|Hawker Beechcraft AT-6
The Navy recently shifted over $17 million into the Combat Dragon II program, designed to prove that a small, turboprop-driven aircraft can be used for "high end/special aviation" missions in Afghanistan.I was describing the old A-1D "Spad" and wondering if the Air Force
The program was driven by the need coming out of from Central Command to have aircraft do close air support missions that larger fighters and bombers could not do, specifically in support of Naval Special Warfare units.
|Two Skyraiders looking for trouble (U.S. Navy photo)
Today, 100 percent of United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Navy (USN) student pilots train in a Hawker Beechcraft aircraft. Also, Hawker Beechcraft has been meeting the needs of over 50 foreign military nations around the world with trainer, weaponized trainer and special mission aircraft.
The Beechcraft AT 6 incorporates the very best of proven training methods and close air support capability to meet light attack and armed reconnaissance requirements. AT-6 capabilities cover a wide-mission spectrum that includes training, manned Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and light precision attack, while at the same time offering non-traditional capabilities for homeland defense and civil support missions.
Now upgraded with a more powerful 1600 Shaft Horsepower Pratt and Whitney PT6A-68D engine, the AT-6 is a structurally strengthened derivative of the proven Beechcraft T-6 trainer. Adding to the FAA approved primary flight avionics system by CMC Esterline, Lockheed Martin leveraged A-10C precision engagement modification capabilities in integrating the mission avionics of the AT-6. The result is a plug-and-play mission system architecture that combines state-of-the-art data link, combat communications capabilities, extensive variety of weapons delivery modes and precision weapons tailored for the AT-6.
|Embraer Super Tucano
Embraer spared no effort in providing the Super Tucano with an Armament System that incorporates state-of-the-art technology.They both look good. I wonder if they can land on an amphib?
The Super Tucano is designed to carry a fighter's typical array of weapons - either smart or conventional. Its armament line-up is fully integrated with its avionics system and may be fitted with most advanced ordnance and sensors.
The aircraft features two .50" machine guns (200 rounds each) in the wings. Five hard points under the wing and fuselage allow up to 1,500 kg of weapons for most configurations. The aircraft's inboard stations, as well as its ventral one, are "wet" for underwing fuel tanks.
In addition to its two internal machine guns, the Super Tucano can be configured with additional underwing armament stations, such as two 20mm gun pods or .50" machine guns, thereby significantly increasing its firepower for missions requiring air-ground saturation.
Outboard stations allow the loading and firing of short-range air-air missiles of the AIM-9X class.
All stations can be loaded with the Mk 81 or Mk 82 (conventional or smart) bombs, SBAT-70/19, LAU-68 A/G Missile Launchers or MLB Bombs.
Photo of the Skyraiders (what a great name!) from The A-1 Skyraider Association