The A-7 Corsair II is a carrier based, ground attack aircraft developed for the United States Navy. It was loosely based on the F-8 Crusader, and it was the only aircraft designed and put into service during the Vietnam War (i.e. it began development after the war started, but entered service before it was over) with other aircraft taking part in the conflict being those that had been developed before it started. The A-7 prototype first flew in 1965, and it entered fleet service in 1966.
The first A-7A's saw combat in December of 1967, and throughout the years, the aircraft was improved. The A-7B featured an uprated engine which gave more power than its predecessor. Armed with two 20-mm Mk-12 cannons and up to 15,000 lbs. of ordnance on eight hardpoints, the Corsair II was used extensively throughout the Vietnam War. Improved models, such as the A-7C, and the definitive A-7E came along later, and even the U.S. Air Force bought its own variant in the A-7D & A-7K. Beginning with the A-7D and A-7E, the aircraft's twin cannons were replaced with a single M61A1 Vulcan 20-mm rotary cannon with 1,000 rounds. In addition, the A-7C/D/E variants all featured the world's first head-up display (HUD) on any warplane.The A-7 continued in service with U.S. forces for another twenty years after the Vietnam War ended taking part in such skirmishes as Grenada (1983), Libya (1986), and Panama (1989). U.S. Navy A-7E's also saw combat during the 1991 Gulf War, where they attacked a variety of heavily defended Iraqi targets with weapons ranging from the Rockeye cluster bomb, to the Walleye TV-guided bomb, to the HARM anti-radar missile. U.S. Navy A-7's were finally phased out in 1991, while U.S. Air Force A-7's were retired in 1993 from the Air National Guard. Three foreign countries operated the A-7, including Portugal (retired in 1999), Thailand (retired in 2007), and Greece (active as of mid-2010).
Considered one of the most cost effective weapons platforms ever designed, the A-7 provided almost unrivalled accuracy and capability throughout the various missions it was tasked with over the years. Capable of speeds just under the speed of sound, and with a very long range, the A-7 is one of the best success stories in defense procurement history. The Corsair II was qualified to carry a large variety of munitions over the years including Mk-80 series dumb bombs, Rockeye and CBU-series cluster bombs, LAU-series rocket pods, as well as Paveway laser-guided bombs. It also could launch a variety of missiles including the AGM-45 Shrike and AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missiles as well as the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missile. Additionally, the AIM-9 Sidewinder could be carried for self defense. The A-7 also had a nuclear capability, using various tactical nuclear bomb types.
Class: Ground Support
Air to Air: 20%
Air to Ground: 60%
High Payload - Carries increased amount of ammunition.
This aircraft uses:
- Single standard cannon
- Joint Strike Missiles
- Rocket Pod Unit
- Multi Target AA Missiles
- Free Fall Bombs
- Air Domination I - 160 Joint Strike Missiles, 52 Multi Target AA Missiles, 7 Flares
- Light Assault - 160 Joint Strike Missiles, 300 Rocket Pod Unit, 7 Flares
- Ground Suppression - 160 Joint Strike Missiles, 90 Free Fall Bombs,7 Flares