Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
The first of 380 Grumman Mohawk battlefield surveillance aircraft made its first flight on April 14,1959 at Bethpage, New York.
Initial variants were reasonably unsophisticated but progressive modification efforts over the years have brought about a significant improvement in its sensor systems. The first production model to see service was the OV-1A, essentially intended to fulfil photographic reconnaissance duties by day or night, being fitted with cameras, flares and advanced navigation equipment.
The type entered service with the US Army in February 1961 and became a stalwart of the Vietnam conflict. Six JOV-1As with additional under-wing weapon stations to take an incredible arsenal, including Sidewinder heat-seeking missiles, were evaluated in South East Asia.
It was succeeded by the OV-1B which was the first model to incorporate SLAR (Side-Looking Airborne Radar), this AN/APS-94 equipment being housed in a prominent pod carried externally under the lower starboard forward fuselage.
The next derivative was the OV-1C, which utilised the AN/AAS-24 infra-red sensor in place of the SLAR gear, while the final new-build member of the family was the OV-1D, basically a quick-change aircraft capable of operating with either infra-red or SLAR sensors. The standard OV-1D is equipped with infrared or radar sensors in addition to two panoramic cameras (horizontal and vertical) and one vertical/oblique camera, plus inertial navigation systems and full communication navigation packages.
Deliveries of the OV-1D terminated in 1970, bringing total production to 375. Additional OV-1Ds were made available by the relatively simple conversion of most of the 100-plus OV-1Bs and OV-1Cs which remained.
A number of other derivatives appeared, including the RV-1D and the EV-1E, The former version is a conversion of the OV-1B specifically intended for Elint (electronic intelligence) duty, the dozen or so aircraft known to exist being fitted with a multiplicity of passive receivers, analysers and recorders to gather unknown or 'hostile' signals.
The EV-1E, again a rebuilt OV-1B, is fitted with AN/ALQ-133 'Quick Look II’ surveillance radar, additional Elint equipment and electronic warfare pods. At least 16 conversions have been produced.
The latter type was also converted into the dedicated electronic intelligence gathering RV-1D. Israel received two OV-1Ds for use in the mid-1970s, with the designation EV-IE attributed to them. The only other export customer was Argentina, which still operates a small number of OV-IDs. Production ended in late 1970 after 265 were built and the US Army retired its Mohawks in 1996.
Israel's air force has received two OV-1Ds, and continued updating effort should result in updated or converted OV-1Ds for various customers, including Pakistan and the US Army.