A-4 Skyhawk Production

R.G. Smith's concept drawing, and Tommy Thomason's profile comparison.


Original Page Authored by Wynn (Captain Hook) Foster


Prior to October 1962, there were six Skyhawk designations:  A4D-l, A4D-2, A4D-2N, A4D-3 (none built), A4D-4 (none built), and A4D-5.  The letter "A" stood for the aircraft mission: Attack.  The "4D" indicated it was the fourth attack aircraft manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company (later McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing).  The number following the dash indicated the numerical sequence within that model, the A4D-2N, for example, being a night/all-weather version of the A4D-2.
Early in the A4D's history, Douglas Aircraft referred to any export verison of the A4D as the "DA101". This designation saw little useage.
Legend has it that the current military aircraft designation system took root one day in 1962 when then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was confused during a discussion of two Navy fighter aircraft - the Douglas F4D Skyray and the McDonnell F4H Phantom. Mr. McNamara apparently was surprised to discover that the two F4s were different aircraft.  Consequently, Mr. McNamara decreed that a standard designation system be established and, since October 1962, all military aircraft have been identified by the new (and current) system: The initial letter designates the aircraft mission - "A" for Attack, "F" for Fighter, "T" for Trainer, etc.; the dash number represents the numerical sequence within that mission (A-l, A-3, A-4, A-6, A-7, etc.); and the final letter represents an alphabetical sub-sequence within the numerical sequence (A-4A, A-4B, A-4C, etc.).

When the 1962 change hit the Navy inventory, the letter designating the manufacturer was dropped.  The A4D-1 became the A-4A, the A4D-2 became A-4B, the A4D-2N became A-4C, and the A4D-5 became A-4E.  The A-4D designation was skipped to avoid confusion with the earlier A4D.  The A4D-3 and A4D-4 reached the design stage but were never produced; A4D-6 lost the VAL (light attack) competition to the Vought A-7 Corsair II; and the A-4F came along after the designation change.


XA-4A A-4A A-4B A4D-3 A-4C A-4L A4D-4 A-4E A4D-6 A-4F
A-4M TA-4E/F TA-4J              
A-4P / A-4AR A-4Q A-4G AF-1/AF-1B A-4H / A-4N Indonesia A-4KU A-4PTM A-4K A-4S/A-4SU

Most of the others in the Skyhawk alphabetical sequence were straight forward, but some were a bit esoteric:

  • The A-4G, similar to the A-4F, was manufactured for the Royal Australian Navy.
  • The A-4H, a modified version of the A-4F, went to the Israelis.
  • The A-4I designation was not used.
  • The "J" designation was used only for the trainer version.
  • The A-4K was manufactured for the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
  • The A-4KU version went to Kuwait.
  • The A-4L was an upgraded version of the A-4C, assigned to the U.S. Naval Reserve units.
  • The A-4M was specially manufactured for the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • The A-4N was a version of the A-4M, delivered to the Israeli Air Force.
  • The "Oh" designation (A-4O) was not used, probably to avoid confusion with the OA-4M (see below).
  • The A-4P and A-4Q series were "re-manufactured" A-4Bs sold to Argentina, the "P" for the air force, the "Q" for the naval air arm.
  • The A-4PTMs (Peculiar To Malaysia) were surplus A-4Bs and A-4Cs.
  • The "R" designation was skipped.  The A-4S designation was given to A-4B airframes reworked for the Singapore Air Force.
  • U.S. versions of the two-seat Skyhawk were the TA-4E, quickly changed to TA-4F, the TA-4J, and two special variants, the OA-4M and EA-4F.
  • Export variations of the two-seater were TA-4G {Australia), TA-4H (Israel), TA-4K (New Zealand), TA-4KU (Kuwait), TA-4PTM (Malaysia), and TA-4S (Singapore).


What did the early Skyhawks cost? Per "Douglas A-4 SkyhawkA-4A" by Peter Kilduff, $860,000 per copy for the first 500 units. Some other figures offered for the original production cost of a Skyhawk: A-4C = $587,000.; A-4E = $750,000.; A-4M = $860,000.

On this page you will find the original production run allocation. BuNo of Skyhawks re-sold will be listed in their appropriate country or private company page. Note that the customer's serial number (BuNo) is the important number when identifying an aircraft. The ID plate is found in the nose wheel well, or in the cockpit, and the BuNo is also attached to upper left corner of the front instrument panel.


XA4D-1 (XA-4A)

  • On June 12, 1952, the U.S. Navy contracted with Douglas Aircraft Company of El Segundo, California, to build one prototype XA4D-1 Skyhawk attack aircraft.
  • In October 1952, after review of the proposed design, the Navy ordered an additional 19 A-4s.
  • Literally "hand built," XA4D-1, BuNo 137812, was the first of an eventual 2,960 Skyhawks to roll off the Douglas Aircraft Company assembly line.  Powered by a Curtiss-Wright J65-W-16A engine, it had a one-piece windscreen, no tailhook or refueling probe, and the "sugar scoop" exhaust baffle was not yet conceived.
  • The first Skyhawk flight, flown by Douglas test pilot Robert Rahn, took place at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 22, 1954.
  • Most production features of later Skyhawks were installed and tested on 137812 during its lifetime, which explains various photographs of the aircraft displaying differing features.
  • Pilots called the Skyhawk: "Heinemann's Hot Rod;" The "Scooter;" and The "Tinkertoy" ("Tink" for short). This plane enjoyed the longest production run of any tactical aircraft in the history of aviation, about 25 years! The Skyhawk's contribution to the conflict in South-east Asia is well documented. Top Gun Instructors flying the Skyhawk "whupped" everything in the sky - including Tomcats, Phantoms, Crusaders, Hornets and Vipers. And it all started with this aircraft, the XA4D-1 prototype.



YA4D-1 (YA-4A)
A4D-1 (A-4A)

  • A total of 166 A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawks were produced.

