts remain common among the world’s nations and peace often seems but a respite between wars.
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We continue to hope of course to work at peace and conciliation perhaps harder than we ever have before.
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But we work at being prepared to, or as we have come to learn, strength is the best deterrent to war and to be prepared.
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The only measure of our determination.
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Thus, we maintain vigilance so intense we are literally watching the world from thousands of outposts on land and sea,
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with a carrier task force assuming a more critical role now, as fewer foreign bases and fewer foreign ports remain open to us.
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Overseas bases have become somewhat 10uous in many circumstances and many places in the world where we have seen governments change.
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We’ve seen treaties not be followed through with, and we have lost some overseas bases, very, very valuable assets in projecting our national interests throughout the world.
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As we see this happening, it becomes very apparent that the carrier task force represents the only fallback, the only position that the United States has in order to be able to project our national power.
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When you’re talking about an attack aircraft carrier, you’re talking about a very heavy instrument of national policy and it’s got a variety of roles which it has to fulfill in which is indeed capable of fulfilling.
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But it must be remembered that the primary mission of this carrier is to project the United States’ foreign policy in an offensive role. Should it be necessary For the 6th fleet, the 7th fleet, or wherever it’s called upon to do so?
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Once that carrier is launched. Once he leaves on deployment, the carrier becomes an integral floating base that is instantly responsive and capable of high-speed transit to anywhere in the world.
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To do the job required of the carrier today calls for a combination of different aircraft, different weapons systems within the air wing,
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a mix effective in a major war or a brush fire capable of handling surface and subsurface threats and with aircraft aboard for anti-submarine warfare,
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it’s a self-contained strike force, a marvel of efficiency and flexibility, power, and pursuit packaged in 1000 ft of rolling deck,
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for all its capabilities.
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However, the effectiveness of the carrier is dependent on a total team effort and an understanding among the squadrons that each crew member and each airplane has an integral part to play,
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mutual support, essential to getting the job done and in the final analysis, putting bombs on the target is still the primary role of the attack carrier.
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There are three attack squadrons on this ship that are capable of doing just that, carrying that offensive role to the enemy wherever it might be.
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And of the three, as I’ve said very clearly and unequivocally in my mind, the one that has the greatest capability, the most firepower has the longest reach is the A six squadron on the carrier.
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It considered some of the other airplanes which carry bombs and put them on target, which has the same type of mission the A6 does in general.
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But the real crux of what the A six is about is the fact that the A six can do it anytime and with the A six E.
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We can do it with a high degree of reliability.
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It can be a beautiful day or it can be a foul night where the ceilings are down at 100 ft and the visibility is half a mile. It doesn’t make any difference.
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And that’s why the A six is worth it.
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Since the german counteroffensive in the battle of the Bulge during World War two,
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an enemy success in Korea and Vietnam, bad weather and darkness have been key elements in greatly reducing the advantages of US airpower, allowing the enemy to move freely while U.
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S. Planes set on carrier decks in remote airfields waiting for the weather to clear.
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With the advent of the A six intruder, however effective US airpower is available round the clock in any weather conditions,
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one of a kind in the defense inventory, It is the only aircraft capable of penetrating,
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thick ground fog, heavy rains, or intense cloud covered to detect, identify and attack fixed or moving enemy targets.
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The A six E is a new airplane with the latest radar, inertial navigation, and computer system key elements in its all weather tracking capability.
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But the first intruder, the A-6 A flew early in the 1960s and made its mark in Vietnam.
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Since then, the airplane has gone through an extensive product development program,
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so that today it is the most versatile weapon system capable of leading other aircraft in the target areas and handling close air support, interdiction and deep strike missions, where the bomb loads second only to the B- 52.
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And with a new CV concept, the A six E. Is now being used as an A S. W. Vehicle as well for the carrier.
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Where deck space is always a problem.
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The multi-mission capability of the A six E is a distinct advantage in helping to blend the overall functions of the carrier air wing to make the carrier more self-sufficient and the C.
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B, a more potent force than ever before for the war, at sea and in support of amphibious operations.
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In coordinated assaults with the Marines, Air Force, and Army Navy ships helped put landing forces on the beach.
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While joint Tactical airpower provides essential air defense, reconnaissance, and close support,
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during the 1st 48 hours or so, Air support is the responsibility of Air Force and Navy aircraft, as directed by the Strike Force are in response to specific requests against specific targets I would.
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Once the beachhead is established, close air support is turned over to the marines.
