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US Air Force light attack competition

Poncho (Admin)
Poncho (Admin)
Whisky Charlie

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Message par Poncho (Admin) le Ven 11 Sep 2009 - 22:56

Bonsoir à tous.

Un bon concept est un concept qui dure !

Boeing confirms it has proposed building new OV-10s with upgraded avionics and weapons for the US Air Force light attack contract.

Subscription-only Inside the Air Force broke the news this morning.

Boeing provided the photo above, providing a glimpse of the new OV-10 concept. The image will surely be embraced by the Bronco's devoted following, who remember the aircraft's notably effective service in the Vietnam War.

The OV-10 could face competition from other Vietnam-era light attack aircraft, such as the Piper Aircraft PA-48 Enforcer. A new class of turboprop fighter-trainers, such as the AT-6 and the Embraer Super Tucano are also vying for the contract. Alenia, meanwhile, plans to offer the jet-powered M346 trainer.

Boeing inherits the OV-10 Bronco's design rights from its purchase in the 1980s of North American Rockwell, the aircraft's original manufacturer.

Le concours pour l'avion Light Attack met aux prises :
- une version modernisée du OV-10 Bronco, ex North American Rockwell
- une version modernisée du Piper Aircraft PA-48 Enforcer (un dérivé du Mustang....)
deux vieilles gloires
- AT-6
- Super Tucano
- M346 Aermacchi

Etonnant non ?

Poncho (Admin)
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Whisky Charlie

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Message par Poncho (Admin) le Ven 11 Sep 2009 - 23:09

En fouillant un peu... un autre compétiteur étonnant est :

The Air Tractor AT-802U is now en route from Olney, Texas, to Le Bourget, France, to be unveiled at the Paris Air Show, said Lee Jackson, design engineer.

Featuring an armoured fuselage, a 10hr loiter time and the ability to haul more than 8,000lb of payload, unarmed AT-802Us have been operated by the US State Department in South America since 2002 eradicating drug crops, Jackson said.

Air Tractor is now offering the weaponized AT-802U Air Truck to the US Air Force and other militaries to serve as a a trainer/light attack fighter. After its international debut in Paris, the PT6A-67F-powered turboprop will return to Olney for a series of wepaons and sensor integration trials, he said.

The AT-802U must overcome its stigma as an old-fashioned tail-dragger, but Jackson sees its lack of a tricycle landing gear as an advatange in the irregular warfare role. For lighly trained pilots forced to make hard landings on remote strips, the two main gears offer a great advantage, he said.

The aircraft may find its true niche in an operational setting like Afghanistan, he said. It's an interesting idea. The Afghans need a sturdy trainer and attack fighter. The ability to spray the Taliban's poppy fields might also come in handy.

Le lien vaut le coup d'oeil !

Poncho (Admin)
Poncho (Admin)
Whisky Charlie

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Message par Poncho (Admin) le Ven 11 Sep 2009 - 23:50

Un petit peu plus sur le LAAR


THIS IS A CAPABILITY REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (CRFI) ONLY to identify sources and acquisition options to acquire 100 aircraft in support of a light attack and armed reconnaissance capability. The information provided in the CRFI is subject to change and is not binding on the Government. ASC has not made a commitment to procure any of the items discussed, and release of this CRFI should not be construed as such a commitment or as authorization to incur cost for which reimbursement would be required or sought. All submissions become Government property and will not be returned.


A. Critical Requirements: Fixed-wing aircraft must meet all of the requirements listed below:

Properly certified for day/night visual flight rules/instrument flight rules (VFR/IFR) operations.

Properly certified to meet acquisition requirements and allow for U.S. Military operation. Systems/capability must meet U.S. government releasability / exportability requirements.

Aircraft must support a 450 flight hours per platform, per year, operations tempo with an aircraft availability rate of ninety percent (90%) Mission Capable (MC) for completion of day and night missions under Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC). Platforms must be capable of sustaining an eighty percent (80%) Fully Mission Capable (FMC) rate for the completion of missions under Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), in the environmental conditions expected in Partner Nations (PN) Theatre of Operations (i.e. up to 50-degrees Celsius).

