With Attack Squadron VA-52 Knightriders now in CVW-15, the Grumman A-6A avionics intermediate maintenance was done in the combined E-2A/A-6A Avionics Shop. The number of shop personnel grew significantly. The AIMD crew from both squadons VAW-116 and VA-52 was also combined, along with two ship's company sailors John Kaufman and me, into the 1st shift (Midnight to Noon) and the 2nd shift (Noon to Midnight) crews pictured at left.
The A-6A had a highly sophisticated avionics package for its era the Digital Integrated Attack Navigation Equipment (DIANE), which provided an electronic display of targets and geographical features even in low visibility conditions often faced over Southeast Asia.
The DIANE system was built around a search radar coupled to a track radar. DIANE also included an inertial navigation system, an air data computer, a ballistics computer, and a Doppler navigation radar. Other aircraft avionics included radios, identification friend or foe (IFF) transponder, an automatic direction finder for homing in on navigation beacons, and a TACAN air navigation signal receiver.
These sophisticated avionics required a large set of skills to support and necessarily a large contingent of personnel.
Some upgrades were made to the E-2A avionics systems between cruises, but for the most part the equipment remained as it was during the initial Vietnam combat cruise.
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