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Mhm. Mhm. Operating shipboard like environment online, taking advantage of abandoned airfields when they exist or setting up portable landing strips.
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Effective air support can be provided on a moment’s notice where it’s needed when it’s needed.
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By keying a radar beacon on the ground with the computer system in the A six E.
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Close air support can be carried out with an accuracy and air to ground weapons that was previously unattainable with a non-radar significant target.
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To take full advantage of the system’s capabilities,
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Marines have put pilots in the field as forward air controllers to direct beacon operations proceed inbounded following grid that 936378 advised whenever they can be target brief over,
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represented 3637 Go ahead with roger slang.
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17 wrap back brief follows. One of the things that’s impressed me most with the United States Marine Corps has been, is our support not so much the Aircraft as their ability to get the aircraft onto the target.
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And the forward air controllers know their business 17 looking good and they know the air side and they know the brand side and therefore the coordination is extremely good. And the response from the aircraft is good because they’re talking to people of their own type.
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You put a pilot on the ground uh and you’ve got uh air eyes on the ground, director of the aircraft.
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The rab fact itself is kind of fantastic because it’s pretty frustrating. When you get out there, you’ve got the aircraft, you’ve got the enemy situation developing, but you haven’t got the weather to get any kind of ordinance on the target.
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With this rap fact will do for you either at night when it’s essentially i fr condition or in cloudy weather where you can’t see the ground, you can load up a rab fac and essentially it’s just a transponder and he can set it up and with his radar in the uh in the A.
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Six of them in a six, you can paint that beacon, you can give him the important information and he can from that beacon, get an offset bombing point, pick it up and destroy the enemy without ever seeing that.
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We were getting the aircraft with ordinance on the target Not more than 33 minutes after the fact had the original mission and that’s going all the way through up to the desk.
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The bird is coming over, making contact, being passed out to the forward air controller running the strike and the ordinance on the ground in 33 minutes.
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These guys will put them anywhere you want them. It’s just a question of how close to you. Do you dare put it accuracy? If this is accurate is the opposite information is given to us.
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We have fun live beacon hops out of here on a hotbed with the E system and uh, our media is 90 over 100 our hits are 10 20 ft.
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We can get six bombs to go out on a practice target.
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With the average aviator and the average BN. In the squadron viability and consistency, the system, we can almost guarantee a c p a zero on.
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Almost guarantee that three of those bombs can be pulled out.
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There’s no guarantee that e tightest the system in the world.
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But uh, if you’re wrapped up like that, dodging the sam or or or triple A or something, when you’re coming over a target, obviously in a real hot area like over downtown or something like that, you’re not going to make it more than one pass.
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So your CPI is gonna be predicated in actual combat environment by what actually is happening over the target.
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I mean we don’t bomb like Gold, Second World War guns over Sexhagen or whatever those people. 29 good monter runs were single passing, single-pass drop, depending on where you were in Vietnam.
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We found that our best deal was to run in as low as possible.
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And that someone told me when I got there, you’d be running in at 700 ft.
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And I said, well you’re nuts. I’m not going to be at 700 ft. And the next thing I found myself pushing 300 ft, literally just popping up at the last minute, just high enough to get out of the last factor.
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And that’s what we did. Of course with the A-6, it’s gonna be a little bit different because no matter what else do you uh Sam’s gonna be able to get you so we might move it up higher.
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I don’t know, You don’t know too much about the A-6.
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We know we can do to make 70 by just out running the Sun.
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We know that we can outmaneuver at 21 below 15,000 ft.
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No airplane is all things for all missions. Of course, performance varies with design parameters and the mission at hand, DC-3s outfitted with Gatling guns, had their place in Vietnam.
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But there are better ways to do the job.
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And when one airplane like the A six is called upon to do several different missions, somebody has to back off and say,
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I can do with less of this, but I’ve got to have more of that and be ready to pay for it anytime you talk performance in an aircraft, you’re talking about compromise with their tradeoffs depending on what you’re looking for. An airplane.
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An attack airplane is designed for long range heavy payload as opposed to a fighter aircraft, which has got to have high speed capability and in most cases a better turning radius.
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It’s fairly easy to make one that goes fast. It’s difficult to make one that goes very fast and carries a large external payload.
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The designers of the a six made a compromise. But by making that compromise, we are able to carry a large weapons load.
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We can carry £15,000 of external stores and we can carry it pretty well to the fringes of the envelope.