    A4D-1 (A-4A) BuNos:
    137812 - 137831  (20)
    139919 - 139970  (52)
    142142 - 142235  (94)

  • The first of the A4D-1 (not counting the prototype 137812) and the last A4D-1
  • The A4D-1 had three external stores station, no radar, no in-flight refueling capability, and was powered by the Curtiss-Wright J65 engine. It was capable of carrying Special Weapons.
  • Nine of the first 19 Skyhawks were designated YA4D-1 for flight testing purposes.
  • The second Skyhawk, BuNo 137813, was largely assembled by hand, and first flew on August 14, 1954.
  • The third Skyhawk, BuNo 137814, was the first production line-built and was re-designated A4D-1.

  • A4D-1 BuNo 137815 crashed on a test flight on January 31, 1955. killing Douglas test pilot James Verdin.
  • A4D-1 BuNo 137816 was used as the carrier suitability test aircraft.
  • A4D-1 BuNo 137817 was the weapons systems test aircraft.
  • A4D-1 BuNo 137820 was used for bomb testing.
  • A4D-1 BuNo 137820, flown by Navy Lieutenant Gordon Gray, set a 500-kilometer closed course world speed record of 695.163 MPH on October 15, 1955, at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
  • A4D-1 BuNo. 137821 was used for locked slats and wing fence testing.
  • A4D-1 BuNo 137824 was used for electronics testing.
  • The first factory-to-fleet delivery of an A4D-1 was made to VA-72 at NAS Quonset Point, RI on 26 September 1956. Shortly thereafter, the first Pacific fleet Skyhawk deliveries were made to VF(AW)-3 at NAS Moffett Field, CA, and VMA-224 at MCAS El Toro, CA.  In all, 18 Navy and Marine squadrons took delivery of the A4D-1 (A-4A).
  • When delivery to fleet units of later versions of the Skyhawk began, some A4D-1 (A-4A) air-frames were assigned to Naval Reserve squadrons and re-designated TA-4A, although no structural modifications were involved.



A4D-2 (A-4B)

  • Before delivery of the A4D-1 to fleet units, an improved version, the A4D-2 (A-4B) was ordered into production. The third production run consisted of A4D-2 (A-4B), although one more production run of A-4As would be built. BuNo 142082, first A4D-2.
  • A total of 542 A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawks were manufactured, many of which were later modified and/or refurbished and sold to foreign countries (q.v.).

    A4D-2 (A-4B) BuNos:
    142082 - 142141   (60)
    142416 - 142423    (8)
    142674 - 142953  (280)
    144868 - 145061  (194)

  • Improvements incorporated in the A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk were a stronger, "inside-out" rudder construction; a pressure fueling system with a probe for air-to-air refueling; external fuel tanks; stronger landing gear; additional navigation equipment; an improved air-to-ground ordnance delivery system; and an externally-carried "buddy store" package for air-to-air fueling of other aircraft. Note the rudder has supporting ribs on the outside, rather then inside. This change was introduced as a temporary fix for "rudder flutter" discovered during testing of the A4D-1; but remained as a fixture of all future Skyhawks.
  • BuNo142084 carrying a "Buddy Store" on the centerline stores station demonstrates the new in-flight capability as both receiver and deliverer. Douglas pioneered this new capability with the A4D-2. The A4D-2 had three external stores stations, and could carry the "Buddy Store" on the center-line with two external fuel tanks on the wing stations.
  • Powered by the Curtiss-Wright J65-W-16A, some were upgraded to a newer version of this engine, the J65-W-20.
  • The A4D-2 was equipped with a radar altimeter, with the transmitter/receiver unit mounted in a canoe shaped housing under the left wing near the wing tip. Other improvements are documented on the "Technical Data" page.
  • The first A4D-2 (A-4B) flight occurred on March 26, 1956, flown by Douglas test pilot Dru Wood.
  • Fleet delivery of the A4D-2 (A-4B) began in September 1957.
  • When delivery to fleet units of later versions of the Skyhawk began, some A4D-2 (A-4B) airframes were assigned to Naval Reserve squadrons and re-designated TA-4B, although no structural modifications were involved.




Photo from Vatche Mitilian

  • As a follow-on to the A4D-2 (A-4B), Douglas proposed the A4D-3, equipped with a more economical, more powerful (8,500 lb thrust vs. 7,700 lb) Pratt and Whitney J52 engine; a terrain clearance radar system; an all-attitude bombing and navigation system; and improved instrumentation and auto-pilot for all-weather flight.  The proposal could not be supported by the Navy's existing austere budget, however, and the project was cancelled before production began. Some of the A4D-3 capabilities were incorporated into the later A4D-5 (A-4E)
    Cancelled Bureau Numbers were 145157 thru 145156 (10).



A4D-2N (A-4C)

  • A total of 638 A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawks were manufactured.

    A4D-2N (A-4C) BuNos
    145062 - 145146   (85)
    147669 - 147849  (181)
    148304 - 148317    (14)
    148435 - 148612  (178)
    149487 - 149646  (160)
    150581 - 150600   (20)

  • The A4D-2N, was an improved version of the A4D-2. It went into production after the Navy decided to not fund the A4D-3 proposal that Douglas offered them.
  • It was powered by the Curtiss-Wright J65-W-16A engine, with many upgraded to the more powerful J65-W-20.
  • The "N" designation represented the "night" capability delivered by the addition of a radar. This resulted in a slightly longer nose; and pushed the aircraft length from 39 feet, 4 inches to 40 feet and one inch.
  • With three external stores station, it could deliver weapons utilizing an improved weapons delivery system.
  • Improvements included an auto-pilot and all-attitude gyro system; a low-altitude bombing system; terrain clearance radar; and angle of attack instrumentation.
  • The first A4D-2N (A-4C) flight occurred on August 21, 1958 and first fleet delivery was to VMA-225 in February 1960.
  • BuNo145062, the first A4D-2N.
  • In 1961, two A4D-2 Skyhawks (BuNos 148490 and 148483) were borrowed by the U.S. Army and modified by Douglas for evaluation in competition with the Northrop N-156 (predecessor of the F-5) and an Italian Fiat G-91, for operations from unimproved airfields near front lines.  Modifications of the Army Skyhawk included large dual wheels on beefed-up main landing gear mounts; a heavier wing to house the larger landing gear; and installation of an A-3 Skywarrior drag chute.  Flown by Douglas test pilot Dru Wood, the modified "Army" Skyhawk won the competition, but the project was cancelled when Army funds were diverted to helicopter procurement. "Neat stuff- my old boss, Col Lee Madera, at the Marine Liaison Office in Michelson Labs at China Lake was on the eval team for the 2 wheel dirt buggy." SA Dir. Bill Egen.
  • The A4D-2N was redesignated A-4C in September of 1962. At that time, the A4D-2N was still in production and the production line was moved from the El Segundo plant to the Long Beach plant. Final assembly was done at a government-owned plant in Palmdale, CA.
  • In 1969, Douglas was contracted to modify 100 A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawks to the A-4L designation (see below).
  • Some A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawks were later modified to the A-4L configuration.



