The last version of the Skyhawk series to be built, the A-4M Skyhawk II, was obviously the most capable. While the original Skyhawks were designed as a lightweight delivery platform for nuclear weapons, the "Mighty Mikes" were refined into the ultimate close air support weapon to protect the "Mud Marines." With the Hughes Angie Rate bombing System installed it was arguably the world's best close air support jet aircraft ever built.
Ironically, the A-4M was the only Skyhawk version, other than the A-4A, to not see combat. The A-4M first entered service in 1971 as the Vietnam War was grinding to a halt and left front line service in February 1990 prior to the Gulf War. However, foreign versions of the A-4M did see combat in the Middle East. These were the Israeli A-4Ns and the Kuwaiti A-4Kus. Marine A-4Ms stayed forward-deployed in Japan throughout their active service life in readiness for a war that never was.
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