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A-7 Corsair II

Built originally on the airframe of the F-8U Crusader, the A-7 underwent a number of modifications since its 1965 introduction. The A-7 Corsair II, which is retired, was used by TAC for close air support attack missions.

The A-7E was the final fleet version of the A-7. After more than two decades of service, however, it was replaced by the F/A-18 Hornet.The A-7E had a 20mm gun and can carry payloads of up to 15,000 pounds of bombs and missiles. Eight ordnance stations were available. 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 anti-radiation missiles to neutralize Libyan air defenses.

F/A-18s replaced A-7Es in the carrier air wing mix. The last two squadrons transitioned in FY 1992. Replacing A-7s with F/A-18s gave operational commanders more flexibility by allowing them to employ the F/A-18s in either the fighter or attack role. Also, a smaller number of aircraft (85) are needed in an F/A-18 equipped carrier air wing than in an A-7E equipped carrier air wing (94).


Contractor Ling-Temco-Vought (Prime, now Northrop Grumman Corp.)
Power Plant Single Allison/Rolls Royce TF41-A-400 non-afterburning turbofan engine with a static thrust rating of 15,000 pounds
  • A-7E Pilot only
  • TA-7C Two seats
  • Performance (A-7E/TA/7C)
  • Maximum speed at 20,000 feet Mach .94
  • Range greater than 1,900 nautical miles
  • Avionics & Countermeasures
  • APQ-126 multi-mode nav/attack radar [Texas Instruments]
  • AVQ-7 raster HUD
  • ASN-91 INS, ASN-190 Doppler navigation system
  • ASU-99 projected map display

  • ALR-45 RWR
  • ALR-50 SAM warning system [Magnavox]
  • ALQ-126 ECM [ Sanders]
  • APR-43 tactical radar warning system [Loral]

  • ALQ-119 ECM [Westinghouse]
  • ALQ-131 ECM [Westinghouse]
  • ALQ-123 IR countermeasures [Xerox]
  • ALQ-126 DECM [Sanders]
  • ALQ-162 tactical communications jammer [Eaton AIL]
  • ALQ-162 radar jammer Northrup
  • Armament (A-7E/TA-7C)
  • One internally mounted M61A1 20 mm six barrel cannon
  • Six wing pylons
  • Two fuselage launch stations
  • Pylons can carry a large single weapon, multiple racks capable of six weapons per rack, or triple racks with three weapons per rack.
  • Can carry 15,000 pounds of payload
  • Compatible with practically all first line ordnance used by the U.S./USAF/NATO.
  • Mission and Capabilities
  • Modern, sophisticated, integrated, highly versatile airborne weapon system platform
  • Capable of performing a variety of search, surveillance, and attack missions
  • Can carry four externally wing-mounted 300 gallon fuel tanks, coupled with a variety of ordnance on remaining stations.
  • Can conduct in-flight refueling operations
  • Capable of transferring more than 12,000 pounds of fuel
  • Fully integrated digital navigation/weapon delivery system is common to all current USN/USAF attack aircraft.
  • Avionics system—which is based on state-of-the-art electronics, digital computing techniques, and an automation philosophy—provides unparalleled mission effectiveness and flexibility.
  • The Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) capability means the A-7's night attack accuracy is equivalent to day attack accuracy.
  • Consistently capable of delivering bombs with an accuracy of less than 10 mils Circular Error Probable (CEP) and guns at less than 5 mils CEP.
  • During Desert Storm, demonstrated more than 95% operational readiness and did not miss a single combat sortie.
  • Has flown more than 120,000 combat sorties and provided unprecedented response in Vietnam, Libya, Grenada, Panama, and Desert Storm.
  • Survivability is enhanced via armor plating in critical areas and a state-of-the art DECM.
  • Modernized with a new solid-state rate gyro assembly in the Automatic Flight Control System and a wing enhancement program that virtually eliminates flight hours as a constraint for measuring aircraft service life.
  • Average scheduled/unscheduled direct maintenance man hours per flight hour is 11.
  • External Dimensions:

    Wing Span 11.8m      
    Wing span over missiles         
    Wing chord: at root 4.72m 
    Wing chord: at tip 1.18m        
    Wing aspect ratio 4        
    Width, wings folded 7.24m        
    Length overall 14.06m     
    Height overall 4.90m      
    Tailplane span 5.52m     
    Distance between fin tips         
    Wheel track 2.90m       


    Wings, gross 34.83m2   
    Ailerons (total) 1.85m2        
    Leading-edge flaps (total) 3.46m2        
    Trailing-edge flaps (total) 4.04m2        
    Vert Tail Services (total)        
    Horz Tail Services (total)    
    Tailerons (total)         

    Weights and Loadings:

    Weight empty 8,676kg      
    Maximum fuel weight
    Maximum external stores load         
    Take off weight (normal)  

    Fighter mission


    Attack mission



    Maximum wing loading (attack mission)         

    Performance (At Maximum Takeoff Weight of 19,050kg):

    Max level speed @ S.L. 600 knots     
    Max speed, intermediate power         
    Approach speed         
    T-O run @ maximum take-off weight of 1,705m  
    Minimum wind over deck:




    Combat radius, interdiction, hi-lo-lo-hi         
    Combat endurance, CAP 150 nm
    from aircraft carrier
    Ferry range, unrefueled w/max internal & external fuel 2,485nm       

    Sources and Resources

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    Maintained by Robert Sherman
    Originally created by John Pike
    Updated Friday, December 25, 1998 2:27:23 PM