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Observations of Vietnam era A-7E features and loadouts

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I am getting ready to build my Hasegawa A-7E and have been doing some research, for Vietnam deployed A-7E’s.  These are my observations and I am searching for concurrence with some of our experts here.  I am thinking doing the Dambusters VA-195 from the U.S.S KIttyhawk, late 1970-1972.

 

1.  No red edges on the landing gear doors.

2.  Usually carried two AIM-9D.

3.  Rarely carried drop tanks.

4.  The external conduit above the landing gear doors, I can not conclusively determine it’s presence during the Nam era. It conclusively shows     up around the mid seventies. Also what is this plumbing for?

5.  Shrikes normally carried on the outboard pylons.

6.  MER’s on the middle pylons.

7.  Inboard pylons mostly left empty.

8.  AGM-62’s & 65’s on the middle stations, when carried.

9.  Shrikes and Mavericks rarely rode together.

10. Iron bombs on the outboards with TER’s or singles, no MERS’s outboard.

11. Some cluster bombs carried in various spots.  Specifically what model of cluster bombs were used?

12.  Rarely carried mk. 77’s by this late stage of the conflict. 

 

Please correct me me if I am wrong. To the redline crowd, please note I always say rarely not never.  To quote Morrissey, “There’s always someone somewhere with a big nose who knows, and will trip you up and laugh when you fall.”  

 

 

 

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Did Navy A-7E’s ever carry Mavericks?   Were they even in service during the Vietnam War?    

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, 11bee said:

Did Navy A-7E’s ever carry Mavericks?   Were they even in service during the Vietnam War?    

Navy: No

 

Hughes Leased some A-7E’s to carry out some testing of the AGM-65F but that was in the 80-90’s. AGM-65F was introduced on A-6E SWIP and F-18’s, AGM-65E on the carrier came a bit later on the Hornet (and is still in use). When I was at VX-1, we brought AGM-65F & -65E to the S-3B platform in the late 90’s. 

 

Collin

Edited by Collin

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, is it windy yet? said:

I am getting ready to build my Hasegawa A-7E and have been doing some research, for Vietnam deployed A-7E’s.  These are my observations and I am searching for concurrence with some of our experts here.  I am thinking doing the Dambusters VA-195 from the U.S.S KIttyhawk, late 1970-1972.

 

1.  No red edges on the landing gear doors.

2.  Usually carried two AIM-9D.

3.  Rarely carried drop tanks.

4.  The external conduit above the landing gear doors, I can not conclusively determine it’s presence during the Nam era. It conclusively shows     up around the mid seventies. Also what is this plumbing for?

5.  Shrikes normally carried on the outboard pylons.

6.  MER’s on the middle pylons.

7.  Inboard pylons mostly left empty.

8.  AGM-62’s & 65’s on the middle stations, when carried.

9.  Shrikes and Mavericks rarely rode together.

10. Iron bombs on the outboards with TER’s or singles, no MERS’s outboard.

11. Some cluster bombs carried in various spots.  Specifically what model of cluster bombs were used?

12.  Rarely carried mk. 77’s by this late stage of the conflict. 

 

Please correct me me if I am wrong. To the redline crowd, please note I always say rarely not never.  To quote Morrissey, “There’s always someone somewhere with a big nose who knows, and will trip you up and laugh when you fall.”  

 

 

 

Search the forums. This is a discussed topic with photos. 1970-72, no major ops up north until the Linebacker strikes.  A lot of CAS and other Southern routes being supported before that.  MK-82’s, CBU ROCKEYE are your major loadout options. 

 

 

 


https://www.google.com/search?q=a-7E+vietnam&prmd=mnvi&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi5jrWYmKbhAhUEw1kKHUhzC-sQ_AUoBHoECAwQBA&biw=320&bih=450

 


http://winjack3.384thbombgroup.com/a-7_7.html

 

Collin

Edited by Collin

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I generally agree with what you've observed about what operational jets were carrying. The following only adds what was authorized for carriage:

 

2. Not that it makes any difference to modelers, but by the time the A-7E showed up they were carrying AIM-9Gs.

5. AGM-45s could be carried on either the mid-bird or outboard pylons.

6. MERs could be carried on any pylon.

8. Walleye Is could be carried on any pylon but the left inboard, yet WE I Practice Guided Weapons could be carried on any pylon. WEIIs could only be carried on the mid-board pylons. If also carrying the AWW-7B Data Link Pod, the pod was carried on the left outboard pylon, a fuel tank was carried on the left inboard pylon and the WEII was carried on the right mid board pylon (mandatory configuration). No Mavericks

10. If MERs or TERs were carried on the inboard pylons, they were loaded as slant 2/4 with the racks next to the fuselage left empty. 2000# Mk 84s were the only iron bombs that could not be carried on MERs or TERs. A max of three Mk 83s could be carried on any pylon with no MERs on the inbox pylon--load on MER was bottom-front, inbd-aft, outbd-front.