Capable of conducting operations from semi-prepared surfaces (dirt, grass, gravel, etc.).

Capable of operating from an austere, forward operating base without any ground support other than fuel being available for re-fueling operations.

Powerplant(s) capable of burning JP-8 or Jet-A fuel.

Dual, tandem seat with dual controls to facilitate dual use as light attack/armed reconnaissance as well as an advanced trainer. Configuration should be similar to allow full control, to include conducting instrument approaches and landings, from either cockpit for both pilots.

Zero altitude-zero airspeed ejection seats.

Common multi-function display (MFD) cockpit configuration for all aircraft to include Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and Vertical Navigation-certified Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation capability to allow day/night, all-weather instrument flight, especially into airfields which do not possess navigational aids.

Flight visibility: Aircraft must allow a full 270 horizontal degree field of view from the front cockpit field centered on the nose of the aircraft. Minimal obstructions permitted, i.e. window frames, canopy rails, low wing, heads-up display (HUD).

Front cockpit must have a HUD with an air-to-ground system capable of computing and displaying the continuously computed impact point (CCIP), continuously computed release point (CCRP), strafe, and manual weapon aiming computation/release.

Must have a defensive measures package to include a radar warning receiver (RWR), missile approach warning system (MAWS), and chaff and flare dispensers.

Armored cockpits and engine compartment to protect from small arms fire. Self-sealing fuel tanks required.

Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatible cockpits, including lighting and instrumentation.

Air conditioning system capable of cooling the aircraft cockpit and avionics within operational limits for outside temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius to include solar gain.

On-board oxygen generating system (OBOGS).

Flight duration: Aircraft, equipped with external fuel tanks and a common design payload, must fly 5.0 hour sorties plus 30 minutes fuel reserves. Aircraft must have a 900 nautical mile (NM) self-deployment ferry range.

Avionics: IFR capable. Dual Comm with single Nav/ Hobbs meter/ Mode C reporting transponder, Global Positioning System (GPS), audio panel and integral intercom meeting US Military Standard (Mil Std) (compatible with USAF-standard headsets and/or helmets). Must be Instrument Landing System (ILS), Very High Frequency (VHF) Omnidirectional Range (VOR)/Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), and/or GPS approach compatible.

Communications suite shall consist of internal crew intercom and the ability to communicate to Air Traffic Control (ATC) facilities and operational agencies, both line of sight (LOS) and beyond line of sight (BLOS) via voice on: Civil/ Military VHF Voice, Military Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Voice Civil UHF. Able to transmit/receive simultaneously on three (3) radios. The voice communications system shall have the capability to be upgraded to accommodate secure voice communications.

Accommodate pilots 64 inches – 77 inches tall and sitting heights of 34 inches – 40 inches.

Aircraft flight controls: All aircraft flight and fuel controls, and critical/essential circuit breakers must be accessible from front cockpit, with seat belts/shoulder harnesses fastened.

Instrumentation: All aircraft controls and instruments within each cockpit must be visible and accessible from the seat, with seat belts/shoulder harnesses fastened.

Data link ability to provide future capability (LOS required, BLOS desired). Transmit and receive real-time, full-motion video and still imagery. Video downlink capability compatible with Remote Operations Video Enhanced Receiver (ROVER). Variable message format (VMF) digital communications capability compatible with the ground forward air control / joint terminal attack control (FAC/JTAC) systems

Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) subsystems
The desired ISR sensor suite should be capable of providing electro-optical and infrared full motion video and photographs.
Capable of laser designation, laser marking, laser spot tracking, and self-derivation of accurate coordinates.
Capable of allowing post flight download data link as described above.