A-4L (Upgraded Charlies)



  • From 1969 to 1972, a program was in place to provide state-of-the-art tactical and ECM equipment upgrade for 100 A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawks, redesignated A-4L, for use by U.S. Naval Reserve squadrons.
  • The initial A-4L modification, which included an up-rated J65 engine, relocation of avionics gear, and installation of wing-lift spoilers, was accomplished at the Douglas factory. Thereafter, modificatons were accomplished via Douglas-manufactured kits installed at Naval Aviation Repair Facilities.
A-4L Skyhawk BuNos:
145065; 145076; 145077; 145078; 145092; 145101; 145103; 145114; 145117; 145119;
145121; 145122; 145128; 145133; 145141; 147669; 147671; 147690; 147703; 147706;
147708; 147717; 147723; 147727; 147736; 147750; 147754; 147761; 147768; 147772;
147780; 147782; 147787; 147793; 147796; 147798; 147802; 147807; 147815; 147825;
147827; 147836; 147843; 148306; 148307; 148316; 148436; 148446; 148453; 148479;
148487; 148490; 148498; 148505; 148530; 148538; 148555; 148578; 148581; 148586;
148588; 148600; 148602; 148611; 149497; 149500; 149502; 149506; 149508; 149516;
149518; 149531; 149532; 149536; 149539; 149540; 149551; 149555; 149556; 149569;
149573; 149579; 149583; 149591; 149593; 149594; 149604; 149607; 149608; 149620;
149623; 149626; 149630; 149633; 149635; 149640; 149646; 150586; 150593; 150598.

  • The Lima, after its conversion from a Charlie, started to look and act like an Echo with the avionics hump and separated air intakes for its Pratt Whitney J-52-P8A, 8B engine. Spoilers were added to its wings. It, however, retained the length of the Charlie at 40 feet, 1 inch. It went to five external stores stations like the Echo, and some of its avionics went to Echo or Foxtrot versions.
  • The first A-4L flew on August 21, 1969 and delivery to Reserve units began in December of that year.




Photo from Vatche Mitilian

The 1958 proposal for the A4D-4 was cancelled in the project design stage. It was a proposal for a long range all weather aircraft for delivery of a special weapons load at low atitudes. It incorporated a swept wing design, with two "Whitcomb Bodies" to reduce drag. Wingspan would have been 10ft., and would have incorporated a folding wing. The design included seven hardpoints. It never made it past the drawing board stage.



A4D-5 (A-4E)

A4D-5 (A-4E) BuNos
148613 - 148614    (2)
149647 - 149666   (20)
149959 - 150138  (180)
151022 - 151201  (180)
151984 - 152100  (117)
A total of 499 A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawks were manufactured.
  • In February 1959, Douglas submitted a proposal for an A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk as a follow-on to the A4D-2N (A-4C).  Proposed improvements included installation of the lighter weight, 8,500 lb thrust Pratt & Whitney J52-P6A engine; re-design of the fuselage center section and inlet ducting; addition of two wing station "hard points" for increased weapons-carrying; increased air-frame strength; and navigation and bombing systems upgrades.
  • Initially, conversion of two A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawks was authorized. The first A4D-5 (A-4E) flight took place on July 12, 1961 and a production contract for an additonal 498 was approved shortly thereafter.
  • Delivery of A-4E Skyhawks began in January 1963.
  • Some A-4Es were subsequently retro-fitted with the 9,300 lb thrust Pratt & Whitney J52-P8A engines and the upper fuselage "hump back" avionics pod characteristic of the later A-4F model. (AFC-325)
  • Eight new A-4Es (and two TA-4Es) were sold for use in the Royal Australian Navy, delivered in 1967.
  • A-4E BuNo 152101 was converted to the prototype A-4F.




1963 proposal for engine and air-frame improvements utilizing the new FT-30 engine, none built. Douglas had submitted an earlier proposal known internally as the A4D-6, or A-4F (not to be confused with the later produced A-4F). This proposal was re-worked to reflect the requirements for the "VAL" competition requirements. The A4D-6 lost the VAL (light attack) competition to the Vought A-7 Corsair II.




  • A-4F BuNos:
  • 152101 (Converted A-4E)    (1)
    154172 - 154217   (46)
    154970 - 155069  (100)
    A total of 147 A-4F Skyhawks were manufactured.
  • Ordered in 1965, the A-4F was similar to the A-4E, but with addition of nose wheel steering, wing lift spoilers, and the upgraded Escapac 1-C3 ejection seat.
  • A-4F Prototype BuNo 152101 started out as an Echo. Here is BuNo 152101 at the Navy Air Development Center. This prototype a/c later lost it's hump while serving with Naval Fighter Weapons School
  • The first A-4F flight (converted A-4E, BuNo 152101) took place on August 31, 1966, and fleet deliveries began in early 1967.
  • The characteristic avionics pod "humpback" configuration was added to the A-4F after fleet deliveries began. The upper fuselage location was selected because there was no easily accessible internal fuselage space available for add-ons.  (The humpback pod eventually was retro-fitted to all operational A-4Es and some A-4Cs - (A-4L).
  • A-4E/F: A unique recognition feature that first appeared on the A-4F was the "bent" aerial fueling probe (A-4 AFC461). This was to get the probe away from the front of the a/c nose to facilitate use of forward looking avionics. The avionics hump on the back of the A-4F was typically installed on the assembly line, but many A-4E a/c also were retrofitted via A-4 AFC 325.
  • Also subsequent to fleet delivery, 100 A-4Fs were retro-fitted with the 11,200 lb thrust Pratt & Whitney J52-P408 engine.  The resultant improved performance was a principal reason the A-4F was selected for use by the Blue Angels. The P-408 was the most powerful engine used in the domestic Skyhawk, delivering 11,200 lbs of static thrust.
  • In 1971, eight A-4Fs (BuNos 155051, 155052, 155055, and 155060 - 155064) were re-designated A-4G and sold for use with the Royal Australian Navy.
  • Beginning in 1973, 18 A-4Fs were specially reconfigured for usA-4Ae by the Blue Angels.
  • In 1969, two A-4F air-frames (BuNos 155042 and 155049) were reworked into the A-4M configuration for flight test purposes (see below).

