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  • Lockheed Martin Beefs Up AT-6 Bid
    Posted by Graham Warwick 6:30 PM on Sep 16, 2009

    All those of you who, on seeing Hawker Beechcraft's prototype AT-6, cried out for more power than the 1,100shp PT6A in the basic T-6 trainer, breathe easier. The AT-6 that will be proposed for the US Air Force's Light Attack Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) requirement, if it becomes a program, will have 1,600 shaft horses under the hood.

    blog post photo
    Artwork: Hawker Beechcraft

    In fact, it will have the same more-powerful PT6A-68 on the nose as its major rival for LAAR, the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano. And, as detailed here at AFA by Hawker Beechcraft and new team-mate Lockheed Martin, the AT-6 will be more serious fighting machine than perhaps was first envisioned.

    In additon to the bigger engine, the aircraft will get the mission system from the upgraded A-10C, with satcom, datalinks, full-motion-video downlink, missile warning, countermeasures, armor and fuel-tank protection. A high-definition color EO/IR sensor with laser designator will be carried on a hardpoint under the fuselage and six underwing stations will carry gun and rocket pods, 250lb or 500lb precision-guided bombs,  Hellfire missiles and guided rockets.

    The aircraft is being developed in steps. An avionics prototype, AT-1, is flying now with the CMC Electronics digital cockpit avionics and displays. This will be modified towards year-end to integrate and test tle Lockheed Martin mission system. Work has started on a second prototype, AT-2, that will have the big engine and other changes.

    blog post photo
    Artwork: Hawker Beechcraft

    The Embraer folks at AFA were quick to point out that the EMB-314 doesn't need any changes, other than specific equipment, to meet the LAAR requirement. The Super Tucano was designed from the outset as a light-attack/armed-reconnaissance/advanced trainer and has the big engine, ISR ball and even .50-cal guns in the wing.

    I look forward to the fly-off...

    Tags: ar99, afa09, AT-6, LAAR

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