本帖最后由 ta15201 于 2020-1-15 22:05 编辑 |
With the end of the Vietnam War, the Air Force began to transfer its active duty A-7D aircraft to Air National Guard units beginning in 1974. The Corsairs had been, in a sense, a forced acquisition by the Air Force in the late 1960s, and the inter-service rivalry of flying a Navy aircraft had led, beginning about 1970, to the development of its own Close Air Support aircraft. In 1974, selection of the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II was made as the replacement for the A-7D. The first A-10As were received by the 354th TFW in 1977 at Myrtle Beach AFB; the 355th TFW at Davis-Monthan AFB began replacing its A-7Ds in 1978, and the 23d TFW at England AFB in 1979. As the A-10s were received, the A-7Ds were transferred from the USAF to the National Guard Bureau for subsequent re-allocation. By 1981, when the 23d TFW sent its last A-7Ds to Tonopah Test Range Airport, Nevada for clandestine use in the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk development program, fifteen ANG squadrons were equipped with the A-7D Corsair II.
However, Congressional decisions added additional funding to the DOD FY 1975 and FY 1976 budgets for the procurement of additional A-7Ds, primarily to keep the LTV production line in Dallas open and the workers employed in the wake of post-Vietnam DOD procurement reductions. As a result of these unplanned acquisitions, the Air Force assigned these new aircraft (all with 1975 tail numbers) to the Arizona Air National Guard 152nd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Tucson, which operated the Air National Guard transition training school for Corsair II pilots. In 1978, a two-seat A-7 trainer was developed by LTV for the Air Force, designated the A-7K. One prototype aircraft was built by modifying an existing A-7D airframe, however production A-7Ks were new builds with 1979 and 1980 tail numbers. The A-7K was a fully combat capable aircraft as well as a dual-control training aircraft. Most of the A-7K trainers went to the transition school at Tucson, with the squadrons' A-7Ds being re-distributed to other ANG squadrons. However all ANG squadrons were assigned an A-7K trainer as well as their complement of A-7Ds.