Author Tommy H. Thomason lays out an incredible US Navy aircraft history, with fascinating detail of powerful jets and related hardware. This educational read is nothing short of phenomenal for those interested in the relentless effort given to create and sustain the most powerful sea strike force ever built. Thomason delivers a treasure trove of information about the capabilities of America's Navy birds. He also expands upon drones, armament, aircraft carrier design, and other productions like cockpit configurations already operational or planned for the future. Trials and tribulations experienced to sustained protection are clearly presented. The book's hardback layout is easy to read, even though the content almost reaches an anatomical level of delivery. Jam packed with color photographs, author diagrams, and artistic concepts, the reader gets a well researched technical manual that finally helped me understand why it all costs so much. The complex procurement process considers contrasting needs of the Navy and Air Force, and weighs in on competition between the big contractors in search of funding and survival. Air superiority must be maintained, and future concepts are introduced. An example is a pilotless stealthy flying wing, similar to the B2 that is projected to be operational by 2025; the craft will launch from and return to an aircraft carrier to rearm and strike again. I give this book my highest recommendation, and suggest it for military history buffs or anyone inspired by airplane development or the US Navy. Strike From The Sea would be a fine text for the dedicated classroom.
Reviewed by: Hodge Wood (2009)
Strike from the Sea: U.S. Navy Attack Aircraft from Skyraider to Super Hornet 1948-Present celebrates carrier-based air-to-ground attack aircraft which first came into operation during the Korean War, reached maturity during Vietnam, and are deployed today throughout the world. Well-known author and naval aviation authority Tommy Thomason not only explores such legendary Navy aircraft as the A4D Skyhawk, A3J Vigilante, and A-6 Intruder, but also the critical role of the aircraft carrier itself, for without these massive nuclear-powered floating airfields, U.S. Navy attack aircraft would have no sea-borne bases from which to operate.
Armament from gravity bombs to today's GPS-guided smart weapons are covered in great detail, and this book also explains that while many different types of airplanes were required for flying attack missions in the past, only one aircraft - the advanced F/A-18E/F Super Hornet - is needed to carry out these same missions in an even more complex and hostile combat environment today.