Design of the Skyhawk began in 1952 as a response to the increasing weight and decreasing performance of the early jet fighters. The Skyhawk was to be a lightweight, carrier based, nuclear capable, attack bomber for the U. S. Navy. The type's first flight was on June 22, 1954 and testing quickly resulted in Navy contracts for the A4D-1 and A4D-2 versions of the plane. The Skyhawk was redesignated as the A-4 in 1962 with the A4D-2 becoming the A-4B. Skyhawks were one of the main Navy and Marine strike aircraft during the Vietnam War and flew from every American carrier. Production of the Skyhawk ended in 1979, but A-4s continued to serve with the U. S. Navy in training roles until the early 1990s.