A-4M (Skyhawk II)

  • A total of 158 A-4M Skyhawks were built. the last of the 2,960 Skyhawks manufactured was delivered to the fleet on February 27, 1979.

    A-4M BuNos
    158148 - 158196  (49)
    158412 - 158435  (24)
    159470 - 159493  (24)
    159778 - 159790  (13)
    160022 - 160045  (24)
    160241 - 160264  (24)

  • For flight test purposes, two A-4Fs (BuNos 155042 & 155049) were re-worked into A-4M configuration.
  • Designed specifically for use by the U.S. Marine Corps, the A-4M improvements included the 11,200 lb thrust Pratt & Whitney J52-P408 engine; a smokeless burner can; a larger, increased-visibility canopy; a ribbon-type drag chute; and a re-positioned IFF antenna atop a squared-off vertical fin.
  • With Douglas test pilot Walt Harper at the controls, the first A-4M flight took place on April 10, 1970, at the Douglas Palmdale, California facility.
  • Fleet introduction began on February 26, 1971, to VMA-324 at MCAS Yuma, AZ.
  • Subsequent improvements in a majority of the A-4Ms included "head-up" cockpit instrumentation; integrated weapons display & delivery systems; "laser spot" target acquisition & tracking; advanced ECM & defensive ECM; and a new electrical generator.


    • Note on last 24 (160241 - 160264): "I suggested to Ev Alvarez at a model manager meeting in 1978 that the last production series of 24 A-4Ms with the increased TO/landing/trap weights, Laser Maverick and the Angle Rate Bombing System plus Sidewinder should be re-designated A-4Ys. I was pulled out of the trunk of a black limo that night and sent back to NWC wrapped in duct tape. The HQMC/OPNAV AV-8B mafia was ruthless in championing their new aircraft funding!" Jigger.
  • In 1994, Argentina purchased 36 surplus A-4Ms.




  • To meet training needs and to release single-seat air-frames for needed use in the Vietnam Conflict, in 1964 the Skyhawk contract was modified to permit construction of a two-seat version.
  • Two incomplete air-frames, BuNos 152102 and 152103, were taken off the A-4E production line and designated as TA-4E prototypes.
  • To allow for a second cockpit, and necessary controls and instrumentation, a 28-inch "plug" was constructed to lengthen the fuselage. The fuselage was lengthened between the single seat cockpit and the fuselage fuel tank immediately behind it. The fuselage fuel tank was reduced in size from 810 gallons to 670 gallons.
  • The Pratt & Whitney 9,300 lb thrust J52-P8A/P8B engine was selected to power the "T" version.  Other modifications included Escapac 1C-3 ejection seats; wing lift spoilers; and nose wheel steering.
  • An initial "show" version of the TA-4E, consisting of a wooden mock-up forward fuselage mounted on a single-seat air-frame, was displayed at the 1965 Paris Air Show to generate interest in an export production.
  • The first TA-4E flight occurred on June 30, 1965.  Shortly thereafter, the TA-4E version was re-designated TA-4F.



  • The TA-4F became operational in May 1966, assigned to the Pacific Fleet replacement training squadron, VA-125, at NAS Lemoore, CA.
  • Twenty-three TA-4Fs were converted to the OA-4M designation for FastFAC (Fast Forward Air Controller) missions in the Vietnam Conflict.   Basically, the OA-4M was a TA-4F equipped with A-4M electronics, plus additional communications gear; ARC-159, KY-28 secure voice.
  • Four TA-4Fs, re-designated EA-4F, were equipped with sophisticated electronic equipment for fleet training.
  • Most other TA-4Fs eventually were converted for training purposes and re-designated TA-4J (see below).
  • A total of 241 TA-4Fs were produced.

    TA-4F BuNos
    152102 - 152103   (2)
    152846 - 152878  (33)
    153459 - 153531  (73)
    153660 - 153690  (31)
    154287 - 154343  (57)
    154614 - 154657  (44)

    OA-4M BuNos (Converted from TA-4F)
    152856, 152874, 153507, 153510, 153527, 153529, 153531, 154294,
    154306, 154307, 154328, 154333, 154335, 154336, 154340, 154623,
    154624, 154628, 154630, 154633, 154638, 154645, 154651
    (Some OA-4M BuNos were eventually sold to Argentina.)

    EA-4F BuNos (Converted from TA-4F)
    152852, 152869, 153481, 154655

    Known TA-4F BuNos converted to TA-4J configuration
    152103, 152847-152850, 12853-152855, 152858-152859, 152861-152864, 152867-152868, 152870-152872, 152875, 152878, 153460-153469, 153471, 153473-153479, 153482, 153486, 153490, 153492, 153495-153498, 153500, 153502, 153509, 153512-153513, 153515-153518, 153521-153522, 153524-153526, 153528, 153530, 153661-153664, 153667, 13669-153672, 153674-153681, 153683-153685, 153687-153690, 154287-154293, 154295-154300, 154303, 154305, 154310, 154312-154315, 154317-154319, 154322-154323, 154327, 154330, 154332, 154338, 154341-154343, 154614-154619, 154626, 154631-154632, 154634-154636, 154649-154650, 154653, 154656-154657.



  • In 1968, a contract was let to produce the TA-4J, a trainer version of the TA-4F.
  • The TA-4J differed from the TA-4F through the removal of the tactical weapons system and aerial tanker components, and utilization of the J52-P6 engine instead of the higher-rated J52-P8.
  • The TA-4J first flew on December 17, 1968 and first entered operational service in mid-1969, assigned to training squadron VT-17 at NAS Kingsvlle, TX.
  • Later, TA-4J deliveries were supplemented by conversion of numerous TA-4Fs to the "J" designation through removal of ordnance system components.
  • A total of 281 TA-4Js were built.