The aircraft must be capable of employing a variety of air-to-ground weapons and munitions, up to an employment altitude of 10,000 feet AGL, including aerial gunnery, unguided free-fall munitions, precision munitions and battlefield illumination devices. The aircraft must have override capability to disable weapons delivery authority from either cockpit. The aircraft must be capable, but not limited, to the following:

At least four weapons stations, two of which may be used for external fuel.
Carry a minimum of two 500-pound class munitions
Must have a laser designator to employ laser-guided weapons.
Must have the capability to generate coordinates with onboard sensors
Capability to employ aerial gunnery
Capability to employ 2.75 inch rockets
Capability to employ rail launched munitions
Capability to employ overt and covert air-dropped flares (illumination rounds)
Weapons interface databus to integrate current applicable weapons United States DoD inventory

Poncho (Admin)
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Whisky Charlie

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Message par Poncho (Admin) le Ven 11 Sep 2009 - 23:51

La suite

B. Aircraft desired requirements

Infrared (IR) suppression for engine(s)

Anti-ice/de-ice system to allow flight in moderate icing conditions

Sufficient dust and sand filters to be capable of conducting desert environment operations

Aircraft is to have a 30,000 feet operational altitude.

Takeoff within 6000 feet of available runway and meet a 200 ft/nm climb gradient at pressure altitudes up to 6000 feet and temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius with a common design payload at a typical mission weight.

Land within 6000 feet of available runway at pressure altitudes up to 6000’ feet and temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius with a common design payload and the maximum landing weight for the aircraft.

Continuous cruise speed: 180 Knots True Air Speed (KTAS) (minimum) at 10,000 feet density altitude on a standard day and full fuel minus that fuel required to taxi out, take off, and climb to 10,000 feet above ground level (AGL) from sea level with a common design payload and configuration.

Aerobatic capable of performing the following maneuvers with clean configuration (no stores): aileron roll, barrel roll, chandelle, cloverleaf, Cuban eight, Immelman turn, lazy eight, loop, and split-S.

To allow for a shorter logistics trail, all aircraft should be configured to be readily available for use as either a two-seat advanced trainer or a two-seat attack/armed reconnaissance platform with no field level conversion necessary other than loading munitions or stores (see item number A.25 above for munitions/stores).

Whisky Charlie

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Message par jullienaline le Sam 19 Sep 2009 - 19:02

Bonsoir à tous,

Un article décrivant l'AT-6 :

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. and Lockheed Martin are pooling resources and technologies to develop a trainer-cum-combat ready aircraft that may also pull duty for close air support or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Officials from the two companies formally announced the team effort today at the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Symposium in Maryland.
Jim Maslowski, president for U.S. and International Government Business for Hawker Beechcraft, said the two companies began working on the program about 90 days ago.
The Air Force published a request for information in late July for a “light attack and armed reconnaissance” plane for strike, recon and aircraft training in support of irregular warfare. The Air Force would be looking for the plane starting in fiscal 2012, according to the RFI.
Maslowski said the team has filed an RFI and is now waiting to see what happens.
Hawker Beechcraft has been a leader in training aircraft, with its T-6 used around the world.
“We will be providing the platform,” Maslowski said, calling the T-6 airframe that is the basis of the AT-6 LAAR “the most capable and tested trainer program.
“Take that aircraft and ready it with the mission equipment that Lockheed Martin will bring in. And they bring in the mission capability side of it,” he said.
The aircraft, called the AT-6, is intended to be a plane for all seasons.
As a training aircraft it will include tandem seating for trainee and experienced pilot; but it’s also coming with a range of options – light armor, infrared missile warning and countermeasures; a full communications suite that includes secure voice and data, ROVER-compatible full motion video and satellite communications; a complete ISR suite; and weapons integration capabilities to accommodate .50-cal and 20mm guns, laser-guided missiles and rockets, and 250- and 500-lb general delivery, laser guided and GPS-aided bombs.
An AT-6 prototype already has been developed and will be in flight testing through spring of next year, the company said. Meanwhile, the Hawker Beechcraft/Lockheed Martin team is already producing a second prototype that it expects will improve performance and expand the mission capabilities it built into the first one.
US Air Force light attack competition AT-6-laaf


Whisky Charlie

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Message par jullienaline le Mer 21 Oct 2009 - 22:45

Bonsoir à tous,

Le développement de l'AT-6 se poursuit sans encombre.

