The Douglas A-3 Skywarrior was a strategic bomber built for the United States Navy and among the longest serving carrier-based jet aircraft. It entered service in the mid-1950s and was not retired until 1991. For many years after its introduction, it was also the heaviest aircraft ever flown from an aircraft carrier. Its primary function for much of its later service life was as an electronic warfare platform and high capacity aerial refueling tanker.
The Skywarrior is the only Navy attack aircraft intended as a strategic bomber to enter service. The U.S. Navy published its requirement for a long range, carrier-based bomber with a 10,000 pound bomb load in January 1948. The contract was awarded to Douglas Aircraft on 29 September 1948 and the first flight of an A-3 was 22 October 1952. The first A-3, at the time designated as the A3D-1, was assigned to Heavy Attack Squadron ONE (VAH-1) on 31 March 1956.