11. CBU-59 APAM (slant 2/4 if carried on TERs/MERs), Mk 20 Rockeye II, SUU-30/B (pointy nosed version, although authorized, were probably never carried by the time the A-7E showed up.

12. No Mk 77s, which were a USMC weapon.

 

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No Mavericks for Vietnam era A-7E's, they were briefly carried late in the A-7's career (late 80's) but not during Vietnam.

 

The conduits on the side of the fuselage were wave-guides for the AN/ALQ-126 DECM System, they came about shortly after Vietnam ended (late 73 time frame IIRC).

 

For Cluster Bombs, the most common was the Mk 20 Rockeye and SUU-30 (IIRC) for the Vietnam era, after Vietnam it was MK 20's, CBU-59 APAM and CBU-72 FAE.

 

Mk 77's were quickly removed from carriers after the Forrestal and Enterprise fires due to the fact that they are considered "thinned skinned weapons" and would detonate almost instantly (within 25 seconds) in a fire. The A-7 rarely carried Mk 77's, the only time I loaded a Mk 77 while in A-7E's (3 years) was once, for training.

 

For the 72/73 time frame, they would be carrying AIM-9G's.

 

GW

VA-82 Ordnance (84-87)

 

 

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On 3/28/2019 at 7:19 PM, 11bee said:

Did Navy A-7E’s ever carry Mavericks?   Were they even in service during the Vietnam War?    

Yeah I mixed up my terms, I meant to put AGM-45, and AGM-62. I mixed things up calling shrike an AGM-62 and the walleye the AGM-65.

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On 3/28/2019 at 9:35 PM, mrvark said:

I generally agree with what you've observed about what operational jets were carrying. The following only adds what was authorized for carriage:

 

2. Not that it makes any difference to modelers, but by the time the A-7E showed up they were carrying AIM-9Gs.

5. AGM-45s could be carried on either the mid-bird or outboard pylons.

6. MERs could be carried on any pylon.

8. Walleye Is could be carried on any pylon but the left inboard, yet WE I Practice Guided Weapons could be carried on any pylon. WEIIs could only be carried on the mid-board pylons. If also carrying the AWW-7B Data Link Pod, the pod was carried on the left outboard pylon, a fuel tank was carried on the left inboard pylon and the WEII was carried on the right mid board pylon (mandatory configuration). No Mavericks

10. If MERs or TERs were carried on the inboard pylons, they were loaded as slant 2/4 with the racks next to the fuselage left empty. 2000# Mk 84s were the only iron bombs that could not be carried on MERs or TERs. A max of three Mk 83s could be carried on any pylon with no MERs on the inbox pylon--load on MER was bottom-front, inbd-aft, outbd-front.

11. CBU-59 APAM (slant 2/4 if carried on TERs/MERs), Mk 20 Rockeye II, SUU-30/B (pointy nosed version, although authorized, were probably never carried by the time the A-7E showed up.

12. No Mk 77s, which were a USMC weapon.

 

Great advice, thanks. 

 

What are WElls?  I have found lots of options for MER, TER, and weapons.  Where do I come up with the launch rails?  The MER’s and TER’s and iron can be added straight to the pylons. But what rails for the shrikes, and walleyes?  Did all walleyes requiremthe data pod?  Thought that the earlier ones didn’t need it. What about the Sony TV set would I add one to the cockpit?  If so where?  The 2000lbs mk. 84 can not be put on ejector racks, but could be bolted to the pylon as singles?

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On 3/28/2019 at 9:36 PM, GW8345 said:

No Mavericks for Vietnam era A-7E's, they were briefly carried late in the A-7's career (late 80's) but not during Vietnam.

 

The conduits on the side of the fuselage were wave-guides for the AN/ALQ-126 DECM System, they came about shortly after Vietnam ended (late 73 time frame IIRC).

