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Representative Types of Fixed-Wing Aircraft
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Naval Orientation - Military manual for administrative purposes
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Other Fixed-Wing Aircraft
Fighter  Class Attack  Class Fighters   are   high-performance   aircraft generally employed to gain air superiority. They may   be   deployed   defensively   as   interceptors, offensively  as  escorts  for  bombers  or  during ground  support  missions,  or  independently  to counter   enemy   aircraft.   Some   are   capable   of carrying  sufficient  payloads  for  collateral  bomb- ing  missions. F-14A  TOMCAT.  —The  F-14A  Tomcat  is  a supersonic, twin-engine, variable-sweeping wing, two-place  fighter.  It  replaced  the  venerable  F-4 Phantom  II  series  of  fleet  air  defense  fighters  (the last one of which was phased out in 1986). It can track  up  to  24  targets  simultaneously  with  its advanced AWG-9 weapons control system. It can attack   six   targets   with   Phoenix   (AIM-54A) missiles,  while  continuing  to  scan  the  airspace.  Its armament   also   includes   a   mix   of   other   air intercept   missiles,   rockets,   and   bombs.   F-14s provided air cover for the joint strike on Libyan terrorist-related targets in 1986. The F-14 is the world’s foremost all-weather, day-night  fleet  air  defense  fighter.  The  F-14A  was introduced   in   the   mid-1970s.   The   upgraded F-14A+ version, with its new GE F-110 engines, is  now  widespread  throughout  the  fleet.  It  is  more than a match for threat fighters in the close-in, air   combat   arena.   The   follow-on   F-14D   is designed  to  close  emerging  gaps  in  the  carrier battle  group’s  outer  air  capability  against  new- generation  Soviet  bombers  and  cruise  missiles. F/A-18  HORNET.  —The  single-seat  F/A-18 Hornet is the nation’s first strike fighter, It was designed for traditional strike applications, such as  interdiction  and  close  air  support,  without compromising  its  fighter  capabilities.  With  its excellent fighter and self-defense capabilities, the F/A-18  concurrently  increases  strike  mission survivability  and  supplements  the  F-14  Tomcat in  fleet  air  defense.  It  thus  acts  as  a  true  force multiplier,  providing  operational  commanders  the flexibility to employ it in either its fighter or its attack  role. F/A-18s  can  operate  both  from  aircraft carriers and ground bases. They were part of the two-carrier  battle  force  that  conducted  a  joint strike  on  selected  Libyan  terrorist-related  targets in  1986.  They  provided  fleet  air  defense  and, together  with  carrier-based  A-7  Corsairs,  used antiradiation missiles to neutralize air defenses. Although attack planes are used for low-level bombing, ground support, or nuclear strikes, they do not need the speed of fighters. They have good stability, can carry heavy payloads, and can carry enough fuel to remain on station long enough to render  extended  support  to  troops,  if  needed. Attack  aircraft  normally  operate  under  conditions of good visibility, but the A-6 has the equipment needed  for  all-weather  and  night  attacks. A-6E   INTRUDER.   —The  A-6E  is  an  all- weather, two-seat, subsonic, carrier-based attack aircraft. It is equipped with a microminiaturized digital  computer;  a  solid-state  weapons  release system; and a single, integrated track and search radar. The target recognition attack multisensory (TRAM)  version  of  the  A-6E  was  introduced  to the fleet in 1979. It is equipped with a chin turret containing   a   forward-looking   infrared   (FLIR) system and a laser designator and receiver. The  A-6E  again  proved  it  is  the  best  all- weather  precision  bomber  in  the  world  in  the  joint strike on Libyan terrorist-related targets in 1986. With  Air  Force  FB-111s,  A-6E  Intruders penetrated  the  sophisticated  Libyan  air  defense systems. Since the Libyan air defense system had been   alerted   by   the   high   level   of   diplomatic tension  and  by  rumors  of  impending  attacks,  it was ready to retaliate. Although the strike force had  to  evade  over  100  guided  missiles  while flying   at   low   levels   in   complete   darkness,   it delivered  laser-guided  and  other  types  of  ordnance on target. A-7E CORSAIR II. —The A-7E Corsair II is the  current  fleet  version  of  the  A-7.  After  more than  two  decades  of  service,  however,  it  is  due to  be  replaced  by  the  F/A-18  Hornet.  The  A-7E has  a  20-mm  gun,  can  carry  payloads  of  up  to 15,000  pounds  of  bombs  and  missiles,  and  has eight  ordnance  stations. A-7E Corsair IIs were part of the two-carrier battle  group  that  conducted  a  joint  strike  on selected Libyan terrorist-related targets in 1986. Together  with  carrier-based  F/A-18s,  A-7s  used antiradiation  missiles  to  neutralize  Libyan  air defenses. F/A-18s are scheduled to replace A-7Es in the carrier  air  wings.  The  last  two  A-7E  squadrons are scheduled to make the transition in fiscal year 1992. 12-4

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