The results of the evaluation were quite favorable, and on September 27, 1940 the War Department ordered 78 examples of the Dauntless under the designation A-24-DE. Although intended for the Army, the aircraft had to be ordered under Navy contracts since the Navy had jurisdiction over the Douglas El Segundo plant. Serials were 41-15746 through -15823.
The A-24 was essentially identical to the Navy SBD-3 but featured Army instrumentation and radio equipment and was fitted with a pneumatic tailwheel rather than the solid rubber tire of the naval version. Like the SBD-3, the A-24 was powered by a 1000-hp Wright R-1820-52 radial and was armed with two fixed forward-firing 0.50-inch machine guns in the engine cowling and a pair of 0.30-inch flexible machine guns on an installation operated by the rear gunner. A swinging bomb cradle with a maximum capacity of 1000 pounds was located underneath the fuselage, and a fixed rack for one 100-pound bomb was mounted underneath each outer wing section.
The first A-24 was delivered to the Army on June 17, 1941. The first operational A-24 unit was the 27th Bombardment Group. It was in the process of been shipped to the Philippines when the war broke out.
Serials of A-24-DE:
41-15746/15823 Douglas A-24-DE Dauntless c/n 802/956 (even numbers)
Technical Notes on the Douglas A-24:
Armament: Two .50-cal. fixed machine guns in the nose and twin .30-cal. flexible machine guns in rear cockpit; 1,200-lb. bombs (in Java, A-24s one Dutch 600-lb. bomb on the centerline and one 110-lb. bomb on each wing)
Engine: Wright R-1820-52 of 1,000 hp
Weights: 6181 pounds empty, 9834 pounds loaded, 10,200 pounds maximum.
Maximum speed: 250 mph/217 knots
Cruising speed: 173 mph/150 knots
Range: 950 miles with 1,200 lbs. of bombs
Ceiling: 26,000 ft.
Span: 41 ft. 6 in.
Length: 33 ft.
Height: 12 ft. 11 in.
Weight: 10,200 lbs. maximum