Hawker Beechcraft Announces Progress in Prototype Production and Flight Testing of AT-6 Light Attack Aircraft

Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) today provided an update on the successful progress of its Beechcraft AT-6 light attack aircraft program. The AT-6 is a structurally strengthened derivative of the highly successful T-6A/B/C – the world’s most proven military trainer aircraft. Development flight testing of the first AT-6 demonstrator aircraft continues at a rapid pace, with preliminary flight envelope investigations and initial integration of an EO/IR sensor completed. In addition, the production of a second AT-6 demonstrator aircraft is moving forward at the company’s headquarters in Wichita, Kan.

“The AT-6 is a U.S.-made solution designed to meet training, light attack and armed reconnaissance needs for irregular warfare and building partner capacity initiatives,” said Jim Maslowski, president, U.S. and International Government Business for HBC. “Like our contribution to Project Liberty, we are listening carefully to the warfighter and, together with our partners at Lockheed Martin, we are creating high-end capabilities in a low-cost, low-risk aircraft.”

The AT-6 is designed to be able to quickly transition pilots between basic flight training missions and complex NetCentric light attack and armed reconnaissance missions. The aircraft will offer the U.S. Air Force and partner nations a robust airpower solution that meets a wide spectrum of needs at a fraction of the cost of other platforms.

The focus of the first AT-6 aircraft is integration of mission systems in conjunction with HBC’s partner, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego. The aircraft is scheduled to complete aerodynamic handling quality and flight envelope expansion tests by late this year, with additional mission system integration and testing to follow. The primary objective of the second prototype aircraft is integration of the new, higher horsepower PT-6A-68/10 engine for improved performance, with initial flight testing to begin in the spring of 2010.


Whisky Charlie

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Message par jullienaline le Dim 13 Déc 2009 - 17:11

Bonjour à tous,

Le programme touche ses premières finances sérieuses pour que 100 exemplaires soient commandés.
L'objectifs est d'avoir un appareil coûtant 1000 $ l'heure de vol.

USAF Receives First Funding for LAAR Aircraft Programme

The US Air Force has received initial funding of $2bn to purchase 100 light attack armed reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft for carrying out asymmetric operations.
The LAAR programme, to be operational in 2013 – a year after the start of initial deliveries – will include propeller-driven aircraft, fitted with hardpoints for light support weapons.
The LAAR aircraft will carry a targeting pod and is capable of independently engaging targets to reduce the sensor-to-shooter timeline.
It will be procured under the OA-X programme and will operate as a forward air controller, with voice, video and data-links, and will reduce operating costs to nearly $1,000 per flying hour.
One or two podded 7.62mm mini-guns, two 500lb (227kg) guided-munitions, 2×0.75in rocket projectiles, and the AGM-114N Hellfire air-to-ground missile will be part of the air-to-ground weapons.
Once in use, the LAAR will operate from austere airfields on five-hour missions over distances of 900nm (1,667km) up to a ceiling of 30,000ft (9,144m).
In charge of the LAAR aircraft programme, the air combat command requires the first 24-aircraft squadron to be ready for combat within two years.
The first operator of the aircraft will be 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.


Whisky Charlie

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Message par jullienaline le Dim 16 Mai 2010 - 22:43

Bonsoir à tous,

Voila que le General Schwartz effectue un revirement au sujet de ce programme !
Lui, l'initiateur de ce programme, dit maintenant que l'USAF n'en a pas vraiment besoin. Juste une quinzaine pour entrainer des pilotes de forces aériennes étrangéres, en particulier l'Irak et l'Afghanistan.

Schwartz Shoots Down COIN Plane

The Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, shot down his own idea of a light attack aircraft for irregular wars today, saying existing aircraft can perform any and all close air support missions that a new, light strike fighter could. On top of that, he averred there is no need for a smaller cargo lifter either, he said.

“There is a not a need, in my view, for large numbers of light strike or light lift aircraft in our Air Force to do general purpose force missions,” Schwartz said, speaking at a Center for National Policy sponsored event in Washington, D.C. “With the platforms that we already have in our force structure, and our capabilities, we can service any close air support requirement. It’s as simple as that.” He could not envision replacing existing F-15, F-16 and A-10 aircraft with a light strike aircraft.

