4. The fourth column explains the last letter of the
aircraft designation. This is improvement/
Lets try another one:
CH-46 Sea Knight
1. First letter is C. This is a cargo aircraft.
2. Second letter is H. This is a helicopter.
3. 46. This is the forty-sixth of the series.
4. No letter. There have been no improvements/
CURRENT FIXED-WING NAVY AIRCRAFT
This section briefly describes some of the
fixed-wing aircraft (fig. 8-41) currently operational
within the Navy.
Attack planes are used for low-level bombing,
ground support, or nuclear strikes. They do not need the
speed of fighters, but should be capable of heavy
payloads, have good stability, and be able to 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 some have the equipment needed for all-weather
and night attacks.
EA-6B PROWLER.The Prowler (fig. 8-42) is an
all-weather tactical electronic warfare aircraft, based on
the A-6 airframe. The Prowler provides jamming
coverage to prevent missile engagement of U.S. or
allied aircraft during strike operations. The Prowler also
carries the high-speed antiradiation missile (HARM).
AV-8B HARRIER.The Harrier (fig. 8-43) is the
western worlds only operational fixed-wing vertical
short takeoff or landing (V/STOL) strike aircraft. It is an
integrated V/STOL weapons system incorporating the
inertial navigation and attack system (INAS) with an
electronic display. The aircraft is used by the Marine
Corps and is operated from the decks of aircraft carriers
and amphibious support ships.
Fighters are high-performance aircraft generally
employed to gain air superiority. They may be deployed
defensively as interceptors, offensively as escorts for
b o m b e r s o r o n g r o u n d s u p p o r t m i s s i o n s , o r
independently to counter enemy aircraft. Some are
capable of carrying sufficient payloads for bombing
F-14 TOMCAT.The F-14 Tomcat (fig. 8-44) is an
aircraft-carrier-based, jet-powered fighter aircraft. The
aircraft is mainly missile oriented, carrying the new
air-to-air missile, Phoenix, and capable of carrying the
older Sidewinder and Sparrow. The Tomcat can be
configured for bombing and rocketry.
F/A-18 HORNET.The Hornet (fig. 8-45) is a
sonic, single-seat, twin-engine jet. The fighter and
attack versions are identical, except for selected
interchangeable external equipment. Conversion from
the fighter to attack mode (and vice versa) takes less
than 1 hour. The aircraft is designed for aerodynamic
agility, high reliability, high survivability, and reduced
manpower maintenance requirements.
Patrol craft are land-based, long-range, multiengine
aircraft used primarily for antisubmarine warfare
(ASW) patrol. Patrol squadrons operate from the
continental United States and overseas bases. The P-3
Orion is the Navys primary ASW patrol aircraft.
The P-3 Orion (fig 8-46) is equipped with magnetic
anomaly detection (MAD) gear, sonobuoys, radar, and
other submarine detection systems. It is armed with
torpedoes, bombs, missiles, and depth charges for kills.
It has the primary mission of detecting, locating, and
destroying enemy submarines. The P-3 Orion can
respond quickly to hunt down submarine contacts long
before surface units can arrive. Other duties include
convoy escort, photographic missions, and aerial
Antisubmarine aircraft operate from CVs in
conjunction with hunter-killer group helicopters and