Role Attack aircraft
National origin United States
First flight 26 September 1965
Introduction 1 February 1967
Retired 1991 (USN, USAF), 1993 (ANG)
1999 (Portuguese Air Force) / 2014 (Hellenic Air Force)
Primary users United States Navy (historical)
United States Air Force (historical)
Portuguese Air Force (historical) Greek Air Force (historical)
Produced 1965– 1984
Number built 1,545
Developed from Vought F-8 Crusader
Variants LTV A-7P Corsair II
WW2 /Fighters & Others
Temco-Vought Flying Pancake
The A-7 was developed during the early 1960s as replacement for the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Its design is derived from the Vought F-8 Crusader; in comparison with the F-8, the A-7 is both smaller and restricted to subsonic speeds, its airframe being simpler and cheaper to produce. Following a competitive bid by Vought in response to the United States Navy‘s (USN) VAL (Heavier-than-air, Attack, Light) requirement, an initial contract for the type was issued on 8 February 1964. Development was rapid, first flying on 26 September 1965 and entering squadron service with the USN on 1 February 1967; by the end of that year, A-7s were being deployed overseas for the Vietnam War.
In 1960, officials within the United States Navy (USN) began to consider the need to replace its existing fleet of Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, a light attack aircraft. At that time, it was not clear that the A-4 would eventually remain in production until 1979; furthermore, according to aviation authors Bill Gunston and Peter Gilchrist, some figures believed there to be an unmet requirement for a more capable attack platform that could routinely attain supersonic speeds, carry heavier payloads, and fly further than its predecessors. Proponents of a new attack aircraft included Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who urged the Navy’s consideration on the matter
You are definitely intrigued to discoverLing Temco Vought Corsair II 1965)
The A-7 was also exported to Greece in the 1970s and to Portugal in the late 1980s. The USAF and USN opted to retire their remaining examples of the type in 1991, followed by the ANG in 1993 and the Portuguese Air Force in 1999. The A-7 was largely replaced by newer generation fighters such as the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The final operator, the Hellenic Air Force, withdrew the last A-7s during 2014.
The A-7 was also exported to Greece in the 1970s and to Portugal in the late 1980s. The USAF and USN opted to retire their remaining examples of the type in 1991, followed by the ANG in 1993 and the Portuguese Air Force in 1999.