LTV A-12 Avenger II Attack Jet

A-12A Avenger 3 A

ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen

edited by Tim Wing

Attachments

Designation: LTV A-12 Avenger II Attack Jet

I. Dimensions:

  • Total Length: 18.3 m
  • Total Height: 6.4 m
  • Total Wingspan: 16.2 m
  • Total Dry Weight: (A-12) 10.5 metric tons; (EA-12) 15 metric tons

II. Service History:

  • A-12A: Served with the United States Navy during the Global Civil War.
  • A-12B: Served with the UN Spacy from 2003 until replaced by the -C.
  • A-12C: Served with the UN Spacy from 2009 until 2017, and with the UEDF Navy from 2018 until replaced by the -E.
  • A-12E: Served with the UEDF Navy from 2025 until 2027. Existing airframes converted to EA-12E Stalker standard.
  • S-12A: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) aircraft, served with the United States Navy during the Global Civil War.
  • S-12C: ASW aircraft, served with the UN Spacy from 2003 until 2017, and with the UEDF Navy from 2018 until replaced by the -D.
  • S-12D: ASW aircraft, served with the UEDF Navy from 2022 until 2028.
  • ES-12A Stalker: Four person Advanced Electronic Warfare (AEW) aircraft, served with the UN Spacy from 2006 until 2017, and with the UEDF Navy from 2018 until replaced by the -D.
  • ES-12B Stalker: Four person AEW aircraft, served with the UEDF Navy from 2020 until 2032.
  • EA-12E Stalker: Two person AEW aircraft based on the A-12E, served with the UEDF Navy from 2027 until 2032.

A-12A Avenger 2III. Type:

  • Two man medium jet bomber; two man Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) aircraft; Four or Two man Advanced Electronic Warfare (AEW) aircraft.

IV. Propulsion:

  • 2 x General Electric F-400-900 chemical turbofans, total afterburning thrust 88.3 kN.

V. Performance:

  • Maximum speed : 1100 kph (Mach 1) @ all altitudes.
  • Stall speed : 170 kph.
  • Range (typical) : 3700 km.
  • Maximum altitude : 16,765 meter.
  • Design-g limits : 6 g.

VI. Electronics:

Typical set for A-12C variant:

Radar System:

  • Hughes AWG-20 X-band pulse-Doppler radar, providing long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes, as well as extensive surface search, attack, navigation, and mapping modes.

Optical tracking:

  • Thomson LT-3 multi-frequency laser ranger/designator
  • Zeiss FOI-8 infra-red imaging sensor and low-light level camera system in retractable optic ball-turret under the nose.

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • EDO Corporation ALQ-99+ airborne integrated jamming system mounted on the tailfin.
  • Chaff dispenser
  • Flares
  • Active missile jammers.

Typical set for S-12D variant:

Radar System:

  • AN/APS-142 Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) used for detecting and tracking surface combatant warships.

Sonar:

  • AN/ARS-5 sonobuoy receiver with 17 blade antennas on the airframe for precise buoy location (Sonobuoy Reference System). Up to 40 sonobuoys carried (39 tactical, 1 Search and Rescue).

Additional:

  • AN/ASQ-81B magnetic anomaly detector (MAD).
  • Optical tracking and TEWS same as on the A-12C

Typical set for ES-12D variant:

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • EDO Corporation ALQ-120 jamming transmitters and exciter equipment located in pods on the underwing hardpoints and in the center fuselage
  • EDO Corporation ALQ-99+ airborne integrated jamming system mounted on the tailfin.
  • 6x Magnavox ALQ/A-87  jamming pods, two mounted on the wing tips, two on the conformal fuselage hardpoints and two on the outboard underwing hardpoints. These pods each have two continuous wave transmitters, providing targeted jamming of up to six enemy radar systems at a time.
  • Radar and additional TEWS same as on the A-12C.

VII. Armament:

All:A-12A Avenger 5

  • 2 Conformal hardpoints under the engine nacelles (A and B variants) for two AIM-7G/N Sparrow or AIM- 120A/C Scorpion or BAe Skyflash II or Aspide radar guided missiles or two BAe ALARM anti-radiation missiles; (C variant) 2 medium range (65 km) Mach 3.0 combined active radar and thermal imager guided Stiletto missiles.
  • 8 Hardpoints under the wings, suited for MERs, with a typical load of:
  • Total maximum underwing payload is 9 tons.
  • Bomb bay for three 454kg mk83 bombs, sensor pallet, GAU-12/U 25mm cannon with ammunition or (most commonly) an extra fuel tank.

A and B variants

  • 6 AGM-65R Maverick missiles on triple MERs, and six AGM-84 Harpoon missiles,
  • or 8 MERs for a total of 40 mk81 113kg GP bombs,
  • or 8 triple/pentuple MERs for mk82 226kg GP bombs, mk83 454kg GP bombs, CBU-87/B cluster bombs or any other compatible bomb load,

C variant

  • All armament options of the A and B versions are possible, in addition to one triple rack for AMM-1 Stiletto multi-purpose missiles per hardpoint, or two Derringer missiles on a horizontal MER per hardpoint.