 

For Cluster Bombs, the most common was the Mk 20 Rockeye and SUU-30 (IIRC) for the Vietnam era, after Vietnam it was MK 20's, CBU-59 APAM and CBU-72 FAE.

 

Mk 77's were quickly removed from carriers after the Forrestal and Enterprise fires due to the fact that they are considered "thinned skinned weapons" and would detonate almost instantly (within 25 seconds) in a fire. The A-7 rarely carried Mk 77's, the only time I loaded a Mk 77 while in A-7E's (3 years) was once, for training.

 

For the 72/73 time frame, they would be carrying AIM-9G's.

 

GW

VA-82 Ordnance (84-87)

 

 

Great thanks. 

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On 3/28/2019 at 9:27 PM, Collin said:

Search the forums. This is a discussed topic with photos. 1970-72, no major ops up north until the Linebacker strikes.  A lot of CAS and other Southern routes being supported before that.  MK-82’s, CBU ROCKEYE are your major loadout options. 

 

 

 


https://www.google.com/search?q=a-7E+vietnam&prmd=mnvi&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi5jrWYmKbhAhUEw1kKHUhzC-sQ_AUoBHoECAwQBA&biw=320&bih=450

 


http://winjack3.384thbombgroup.com/a-7_7.html

 

Collin

Thanks I’ll check these out.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, is it windy yet? said:

Great advice, thanks. 

 

What are WElls?  I have found lots of options for MER, TER, and weapons.  Where do I come up with the launch rails?  The MER’s and TER’s and iron can be added straight to the pylons. But what rails for the shrikes, and walleyes?  Did all walleyes requiremthe data pod?  Thought that the earlier ones didn’t need it. What about the Sony TV set would I add one to the cockpit?  If so where?  The 2000lbs mk. 84 can not be put on ejector racks, but could be bolted to the pylon as singles?

WEIIs= Walleye II

AGM-45 Shrike launch rails are (I believe) the same as those used for AGM-88 HARMs. Walleyes mounted directly to the pylon. This picture seems to indicate the data pod was not a requirement for Walleye IIs, although this is from Desert Storm, not Vietnam. Maybe @GW8345 can shed more light.

 

8aGXMzU.jpg

Edited by picknpluck

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For AGM-45’s, use the same launcher that the AGM-88 HARM uses. You don’t need to hang a data link pod for Vietnam era loadouts, they dropped them fairly short ranged so they didn’t need the pods (the pods were normally carried when carrying Walleye II’s and they were being dropped from an “extended” range). Mk 84's were carried for certain missions but not as a norm, for example; the Thanh Hoa Bridge mission.

 

 

Now for the technical mumbo-jumbo

 

 

 

The AGM-45 Shrike used the AERO-5B Missile Launcher while the AGM-88 HARM used the LAU-118 Missile Launcher. For modeling purposes both missile launchers are identical but in real life the external difference between the two was the door on the nose where the umbilical was connected. On the AERO-5B the door hinge was on the right side, about three inches from the nose. On the LAU-118, the door was on the right side but the hinge was on the left, about an inch from the nose. This allowed the entire right side of the nose to open, giving more room to connect the missile’s umbilical to the launcher and “snatchaway”. The AERO-5B could only carry the Shrike but the LAU-118 could carry both the Shrike and HARM. AERO-5B’s were phased out in the mid 80’s and replaced by the LAU-118 since it could support both missiles. The LAU-118’s were modified/upgraded AERO-5B’s.

 

 

For Vietnam era Walleye, the Navy did not start carrying Walleye II’s until Operation Linebacker and only a hand full of squadrons got them so depending on the timeframe will determine what Walleye would be loaded. Basically, most of the Walleye’s dropped were Walleye I’s, Walleye II’s didn’t show up until 1972. The data pods were used when the range was going to be greater than 15-16 miles and the pods were usually used with Walleye II’s. There was a Walleye I ER but I don’t recall them dropping Walleye’s that far out that required a pod during Vietnam.

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fr-light-attack-squadron-72-laden-w-wall

 

Another DS1 WALLEYE loadout....weapon and drop tank...no DL pod.  I knew a few DH's in my CVW-5 tour that were A-7 drivers in DS1.  If it was a two 2-ship flight, sometimes Dash-2 would carry the DL pod and control both missiles.  One DH got a medal for controlling his WEII into the taget...and when his wingman's broke...he dialed up the WEII already in flight and guided that weapon to the other target.  