Schwartz did identify an existing capability gap: an aircraft that can be used to train nascent foreign air arms. It should be something in the U.S. Air Force inventory, so that foreign pilots become familiar with it and then foreign nations are encouraged to buy the same aircraft in some quantities.

To that end, in 2012, the Air Force will hold a competition to buy 15 light strike and surveillance aircraft, probably propeller driven, he said. But these aircraft would be used as trainers, to build “partner capacity” with foreign air forces, specifically those in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The idea is a modest cost platform, one that can perform the light strike mission or surveillance, as the case may be, and do so that can be readily assimilated and operated within the means of our army air corps counterparts.”

Last summer, the Air Force requested aircraft manufacturers provide designs for a Light Attack Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft. Many had speculated this meant the Air Force would be adding a LAAR air wing. Schwartz made clear that is not the case. The LAAR aircraft will be used as trainers, owned and operated by the Air Force, to train foreign pilots in low end missions.

In March, Joint Forces Command’s Gen. James Mattis, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, that the military needs a light fighter for irregular warfare. “Today’s approach of loitering multi-million dollar aircraft and using a system of systems procedure for the approval and employment of airpower is not the most effective use of aviation fires in this irregular fight,” he said.

A recent RAND report, titled “Courses of Action for Enhancing U.S. Air Force Irregular Warfare Capabilities,” said the service should stand up a dedicated COIN air wing equipped with about 100 of the currently undefined “OA-X” light attack aircraft. Such an aircraft would greatly facilitate partnering with Iraqi and Afghan aviators, while lowering the costs and reducing excessive flying hour demands for high-performance aircraft such as the F-16.

Additionally, as “partners are more likely to want aircraft that U.S. forces are flying to great effect,” building and operating a COIN aircraft would simultaneously boost support for ground troops while “whetting the appetite of partners who are prematurely looking to acquire high-performance jet aircraft such as the F-16.”

The U.S. Navy’s new Irregular Warfare office, under its “Imminent Fury” project, has been eyeing the Brazilian Super Tucano turboprop to provide close air support to special operations forces.


Poncho (Admin)
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Whisky Charlie

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Message par Poncho (Admin) le Lun 17 Mai 2010 - 9:32

J'ai un peu plus de détail dans le AIRInternational de ce mois dès que j'aurais un peu de temps.

A priori :

l'AT6b jugé trop imparfait car trop entrainement
le supertucano jugé très adapté, mais pas américain...

Revenir à une version "entrainement" pointe donc sur l'AT6

Bonne journée

Whisky Charlie

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Message par jullienaline le Ven 15 Oct 2010 - 22:54

Bonsoir à tous,

Où on reparle de ce programme en terme d'économie. Inutile de faire voler un F-16 et dans peu d'années un F-35 pour une mission CAS au-dessus d'un théatre comme l'Afghanistan.
Pour cela, prenons un AT-6, insérons lui des systèmes provenant du A-10 et d'autres du F-16, accessoirement une gueule de requin, et testons le tout dans une mission CAS.
Apparemment les pilotes testeurs sont très satisfaits.

USAF test center fuses old, new technology for light attack

US Air Force light attack competition 014dd5587b302b88df9ee490d49fe3f52d4a53e7_big

Test pilots and engineers here are learning what happens when high-tech systems are combined with low-tech airframes for a new, cost effective, light-attack aircraft.

Light attack, a revitalized concept in the Air Force, addresses the need for an airplane that offers surveillance as well as strike capabilities and walks the line between remotely piloted aircraft and high-performance fighters.

In appearance, Hawker Beechcraft AT-6Cs resemble the fighters of yesteryear with single engine propellers and shark-face nose art. They are, in actuality, one possible candidate for Air Force light attack aircraft and the latest project for Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center officials based at Tucson International Airport.

Lt. Col. Keith Colmer, a developmental test pilot and director of engineering for AATC, deployed to Iraq in early 2008, where he flew numerous close air support missions in F-16 Fighting Falcons.

During more than 100 combat hours, he served as an eye in the sky for Army elements but he said he rarely engaged the enemy on their behalf.

