In FY 1967, the USAF had ordered a version of the Corsair II, designated A-7D. It differed from the Navy's Corsair II in several ways. For one, it was powered by the Allison TF41-A-1 turbofan engine, which was a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Spey. It offered a thrust of 14,500 pounds, over 2000 pounds greater than that of the TF30 that powered the Navy's Corsair IIs. Other changes included a heads-up display for the pilot, a new avionics package, upgraded hydraulic systems and brakes, and an M61 rotary cannon with 1000 rounds in place of the two single-barreled guns.
The Navy was sufficiently impressed with the increased power offered by the Spey, and decided to use this engine for its own version of the Corsair II. The designation A-7E was assigned, and this version was to succeed the A-7A in production. However, there were delays in the deliveries of the TF41-A-2 engine specified for the A-7E, so the first 67 aircraft of the order were delivered with the TF30-P-5 engine. These aircraft had all of the other improvements planned for the A-7E, including the improved avionics and the M61 rotary cannon, and were redesignated A-7C after delivery.
The first Spey-powered A-7E flew for the first time on March 9, 1969. The A-7E differed from the USAF A-7D in retaining the probe-and-drogue midair refueling system of the earlier A-7A/B. It entered service in Southeast Asia in May of 1970 with VA-146 and VA-147 aboard the USS America. The A-7E participated in numerous close-air support missions over both North and South Vietnam, the A-7E's state-of-the-art bombing and navigation system being particularly reliable and accurate. Most air wings operating A-4 Skyhawks and early A-7s were re-equipped with A-7Es. The A-7E participated in the mining of Haiphong harbor in 1972, and played a vital role in the Linebacker I and Linebacker II operations that led up to the formal end of the Vietnam war on January 24, 1973.
A total of 535 A-7Es were built, the last one being delivered in 1983. At its peak in the mid 1980s, some 22 Navy attack squadrons were using the A-7E. The last of the A-7A squadrons were disestablished and the last of the A-7Bs were transferred to reserve squadrons by 1977.
There were several upgrades made to the A-7E during its career. One of these was the addition of the ability to use the Texas Instruments AN/AAR-45 FLIR pod for night and bad-weather operations. The first FLIR-modified aircraft was flown on September 15, 1978, with the first squadron to receive the FLIR-modified aircraft being VA-81 in Julu of 1979.
Transition from the A-7E to the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet began in 1987. The last A-7Es were retired to storage at AMARC in the mid 1990s. The last A-7Es were withdrawn in November 1994 by the Weapons Test Squadron in November 1994.
Engine: One Allison TF41-A-1 non-afterburning turbofan, 14,500 lb.s.t. Performance: Maximum speed 690 mph at sea level, cruising speed 580 mph, landing speed 139 mph. Service ceiling 49,200 feet. Dimensions: Wingspan 38 feet 9 inches, 46 feet 1.5. inches long, 16 feet 0 3/4 inches, wingspan 375 square feet. Weights: 19,100 pounds empty, 42,000 pounds maximum takeoff Armament: One 20-mm M61 cannon with 1000 rounds. Up to 15,000 pounds of ordnance could be carried on 8 hardpoints.
156801/156840 Ling Temco Vought A-7E-4-CV Corsair II 156841/156890 Ling Temco Vought A-7E-5-CV Corsair II 157435/157481 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-6-CV Corsair II 157482/157537 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-7-CV Corsair II 157538/157594 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-8-CV Corsair II 157595/157648 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II contract cancelled 158002/158028 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-9-CV Corsair II 158652/158666 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-10-CV Corsair II 158667/158681 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-11-CV Corsair II 158819/158830 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-12-CV Corsair II 158831/158842 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-13-CV Corsair II 159261/159272 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-14-CV Corsair II 159273/159284 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-15-CV Corsair II 159285/159308 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-16-CV Corsair II 159638/159661 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II 159668/159679 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II 159967/160006 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II 160537/160566 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II 160613/160618 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II 160710/160739 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II 160857/160886 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II delivery of 160881/160886 cancelled.