    TA-4J BuNos
    155072 - 155119  (48)
    156891 - 156950  (60)
    158073 - 158147  (75)
    158453 - 158527  (75)
    158712 - 158623  (12)
    159099 - 159104    (6)
    159795 - 159798    (4)


Argentine Air Force A-4P and A-4AR(All previous owned)


  • In 1965, Argentina contracted to purchase 50 surplus U.S. Navy A-4B Skyhawks for the Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina, or FAA).
  • After the aircraft were reworked at the Douglas facility in Tulsa, OK, they were redesignated A-4P "Caza" (Hunter).  Twenty-five A-4B/A-4Ps were delivered to the FAA in 1966 and another 25 (A-4B/A-4P) were delivered in 1970.   Argentina also purchased four A-4Bs (BuNos 144894, 144932, 145017, and 145053) for FAA non-operational use as spare parts sources. In Argentina, these aircraft will simply known as "Bravos".
  • In 1975, Argentina purchased an additional 25 A-4C Skyhawks for the FAA.
  • In 1994, Argentina contracted to purchase 36 surplus A-4M Skyhawks, to include engine refurbishments, rewiring, and avionics upgrades.  Delivery of the refurbished aircraft, redesignated A-4AR Fightinghawks, began 1997.
  • Argentina purchased OA-4M aircraft re-designated OA-4AR. Basically, the OA-4M was a TA-4F equipped with A-4M electronics.
  • Radar: Westinghouse ARG-1 (variant of APG-66)
    ARG-1 AA mode detect range 100km, AG and sea mode 40kms, mapping mode 100kms.
    Engine: Pratt & Whitney J52-p-408A 11200lbs with OSB
    Auto start engine (Starter) no need for ground equipment
    MFDs (Multi-functional Displays): 2 HDD, and SHUD, and HOTAS, Radar Warning Reciver RVR AN/ARL-93(V)1
    Digital Auto Pilot, VHF, UHF, GMP (Ground Mission Planning, with DTM (data Transfer Module)
  • Per article in "Wiki": Complete overhaul of the airframe, wiring looms and the Pratt & Whitney J52P-408A engine
    Installation of Douglas Escapac 1-G3 ejection seats
    HGU-55/P helmets and Honeywell Normal Air-Garrett's OBOGS (On Board Oxygen Generation System)
    Westinghouse/Northrop Grumman AN/APG-66V2 (ARG-1) radar
    HOTAS controls and a 'glass' cockpit (2 CRT color screens)
    Sextant Avionique/Thales Avionics SHUD
    Litton/Northrop Grumman LN-100G inertial navigation system
    MIL-STD-1553B data bus and two General Dynamics Information Systems AN/AYK-14 mission computers
    Northrop Grumman AN/ALR-93 (V)1 Radar warning receiver, AN/ALQ-126B jammer, AN/ALQ-162 jammer and ALR-47 chaff/flare dispenser
    IFF AN/APX-72
    The A-4M airframes were equipped with the TV and laser spot tracker Hughes AN/ASB-19 Angle Rate Bombing System (ARBS) but these were removed after their conversion as A-4AR, as the radar could provide the same data. At least ten TA-4J and A-4M airframes for use as spare parts, eight additional engines, and a new A-4AR simulator were also delivered.



Argentina Navy A-4Q (All previous owned)


  • CANA (Commando Aviacion Naval Argentina) purchased A-4B Skyhawks in 1971. These A-4B were reworked at Tulsa, Oklahoma. Argentina designated these reworked airframes A-4Q.
  • CANA assigned numbers 0654 through 0669 to its 16 A-4Q aircraft, the numbers being painted on the vertical stabilizer. In addition radio call signs of 3-A-301 through 3-A-314 were painted on both sides of the mid-fuselage.
  • Argentina added equipment including Omega-VLF navigation system.



Australia A-4G


  • In 1966, construction was begun on eight new single-seat and two two-seat Skyhawks, for use by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).  Patterned after the A-4F and TA-4F, the RAN Skyhawks were designated A-4G and TA-4G and were optimimized for an air defense role (Sidewinder air-to-air missile capability).  Other features included the J52-P8A engine, nose wheel steering, wing spoilers, and the Escapac 1-C3 ejection seat.>
  • The first A-4G flight was made on July 19, 1967 by Douglas test pilot Jim Stegman, who also made the first TA-4G test flight two days later.
  • Delivery of the first 10 aircraft (two TA-4Gs and eight A-4Gs) began on July 26, 1967.  Ten more Skyhawks (two TA-4Fs and eight A-4Fs), modified to "G" configuration, were delivered to the RAN in 1970.
  • Although carrier capable in general, the TA-4G never landed aboard the HMAS Melbourne. It was calculated that the different 'touch and go' characteristics of the Trainer on the carrier's short deck would not allow safe operations. This conclusion was calculated with data gained from runway based tests at Nowra and not from an actual test flight to the deck.
  • In 1984, ten surviving Australian Skyhawks were sold to New Zealand (see below).

    A-4G RAN# = BuNo (1967 Delivery)
    882 = 154903, 883 = 154904, 884 = 154905, 885 = 154906,
    886 = 154907, 887 = 154908, 888 = 154909, 889 = 154910

    TA-4G RAN# = BuNo (1967 Delivery)
    880 = 154911, 881 = 154912

    A-4F/A-4G RAN# = BuNo (1970 Delivery)
    870 = 155051, 871 = 155052, 872 = 155055, 873 = 155060,
    874 = 155061, 875 = 155062, 876 = 155063, 877 = 155069

    TA-4F/TA-4G RAN# = BuNo (1970 Delivery)
    878 = 154647, 879 = 154648



Brazil A-4KU / AF-1 (All previous owned)



  • In 1997, Brazil purchased 23 surviving Kuwaiti (q.v.) Skyhawks (20 A-4KU, three TA-4KU).  Redesignated AF-1 and AF-1A, respectively, the aircraft were delivered to Brazil in 1998 and, after extensive upgrading, became operational with the Brazilian navy in early 2001.
    • 02 OCT 1998: Douglas A-4KU/A-4M Skyhawk.

