EA-3B Skywarrior on static display

On Rota Naval Air Station.

The Douglas A-3 Skywarrior, a twin-engined, swept-wing jet aircraft, was the largest airplane ever designed to operate from an aircraft carrier. The A-3 was designed to carry a nuclear weapon, but spent most of its service life as an electronics platform and as a tanker. It was also much used as an electronic warfare vehicle, and by the USAF as the B-66. The ELINT version is known as the EA-3, the tanker version as the KA-3, and a radar test bed as the NRA-3B. The RA-3B featured a pressurized reconnaissance module in the area occupied by the bomb bay of the standard A-3B. Retired from service in 1992, the Whale is still flying missions for Hughes Aircraft, which has a fleet of over a dozen A-3s used for various tests of missile systems and other classified projects.
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