The RA-5C Vigilante was designed and built by North American Aviation as an advanced supersonic attack aircraft. It was the largest supersonic carrier aircraft in the Navy. Originally designed as a bomber, it was later realized that it was much more effective in the role of a high speed reconnaissance aircraft.
 
It was equipped with two General Electric J-79 engines with afterburners.
 
The first Vigilante flew on June 30, 1962.
 
It operated with many new “state of the art” systems.
   -first aircraft to use the heads up display system
   -first to use the fly by wire flight control system
 
As a reconnaissance aircraft the “Viggie” utilized the following systems.
   -forward looking oblique angle optical camera
   -vertical optical camera
   -passive electronic countermeasures (PECM)
   -infrared sensor
   -photo flasher pod system
   -digital data system
   -side looking radar (SLR)
 
The Vigilante served the fleet during the Vietnam War with the squadrons that were assigned to NAS Sanford, Florida. As a result of base closures they were later transferred to NAS Albany, Georgia and NAS Key West, Florida.