      The A-4KU was an A-4M, with specially tailored communications equipment and other modifications. BuNo 160180 Kuwait A-4KU Eventually, the Kuwait A-4KUs would end up in Brazil, after modifications, as the AF-1.
    • 02 OCT 1998: Douglas TA-4KU Skyhawk.

      The TA-4KU was a TA-4J with a 11,200 lb thrust Pratt and Whitney J52-P408 engine.
  • 05 JAN 2000: Douglas AF-1 Skyhawk.

    Brazil purchased Kuwaiti A-4KU Skyhawks and redesignated them AF-1.


    Operational color scheme and markings courtesy of FCM Decals, a Brazilian decal manufacturer.
    Graphic by Valter Sousa Andrade.
  • 05 JAN 2000: Douglas AF-1A Skyhawk.
  • Brazil purchased Kuwaiti TA-4KU Skyhawks and redesignated them AF-1A.
  • 3 view A-4KU and TA-4KU drawings from Harry S. Gann, redrawn by Bud Southworth.
  • AF1 and AF1A side view drawings from Valter Sousa Andrade.
  • Brazilian Navy AF-1 (A4KU to AF-1 to *AF-1B)



    • Status as reported JUN 2011
    • N-1001: 160180 Kuwait 1,842.2 flt. hrs.; Brazil 104.4 flt. hrs.; last flt.=06AUG 202; in modernizaton process.
    • N-1002: 160181 (c/n 14549) Kuwait 802 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1003: 160183 (c/n 14551) Kuwait 804 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1004: 160186 Kuwait 1,635.9 flt. hrs.; Brazil 624.9 flt. hrs.; last flt.=31AUG 2007; in modernization process as spare
    • N-1005: 160188 (c/n 14556) Kuwait 809 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1006: 160189 (N-1006): Kuwait 1,279.1 flt. hrs.; Brazil 55.3 flt. hrs.; last flt.=16JAN2001; selected to be alienated.
    • N-1007: 160190 (c/n 14558) Kuwait 811 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1008: 160192 Kuwait 1,576.9 flt. hrs.; Brazil 173.4 flt. hrs.; last flt.=26AUG 2004; in in the modernization process.
    • N-1009: 160193 (c/n 14561) Kuwait 814 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1010: 160195 (c/n 14563) Kuwait 816 Brazilian Navy as AF-1 ser. no. N-1010.
    • N-1011: 160196 Kuwait 1,586.3 flt. hrs.; Brazil 833.6 flt. hrs.; last flt.=12AUG2010; in the Flight Line, included in the modernization process.
    • N-1012: 160197 (c/n 14565) Kuwait 818 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1013: 160198 (c/n 14566) Kuwait 819 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1014: 160199 (c/n 14567) Kuwait 820 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1015: 160201 (c/n 14569) Kuwait 822 BuNo. Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1016: 160202 (c/n 14570) Kuwait 823 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1016: 160203 Kuwait 1,661.9 flt. hrs.; Brazil 13.9 flt. hrs.; last flt.=25JUN2001; in modernization process as spare.
    • N-1018: 160204 Kuwait 825 BuNo. (c/n 14572) Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
    • N-1019: 160205 Kuwait 1,528.9 flt. hrs.; Brazil 0 flt. hrs.; last flt AUG1993; selected to alienated.
    • N-1020: 160206 Kuwait 1,376 flt. hrs.; Brazil 2.2 flt. hrs.; last flt.=10OCT2000; selected to be alienated.


    • AF-1A (3 TA-4J upgraded to TA-4KU, upgraded to AF-1A, then to *AF-1C)
    • Status as reported JUN 2011
    • N-1021: 160212 Kuwait 1,492.5 flt. hrs.; 1363.4 flt. hrs.; last flt.= 6AUG2010; in the Flight Line, included in the modernization process.
    • N 1022: 160213 Kuwait 1,616.2 flt. hrs.; Brazil 922.7 flt. hrs.; last flt.=12AUG2010; in the Flight Line, included in the modernization process.
    • N-1023: 160215 Kuwait 1,757.3 flt. hrs.; Brazil 43.5 flt. hrs.; last flt.=29SEP2000; delivered to EMBRAER on 20JUL2010 for modernization.



    • 16 APR 2009: *Upgrade for nine AF-1 and three AF-1A Skyhawks.


    Israel A-4H and A-4N



    Art work by Amos Dor


    Art work by Amos Dor


    Art work by Amos Dor


    Art work by Amos Dor

    • A-4H
    • In August 1966, Israel contracted to purchase 48 modified A-4F Skyhawks, redesignated A-4H. By 1968, the A-4H contract was expanded to 90 air-frames.
    • The A-4H configuration included removal of the avionics "humpback," and installation of a modified IFF system and a drag chute.  After delivery to Israel, 20-mm cannons were replaced with 30-mm cannons. The vertical stabilizer was squared off at the top, and after the 1973 war with Egypt they were fitted with an exhaust pipe extension to reduce their infrared signature. At some point some or all had their J-52-P-8A engines replaced (per Amos Dor) with J52-P-408N engines.
    • 90 A-4H BuNos:
    • 155242 - 155289 (48)
    • 157395 - 157428 (34)
    • 157918 - 157925 (8)
    • A-4N Ayit
    • Between 1972 and 1976, 117 specially modified A-4M Skyhawks, designated A-4N, were delivered to Israel.  The A-4N variant was equipped with the uprated Pratt & Whitney J52-P408 engine, two 30-mm cannons, head-up display, and state-of-the-art weapons and anti-missile defense systems.
    • The "N" had a redesigned cockpit, with increased visibility from the cockpit, the latest E.C.M. systems including targeting systems (KRISTAL) with a "Heads-Up-Dispay".
    • After 1973 they were fitted with engine exhaust extensions to reduce their infrared signature.
    • A chaff/flare launcher was added in rear tailpipe area.
    • 117 A-4N BuNos
    • 158726 - 158743 (18)
    • 159035 - 159052 (18)
    • 159075 - 159098 (24)
    • 159515 - 159545 (31)
    • 159799 - 159824 (26)
    • TA-4H
    • In addition to the single-seat A-4H, 25 two-seat TA-4H (modified TA-4J) Skyhawks were delivered to Israel between 1969 and 1975.
    • The 20MM Colt Cannon was replaced with DEFA 30MM Cannons, and a braking chute was added.
    • After the 1973 war with Egypt, they were fitted with engine exhaust extensions to reduce their infrared signature.
    • 25 TA-4H BuNos
    • 157429 - 157434 (6)
    • 157926 - 157929 (4)
    • 159546 - 159556 (11)
    • Israeli A-4E BuNos
    • As the result of heavy Israeli aircraft losses during the 1973 "Yom Kippur" war, 46 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps A-4Es were transferred to Israel, most of which were subsequently upgraded to the A-4H configuration. See Indonesia below for the 31 "Echos" sold to them by Israel.