 

Below are some other pics of interest....because A-7 + Walleye = Cool.

 

 

 

Cheers

Collintomcat-launching-off-uss-kennedy-carrierbombladen-attack-aircraft-beforeafter-bosoldat-faisant-son-jogging-sur-le-pont-d

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Some more better suited to the Vietnam War era the topic is about:

 

navy-crewmen-on-the-uss-constellation-fusoldats-amricains-chargeant-des-bombes-screwmen-are-on-the-move-aboard-the-aircr

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I've been out of pocket for a few days. I think Gerry answered most of the questions generated by my post.

 

There were four basic kinds of Walleyes--there were many sub variants, but modelers really only need concern themselves with the basics:

 

The 1,125--lb WE1 and 2,060-lb WE 2 were the primary kinds used during Vietnam. They were lock-on before launch and did not use data link. much like the USAF's GBU-8, the aircrew would lock on to the target and release the bomb which would then (hopefully) guide themselves  to the target.

 

The Extended Range/Data Link (ER/DL) weapons were the ones that could utilize data link pods to increase stand-off range, more or less like the USAF's GBU-15. They were most easily recognized by their larger wings. Data Link pods included the AN/AWW-7, -9, -12, & -13. The WE 2 ER/DL's were first used by VA-195 towards the end of the Vietnam War and demonstrated launch ranges of 13 miles with the guiding aircraft (with DL pod) 40-60 miles from the target.

 

The guidance (nose) and control (tail) sections for the WE 1 & 2 were the same, the warhead and wings differed, with the WE 2 warheads being noticeably fatter.

 

DACO does all the Walleye & DL Pod variants in 1:48 scale.

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5 hours ago, Collin said:

Some more better suited to the Vietnam War era the topic is about:

 

navy-crewmen-on-the-uss-constellation-fusoldats-amricains-chargeant-des-bombes-screwmen-are-on-the-move-aboard-the-aircr

Dang those bring back memories

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Not the squadron intended but how about some LGBs and Snakeyes:

 

A-7E

 

Jari

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Does every live (combat capable) sidewinder D or G have the brown stripe in addition to the yellow in the Vietnam era?  With so many mislabeled photos on the interwebs out there I just can’t tell. 

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On 4/4/2019 at 1:18 AM, Finn said:

Not the squadron intended but how about some LGBs and Snakeyes:

 

A-7E

 

Jari

 

I thought about LGBs.  Still might do it. 

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1 hour ago, is it windy yet? said:

Does every live (combat capable) sidewinder D or G have the brown stripe in addition to the yellow in the Vietnam era?  With so many mislabeled photos on the interwebs out there I just can’t tell. 

Yes, the live missiles will have a brown stripe on the rocket motor and a yellow stripe on the warhead.

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Since we are here a couple of question:

Could the A-7 fly with fuselage Aim-9 rail adapters without them?

The bottom of the A-7C fuselage had same lump and bumps of the A-7E or it was something amiss?

 

Luigi

 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/9/2019 at 7:43 PM, GW8345 said:

Yes, the live missiles will have a brown stripe on the rocket motor and a yellow stripe on the warhead.

 

 

I pinched this from from the other thread about F-8 rails, but what is going on here?  It appears to my hamster brain, that I am looking at two different sidewinders, a B and a D.  And neither have the brown stripe, so does that mean they strapped a live warhead on a non functioning weapon that can’t launch?  Seems ridiculously dangerous to me.

 

Does the ordnance come pre-labelled from the manufacturer?  Which I would assume they do.  Or does the weapons team add the stripes as they configure this missle aboard the ship?  As you can tell I know nothing about weapon systems, but I would think that a live missle is always a live missle until someone renders it inert. I would also think there would only be two categories for the missle, live or training. Live intended to destroy a target, a live rocket but inert warhead to allow the crew to experience the smoke and noise of a launch.  Finally a captive round with no rocket motor, but an active seeker to train with.  They would put explosives in that would they?

 

Thanks for your patience. 

69CA1DD3-3001-46D1-A6E6-7DB8C02FDB26.jpeg

Edited by is it windy yet?
Typo

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Posted (edited)

n/m tldr

Edited by habu2

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