The A6 was developed to meet the U.S. Navy's need for an aircraft that could
attack ground and sea based targets in any weather, day or night. These
needs generated a Request for Proposal in 1956 to which eight companies
submitted no less than twelve design proposals. Grumman's design number
1280 was the winning entry and a contract was issued on March 26,1959.
The aircraft was originally designated the A2F1, and the first flight
of BUNO 147864 took place on April 19, 1960.
When aircraft designations were standardized, the A2F1 became the A6A.
The first A6A entered service with VA-42 in March 1963. The "Intruder,"
as it was nicknamed, joined Navy/Marine squadrons on board fleet carriers
in 1964, complementing A4 and A7 aircraft in the attack role. The A6 provided
the Navy with an all weather strike capability for the first time. Its
design enabled it to carry both nuclear and conventional weapons, which
consisted of over three dozen types of ordnance, from guided missiles
to cluster munitions.