    Indonesia A-4E, TA-4H and TA-4J (All previous owned)


    • 1980: November 1979 Indonesia purchased 14 A-4E and two TA-4H Skyhawks from Israel, delivery began in 1980. A-4E/TA-4H side numbers 0401-0416 (16)
    • 1981: One Israeli A-4E transferred to replace lost Indonesia Skyhawk. (0417)
    • 1982: 16 A-4E Israeli Skyhawks transferred to Indonesia. Side numbers assigned 0431-0446 (16)
    • 1999: Two TA-4J BuNo 154315 and 154454
    • 1999: Total Skyhawks delivered to Indonesia equals 35 aircraft, see Indonesia unit pages.


    1982: Douglas A-4E Skyhawk (Modified).

    The A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk was a follow-on to the A4D-2N (A-4C) and carried many improvements.
    Some A-4Es were subsequently retro-fitted with other improvements, including the upper fuselage "hump back" avionics pod.
    Indonesia purchased A-4E aircraft from Israel, with Singapore serving as a "broker". When these A-4E a/c came from Israel, they were non-standard Echos due to Israeli modifications. They were equipped with braking chutes, 30MM DEFA cannons, had the dorsal avionic hump installed, had an extended engine exhaust, were equipped with nose wheel steering and their radar removed. They were also equipped with the "minipan Hi-Speed Lo Altitude Panoramic Camera (Type 2-18) which was mounted under the rear fuselange. There was no ADF, just a basic UHF radio. Weapons Systems were minimal. The TNI-AU is known to have added an ADF and an ARC-182 radio.



    Kuwait A-4KU / TA-4KU


    • In late 1974, Kuwait contracted to purchase 36 Skyhawks, 30 single-seat airframes designated A-4KU, and six dual cockpit TA-4KUs.
    • Basically, the A-4KU was an A-4M, with specially tailored communications equipment, and lacking nuclear weapon delivery, Shrike and Walleye missile, and ECM components.
    • The TA-4KU was a TA-4J with a 11,200 lb thrust Pratt and Whitney J52-P408 engine. The Kuwaiti two-seaters were the only "T" Skyhawks manufactured with that engine installed.
    • The A-4KU first flew on July 20, 1976, the TA-KU on December 14, 1976, and all 36 aircraft were ferried to Kuwait in 1977-1978.
    • BuNo.160180 thru 160209 designated Kuwait AF serial 801-830
    • BuNo.160210 thru 160215 designated Kuwait AF Serival 881-886
    • After the 1991 Desert Storm war, the Kuwaiti Skyhawks were retired from service, but stored in near-pristine condition, and eventually sold to Brazil (see above).



    Malaysia A-4PTM (All previous owned A-4C and A-4L variants)


    • In 1980, Malaysia purchased 88 surplus Skyhawks air-frames for refurbishment, redesignated as A-4PTM (Peculiar To Malaysia), and assignment to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).  However, inflationary costs eventually reduced the buy to 40 air-frames.
    • In the end, Grumman modified 34 aircraft. The first A-4PTM flew for the first time on April 12, 1984. The A-4PTMs were assigned the TUDM serials of M32-07 to M32-40.
    • Upgrading of the A-4PTMs by the Grumman Aerospace facility at St. Augustine, FL, included rewiring; addition of two ordnance wing stations; rework of the J65-W-20 engines; and installation of improved avionics and ordnance gear, the enlarged A-4M canopy, and a drag chute. Updated electronics were the AN/ARN-118 TACAN, a SAAB RGS-2A lead computing weapons sight, a Lear Siegler altitude heading reference systems, and an AN/ARC-164 UHF transceiver.
    • The A-4Cs were fitted with the dorsal avionics hump.
    • Provisions were made for the aircraft to carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile and the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile.
    • An undetermined number of the single-seat PTM Skyhawks were rebuilt into two-seat TA-4PTM configuration similar to the TA-4.
    • Provisions were made for the aircraft to carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile and the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile.
    • The PTM Skyhawks were delivered to the RMAF in late 1985 and early 1986, and had a relatively short service life.  Except for six TA-4PTMs retained for aerial tanker duty, the Maylasian Skyhawks were all retired by SEP 1999.



    New Zealand A-4K and TA-4K


    • Fourteen Skyhawks (10 single seat and four "T" birds), designated A-4K and TA-4K, were ordered by New Zealand in July 1969.
    • The Kiwi Skyhawks essentially were A-4F airframes, inluding the "hump back" avionics package and modified to include drag chutes, APX-72 IFF antennae, and Sidewinder air-to-air missile capability.
    • The A-4K first flew in September 1969 and all 14 aircraft were delivered to New Zealand in 1970.
    • In 1984, New Zealand purchased 10 Australian Skyhawks (eight A-4G, two TA-4G).
    • From 1985 to 1989, New Zealand conducted a major Skyhawk upgrade program that included installation of "glass" cockpits, HUDs (Head Up Displays), new acquisition/tracking radars and navigation systems; removal of the avionics "hump"; re-sparring of the wing; and improved landing gear and control surfaces.
    • New Zealand Skyhawks were retired from service in 2001.

      A-4K/TA-4K NZ# = BuNos
      A-4K:   6201 - 6210 = 157904 - 157913
      TA-4K: 6251 - 6254 = 157914 - 157917
      A-4G/TA-4G NZ# = BuNos
      A-4G:   6211 = 154903, 6212 = 154904, 6213 = 154905, 6214 = 154908,
          6215 = 155052, 6216 = 155061, 6217 = 155062, 6218 = 155063
      TA-4G: 6255 = 154910, 6256 = 154911



    Singapore A-4S /S1 /SU and TA-4S /S1 /SU(All were U.S.N. A-4B or A-4C models.)