"Right now we are paying a high cost to fly an F-16 in terms of fuel and wear and tear for missions that don't require the full capabilities of the airplane," said Colonel Colmer, who leads AATC's light-attack program. "With fourth generation fighters nearing the end of their service life, a light-attack platform could take on these kinds of missions and lighten the load."

The test center, which conducts operational tests on behalf of the Reserve, is manned by a team of active-duty, Guard, Reserve, civilian and contractor members who field low-cost, low-risk, off-the-shelf improvements for aircraft and weapons systems.

Officials said the center's unique efficiency is perfect for building and evaluating a light-attack aircraft.

"In keeping with our '80 percent of the capability for 20 percent of the cost' motto, we took existing technology from the A-10 (Thunderbolt II) and F-16 and inserted it in the AT-6," Colonel Colmer said.

Mounted next to the AT-6's manual flight controls, levers, cables and pulleys are mission computers, situational awareness data links, radios, helmet-mounted cueing systems, hands-on stick and throttles, threat countermeasures and armament pylons typically found on current fighter and attack aircraft.

"We learned a lot from initial testing earlier this year and made several adjustments," Colonel Colmer said. "The testing this month is about bringing in testers from around the Air Force; A-10 and F-16 pilots from Edwards (Air Force Base, Calif.), Nellis (AFB, Nev.), and Eglin (AFB, Fla.)"

"Overall, pilots are coming back after flying it excited about light attack," Colonel Colmer said. "They're enjoying the sorties and the aircraft's capabilities. Almost everyone has a list of things they would like to change, but that's what we expected. Now we'll take their input and make it a better aircraft."

Maj. Jesse Smith, an A-10 pilot from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, flew the modified AT-6 during a simulated combat search and rescue sortie Oct. 7.

"It's easy to handle," Major Smith said. "They took some of the systems and avionics from the A-10, so that made it easier for me to step in. Based on the scenario we had today, we were able to go out and execute."

"It's not the answer for everything, but if you look at what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's a good concept that can save money."

To buy and operate a light-attack aircraft costs pennies on the dollar compared to an A-10 or F-16.

For the A-10 or F-16, the cost per flying hour is around 15,000 to 17,000 dollars for fuel and maintenance.

Test center officials say the AT-6 is currently running at about 600 dollars per hour.

Though light attack is not viewed as a replacement for jets, Airmen here are finding out that the two-seat turboprop can fill a number of roles.

Pilots are examining the AT-6 as a companion trainer to give them a firsthand look at close air support from the air.

Combat controllers and tactical air control party members are also evaluating the aircraft as a possible trainer.

"Right now in the (joint terminal attack control) community, there are not enough sorties to keep them trained," Colonel Colmer said. "One thought is that this type of aircraft could be based with their units so they could get more practice with controlling an aircraft that adequately replicates an A-10 or F-16. They could even fly more often to gain a sense of a pilot's perspective."

In domestic operations it could support border security, counter drug and homeland defense.

For state missions, during fires, floods or other disasters, it could use sensors to map out an area for responders.

Additionally, officials believe a light-attack platform can help build partner nation air forces that lack the funding and the need for jet-powered aircraft.

"It's exciting to be a proponent for light attack in this early stage when the possibilities seem endless and we can demonstrate what one of these airplanes could do," said Colonel Colmer, who emphasized that light attack is not yet a procurement program.

Usually, testing occurs after an aircraft is purchased. In this case, Colonel Colmer and his team have a unique opportunity to help develop and refine a set of technologies and weapons for a light-attack airplane and give decision makers a clear picture before they buy a platform.

"For the last 18 months, we've been working on requirements and technologies to integrate on the aircraft," Colonel Colmer said. "Future iterations of tests will integrate Hellfire missiles, Aim 9 Sidewinders and various other weapons."


Poncho (Admin)
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Whisky Charlie

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Message par Poncho (Admin) le Ven 15 Oct 2010 - 22:59

Ils devraient ressortir le skyraider Wink
En plus lui il abat aussi des miGs
On revient aux hélices n'est ce pas ?


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