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The A six is a very stable airplane, and, as you learn in elementary aerodynamics.
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When you get that stability, you trade off some maneuverability at the A six is very maneuverable.
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You’ve got heavy stick forces. You feel like you might be driving. A mack truck is compared to some more maneuverable airplanes, but it will maneuver and it’ll put bombs on target in any condition.
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It maintains its energy. You’re doing 360 knots running in on a target for a pop up attack.
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You can copy it and pull up and you’ll have 300 knots for the rolling.
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You’ll have that airspeed, you’ve got a 10 protected 10 ft pop up capability with about a 3 to 4 miles. Stand easily and still have good rolling airspeed.
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I really don’t think that there’s anybody around that can take as much as we can, as far as we can and stay as long as we can,
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and put it on the target with the accuracy that the aces can deliver the ordinance and get home with enough gas left to go to an alternate performance is only part of the story.
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The hottest airplane in the inventory isn’t worth the hangar space it occupies if you can’t rely on it consistently,
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and any time you’re dealing with a sophisticated weapons system, you’re faced with problems of availability and maintain ability, readiness is what it’s all about.
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Pilots never wanna miss a sortie and maintenance personnel pride themselves on quick turnarounds to meet demanding flight schedules with the system reliability of the A6E aircraft can be turned around in 45 minutes.
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An intruder squadrons are making more sortie commitments with total weapons system capability. Okay.
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A built in test system helps the crew determine status of the various A-6 weapons system components in a matter of minutes, a complete operational check can be accomplished in less than half an hour.
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Go no go in under 15 minutes.
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Crew knows exactly what they have to work with before they take off and the bombardier navigator is often able to troubleshoot in flight malfunctions while in the air, providing a more meaningful debrief back on the deck,
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to package this kind of capability in one aircraft and then to keep that aircraft an effective fighting machine over the years in the face of constantly changing technologies and new threats takes a lot of airplane to start with,
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and a continuous program of product improved.
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Even now, A-6E has improved means for acquiring and identifying targets and for delivering weapons with greater accuracy than ever before at night and in any weather conditions.
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A a tram version of the intruder with a forward looking infrared display or FLIR, provides television like pictures of targets that can be seen by the unaided eye nor sharply delineated by the sweeping.
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Now you see it now you don’t image on a typical radar scope, a using temperature differences to generate the display, fleer can help a six crew members target an enemy tank,
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a ship’s waterline or concealed cargo and deliver smart laser guided weapons.
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Even non radar significant road patterns and plowed fields can be clearly distinguished.
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The A-6E is also being equipped to deliver the standoff Condor missile, a self navigating television guided system effective at long range against ship and land based targets. Mhm.
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The unmatched versatility of the A six E and its seemingly endless potential for assuming still greater capabilities is in keeping with the basic design considerations for the aircraft, a flexible weapon system,
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effective in a limited war or an all out offensive.
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There’s always been a lot of discussion I think, but the virtues of very cheap air to ground tactical airplane as opposed to the much more expensive, all weather, all purpose, multi mission aircraft such as the A-6 is,
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I think we proved without question in Southeast Asia, the value and the requirement for a more sophisticated,
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more capable aircraft and what perhaps the cheapest version we can put on a carrier deck would provide.
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We proved it nightly from all the carriers in the 7th fleet, when A sixes were often the only tactical aircraft flying over North Vietnam and that includes the Air Force as well.
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The aircraft is a super airplane.
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I’m less emotional about the airplane and some, I think it’s, it’s a machine is a machine and that’s, I don’t ascribe personality to it or anything like that.
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It’s a, it’s a machine and if you understand the way it works and it’s gonna break some sometimes and it’s not, It’s gonna work well. Sometimes it’s well designed. It’ll work most of the time. The A-6E is such a machine for the all weather mission.
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They can do anything daylight VFR to the most worst night in the world. You can still go out and hit the target.
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If there’s anything we’ve got to keep in mind with the A-6 is the fact that we have an untapped resource here.
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Got to eliminate the tunnel vision, especially in marine close air employment.
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We’ve got to eliminate tunnel vision and allowed the development of new tactics because the A-6 has reliability that was virtually undreamed of two years ago and the versatility that we haven’t found,
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anywhere near all the possible use of sport.
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And there’s no doubt in my mind, regardless of the hostility that we were involved in or whatever type war it was.
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If it was within striking distance of the carrier, The A-6 would be carrying the war to the front at night and in all weather conditions.
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