    Courtesy of Peter Lau



    li>In 1980, Singapore purchased an additional 86 Skyhawks from U.S. suplus (70 A-4Cs, 16 A-4Bs). They were modified to a different level and named A-4S-1. These A-4Cs were rebuilt mainly into the same standards as the earlier A-4S, but retained the 20mm cannons and A-4C nose of the original Skyhawk. Due to serviceability issues, the Doppler sets were not retained. Designated A4S-1/TA4S-1s, they were numbered 9xx (eg. 918, 950). The first example joined the RSAF in the early 1980s. Later in their service lives these aircraft acquired Radar Warning Receivers and antenna on the nose and tail. Chaff/flare dispensers were fitted to both sides of the aft fuselage.

    • In 1972: United States A-4B air-frames, designated A-4S, for use by the Royal Singapore Air Force (RSAF). They were extensively modified prior to transfer to the RSAF.
    • Refurbishment of the first eight A-4S Skyhawks, by Lockheed Air Services in the U.S., included installation of the 8400 lb thrust Curtiss J65-W-20 engine; wing lift spoilers; 30-mm cannons; state-of-the-art optical gun-sight, communications equipment, and Sidewinder air-to-air missile capability; and two additional ordnance wing stations. The remaining 32 A-4S air-frames were shipped to and upgraded in Singapore. These aircraft had over 100 modifications from the original A-4B, including a longer nose for a new communication/navigation package, 5 stores hard-points instead of the A-4B/Cs three, a dorsal hump, cockpit armor plating, spoilers, cranked refueling probe, Sidewinder capability, brake parachute housing and 30mm Aden cannons. Included in the changes were a Ferranti D-101 lead computing gun-sight, a Decca Type 72 Doppler system, a Tactical Area Navigation System (TANS), and the Lear Siegler Altitude and Heading Reference System. In addition, newer radios, IFF, ADF, TACAN and radar altimeter units were installed. The original APQ-145 mapping and ranging radar was retained.
    • The A-4S first flew on July 14, 1973.
    • A-4B (A-4S) Known Sold to Singapore: Total 56 (40 in 1972 and 16 more in 1980. See the Singapore Unit pages for BuNos.
    • Initial (1972-1977) RSAF aircraft were built from A-4Bs bought from the U.S. "MASDC" in AZ. These aircraft were rebuilt with Lockheed assistance together with a Singapore subsidiary, Lockheed Air Services Singapore (LASS). 51 A-4S and TA-4S were built between 1974 and 1977, with 6 built in the United States and the rest assembled in Singapore. These aircraft had over 100 modifications from the original A-4B, including a longer nose housing a new communications/navigation package, 5 stores hard-points instead of the usual 3 of the A-4B/C, dorsal hump, cockpit armor plating, spoilers, cranked refueling probe, Sidewinder capability, brake parachute housing and 30mm Aden cannons. Included in the changes were a Ferranti D-101 lead computing gun-sight, a Decca Type 72 Doppler system, Tactical Area Navigation System (TANS), and a Lear Siegler Altitude and Heading Reference System. In addition, newer radios, IFF, ADF, TACAN and radar altimeter units were installed. The original APQ-145 mapping and ranging radar was retained.
    • Prior to the mid-1980s, the RSAF had no in flight refueling capability, so some RSAF Skyhawks (both A-4S and A4S-1) had their refueling probes removed for a time.
    • The Singapore Skyhawks flew in Green/Dark and Green/Tan, with light gray under-surfaces. However, a few Singapore Skyhawks shipped to NAS Lemoore, CA. for U.S. based training, retained the U.S.N. Light Gull Gray/White paint scheme.
    • In the 1980s many of the TA/A-4S and S-1 air-frames were extensively re-built and modernized and re-designated A-4SU (SUper). The modifications included the installation of a 11,000lb thrust F404-GE-100D turbofan engine. Other upgrades included modified engine air intakes, new refrigeration, hydraulic pumps, starters, oil coolers, new sensors, cockpit instrumentation, avionics, engine and environmental control systems, higher output generators, and improved air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance carrying and control capacity. The upgraded A-4SU a/c became operational in 1988.
    • From 1984 to 1989, the RSAF conducted a Skyhawk service life extension program.  Many of the A-4S airframes were extensively re-built and modernized. Redesignated A-4SU (SUper), upgrading included replacement of J65 engines with the 11,000 lb thrust F404-GE-100D; new refrigeration, hydraulic pump, air turbine starter, electrical power, and oil cooler systems; new sensors, cockpit instrumentation, state-of-the-art avionics; and improved air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance carrying and control capability. The re-engineered A-4SU "Super Skyhawks" became operational in 1988.
    • Singapore TA-4S/S-1/SU



      • The Singapore TA-4S variants were unique among the TA-4 Skyhawks. To maintain engine commonality, A-4S (A-4B or A-4C) air-frames were lengthened 28 inches with a new forward fuselage section to provide a room for a second cockpit. However, rather than the single canopy characteristic of other "TA-4" birds, each TA-4S /S-1 /SU cockpit had a separate canopy. The second canopy had a more "bubble" appearance than the front canopy. Singapore was thus able to avoid the requirement of a second type of engine for their trainers because the standard TA-4 used the J-52 rather than the A-4S J-65 engine.
      • In the 1980s many of the TA/A-4S and S-1 airframes were extensively re-built and modernized and re-designated A-4SU (SUper).The modifications included the installation of a 11,000 lb thrust F404-GE-100D turbofan engine. Other upgrades included modified engine air intakes, new refrigeration, hydraulic pumps, starters, oil coolers, new sensors, cockpit instrumentation, avionics, engine and environmental control systems, higher output generators, and improved air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance carrying and control capacity. The upgraded A-4SU a/c became operational in 1988.




Single-Seat Skyhawks Produced:    2,405
"T" Version Skyhawks Produced:       555
Grand Total Skyhawks Produced:   2,960

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