About This File
This mod adds the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a user of the A-6 Intruder. It has been tested with Strike Fighters 2 Full 5+2 merged install with the A-6 Superpack 1.51 installed. It should work with less than a full 5+2, but requires the following SF2 versions to take advantage of the respective components:
- SF2V for the A-6A
- SF2NA for the A-6E and A-6E_79
The A-6 Superpack 1.51 or later is recommended, but not required in order to use the A-6A, A-6E, and A-6E_79. The A-6 Superpack 1.51 is required in order to use the A-6E_90 Systems and Weapons Improvement Program (SWIP) variant.
The included SQUADRONLIST.INI is a part of the file that will be included in the Combat Ace Realism Pack. As a result, it is compatible with DaddyAirplanes' F-4 Post Vietnam skin pack. At the time of this writing, the Combat Ace Realism Pack has not been released. If you have downloaded this pack after installing the Combat Ace Realism Pack, then be sure not to copy over the included SQUADRONLIST.INI, as a more updated one will be included in the Realism Pack.
In order to take advantage of the full features of the RAAF Intruder Pack, this readme is intended to be used in conjunction with the Readme for the A-6 Superpack 1.51. Thorough reading of this file and strict adherence to the instructions is highly recommended. As always before making any changes to your SF2 install, back up early and back up often!
As early as 1954, the Australian government first publicly discussed the need for replacing the Canberra. The Canberra lacked radar and electronic countermeasures (ECM), and the RAAF believed that it needed a new strategic bomber to fulfill the nation's obligations to the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve in Malaysia, ANZUS, and SEATO. A requirement mandated an all-weather attack aircraft capable of delivering a variety of bombs and missiles.
Air Marshal Valston Hancock, Chief of the Air Staff, stated in April 1960 that Australia needed a replacement for the Canberra, and in 1962 Indonesia's increasingly aggressive statements regarding Malaysia soon caused Australia to seriously consider Hancock’s statement. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in October 1962 that the Indonesian Air Force's Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 bombers could reach Sydney or any other Australian city with a light bomb load, while the Canberras could not fly in all weather and had insufficient range to reach Djakarta.
However, available bombers were unsuitable for the RAAF. The American Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and Convair B-58 Hustler, for example, were too large for existing Australian runways. More suitable aircraft such as the British BAC TSR-2 and the American F-111 would soon be available.
Candidates for replacing the Canberra included the French Dassault Mirage IV, the TSR-2, and the U.S. North American A-5 Vigilante, Grumman A-6 Intruder, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark.
Decision and Alternate History
When the RAAF was evaluating the replacement aircraft for the Canberra, they eventually settled on the F-111. The F-111 met the RAAF endurance and all weather attack requirements, as well as being supersonic and having a respectable self-defense capability. The government determined that it did not need to go ahead with an immediate replacement for the Canberra and opted for the F-111 as a long-term solution, leading to the October 1963 announcement that it was ordering 24 F-111s.
The development and production lifecycle for the F-111 was complex, lengthy, and troubled on occasion. Additional requests by the Australian government to modify the existing F-111A airframe to what would become the F-111C only lengthened the acquisition process. While the announcement to purchase the F-111 was made in 1963, the first F-111C was not delivered until 1968 . In the interim, the RAAF was using the F-4 Phantom II as a stopgap measure.
What if the RAAF decided to forego the troubled (at the time) F-111 and augment its force of F-4 Phantoms with the A-6 Intruder as its all-weather, deep strike platform?
This pack is strictly a "What If" set of skins and loadouts that explores what might have happened if Australia purchased the A-6 Intruder from the United States. This pack includes skins for the A-6A, A-6E, A-6E_79 (TRAM), and A-6E_90 (SWIP) in the Southeast Asia (SEA) camouflage pattern, as well as other variants based on the RAAF camouflage schemes of the time. Given that the A-6 Intruder is meant to replace the F-111C Aardvark, this pack features the squadrons, skins, and serial numbers of actual F-111 airframes (though serial numbers of aircraft involved in fatal mishaps have been omitted out of respect for the fallen). Second squadron is represented, as it flew the Canberra in the Vietnam War, and First and Sixth squadrons have been added to SQUADRONLIST.INI as the actual squadrons that flew the F-111 (and therefore the A-6). A-6 specific squadron logos have also been added to the RAAF squadrons included in the Mirage IIIO DLC, though this was done for completeness rather than “alternate historical accuracy.”
This mod enhances default aircraft. If you don't have the default A-6 LODs, then this mod is of limited value to you.
Additionally, this pack is unfortunately not flyable without further modification. You will need to provide your own cockpit in order to enable player use of the A-6. Two notable options are extracting the A-6 cockpit from Wings over Vietnam, or by purchasing RAZBAM's excellent A-6 pack for Strike Fighters (recommended). Likewise, plenty of existing SF1 A-6 mods include cockpits that are compatible with this pack. Regardless of which selection you prefer, any cockpit you use for the A-6 Superpack will be compatible with the RAAF A-6 Intruder Pack as well.
The RAAF A-6 Intruder Pack is divided into three components: the Primary Component (RAAF A-6 Intruder Skins), a folder for widescreen users that replaces the existing 1024x768 aircraft screens with 1440x900 images, and Section 2 of the Readme file which provides instructions for optional and recommended adjustments to existing INI files. Please see the readme file for further details.
What's New in Version 1.0
- Initial Release