S-12 variants

  • Eight hardpoints on the wings typically carry:
  • 1 x Honeywell mk53 Kraken or Marconi Underwater Systems Sting Ray mk2 ASW torpedoes,
  • or 1 x AGM-65R Maverick air-to-ground missile,
  • or 1 x AGM-84F Harpoon anti-ship missile
  • or 1 x Penguin anti-ship missile,
  • or 1 x ANS anti-ship missile,
  • or 1 x Derringer anti-surface missile,
  • or other alternative military loads such as fuel or cargo containers.

ES-12 variants

  • 6 HARM-80 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles

VIII. Armor:

The skin of the Avenger is composed of an advanced titanium-steel alloy. The skin provides excellent protection against small grenade and shell fragments, good protection against small arms fire, and poor resistance to heavier infantry weapons, such as the 12.7mm machine-gun round, as well as from fragments and near misses from higher caliber weapons. The armored ‘bathtub’ in the pilots’ compartment stops all small arms fire, provides good protection against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machine-gun round, and fair resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round. The Avenger provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using an overpressure cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere for twelve hours maximum.

A-12A Avenger 1AVIII. Development:

The A-12 Avenger was a medium bomber designed to replace the A-6 in the US Navy. Although the USN had always wanted a stealth design, no plane was taken into production, and the attack arm of the carriers was converted to attack-loaded Tomcats and F/A-18E/F’s. These craft were not precisely what the Navy wanted, and the search for a better plane went on. LTV took on the challenge, with assistance from Grumman. The resulting plane became the Avenger. Pilots often joked, when viewing the external form of the plane, that it was put together by committee: the nose resembled that of the F-111 Aardvark, the hull resembled that of an A-6 and the tail was reminiscent of the Blackburn Buccaneer. The engines were an off-the-shelf design also fitted to the F/A-18 Hornet, and the design – largely the result of the intense labors of Grumman’s design teams – was of the same ruggedness that had given the Grumman the nickname ‘Ironworks’.

The A-12 was not armed with a cannon, although a cannon pod could be installed in its small internal bomb-bay. Two missiles in a conformal storage position under the engine nacelles were standard, and often the positions were filled by ALARM missiles so the Avenger could fight its way through anti-aircraft batteries to the target. In addition, there were eight underwing hardpoints. The Avenger was an immediate success. It was no surprise then when the UN Spacy decided to adopt the plane, and the plane was not only used on aircraft carriers, but, with a certain reluctance on the part of the land based air component’s generals, it also equipped a large number of UN Spacy bomber wings. The plane received additional armor and a standard radar/electronic warfare system. The hardpoints were at a later date also updated to take Stiletto multi-purpose missiles. In this form, the Avenger saw use during the Zentraedi uprisings. However, since the plane was definitely not a fighter, it was most often used as a more traditional attack plane or as a stand-off missile launcher. As such, it saw service until the Invid Occupation.

Late in the Global Civil War, the US Navy began replacing its S-3 Viking Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) aircraft with the S-12 variant of the Avenger II. Often referred to as “Trident Avengers”, these served till the end of the war. Like its A-12 counterpart, the S-12 was upgraded after the arrival of the SDF-1 with more advanced technology and served in both the UN Spacy’s surface fleet and in the UEDF Navy until it was finally retired in 2028.

A-12A Avenger 4In 2006, the final iteration of the A-12 airframe entered service with the US Navy and the UN Spacy in the form of the ES-12 Stalker Advanced Electronic Warfare aircraft. This airplane used an extended forward fuselage to house a four man crew. In this configuration, the pilot and a an Electronic Warfare Officer/co-pilot sat in the front, with two Electronic Countermeasure Officers sitting in rear facing seats behind them. The ES-12 was used to jam enemy radar and suppress enemy air defense systems. In addition to the venerable ALQ-99+ airborne integrated jamming system mounted on the tailfin (the same system that was found on all A-12 variants), this plane featured EDO Corporation ALQ-120 jamming transmitters and exciter equipment located in pods on the underwing hardpoints and in the center fuselage, as well as six Magnavox ALQ/A-87  jamming pods. With these systems, the ES-12 could carry out targeted jamming of multiple enemy radar systems. With the HARM-80 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, the ES-12 could also attack enemy air defense systems. Though the ES-12 was later eclipsed by the VEF-1 Loki Variable Electronic Warfare Fighter, it still soldiered on in UEDF Naval service until the arrival of the Invid.

 

See additional design notes.

 


Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (R) is the property of Big West Advertising and Studio Nue. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Original artwork by: Shoji Kawamori, Miyatake Kazutaka, Haruhiko Mikimoto and Hidetaka Tenjin. (Macross)

Acknowledgement is also extended to the work of Egan Loo and the Macross Compendium. Egan Loo is given all credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the Macross Compendium that has been utilized on Robotech Illustrated. 

Images Courtesy of Chad Wilson (Marchly) and the Macross Mecha Manual. Chad Wilson is given all credit for all images from the Macross Mecha Manual that have been utilized on Robotech Illustrated. 

Acknowledgement is also extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized on Robotech Illustrated. 

Additional Sources: The Macross Saga Sourcebook (Robotech RPG) Paperback – 2008, by Jason Marker

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

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