Pre-production versions of what would become known as the
AN/ALQ-87 were the QRC-160-8. Like the AN/ALQ-71 they
were noise jammers, but the new pod was twice as powerful
as the AN/ALQ-71. Unlike the AN/ALQ-71, which had a round
cross section, the AN/ALQ-87 had a ridge running down both
sides of the top half of the pod to facilitate sway braces and a
smaller ridge running down each side of the pod where it split
in two for maintenance.
Three QRC-160-8 pods were tested by on Ubon RTAFB-based
F-4Cs of the 8th TFW beginning mid-1967, but production
AN/ALQ-87s didn’t arrive until October (so use of RATs soon
During January and February 1968, each Ubon RTAFB-based
8th TFW strike F-4D carried two AN/ALQ-87 pods—one
standard and one SPECIAL. From March through June they
still carried one standard and one SPECIAL pod, but both AN/
ALQ-71s and AN/ALQ-87s were used. From July 1968 until the
bombing halt began, their F-4Ds carried only one standardconfigured AN/ALQ-71 or AN/ALQ-87 pod.
In addition to F-105D/Fs, AN/ALQ-87 pods were used on
F-4C/D/Es, F-111As (both in 1968 and 1972) and AC-130As.
he SA-2 guidance (beacon) commands. Beginning in
November 1967, 388th TFW Wild Weasel F-105Fs began
using a configuration of two pods per aircraft: one standard
(sometimes called ‘NORMAL’) and one beacon configured
(almost always marked as ’SPECIAL’ on the side of the pod).
Strike F-105D/Fs of the 355th and 388th TFWs adopted this
practice the following month. AN/ALQ-71s were used as
SPECIAL pods prior to April 1968, but gradually gave way to
the more powerful AN/ALQ-87s for this task by July 1968.
By 1968 all aircraft using ECM pods were modified to provide
aircraft electrical power to the pods, so the ram air turbines
(RAT) originally used were replaced by dummy nose cones.
As the number of AN/ALQ-71 pods increased, USAF F-4D/Es
were also fitted with them beginning in April 1967. Initially
the F-4s were modified to carry the pods on other pylons than
the right outboard, but soon the strike aircraft began carrying
them in the front Sparrow wells, freeing up the other stations
for ordnance or fuel tanks.
The first F-4D unit to receive ECM pods was apparently the
Udorn RTAFB-based 432nd TRW. Prior to January 1968 they
carried at least one AN/ALQ-71. From January through March
1968, they carried two AN/ALQ-71 pods, one standard and
Beginning in April 1968, Da Nang-based 366th TFW F-4D/
Es, which only flew in the southern part of North Vietnam
where the only threat was (wrongly) assumed to be AAA, were
fitted with a single AN/ALQ-71 pod. Since the pod formation
was only needed to counter the SAM threat, these aircraft
commonly flew in pairs.
Cat. No. 648493 AN/ ALQ-87 ECM pod
INFO Eduard - December 2019