Hawker Beechcraft, Lockheed Martin Team to Compete for U.S. Air Force Light Attack and Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] have teamed to compete for the opportunity to provide a low-cost, low-risk solution to address U.S. Air Force (USAF) needs for a Light Attack and Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft. The USAF is expected to launch an acquisition program in fiscal year 2010.
HBC, based in Wichita, Kan., will be prime contractor and Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, NY, will be the mission systems integrator for the Beechcraft AT-6 LAAR aircraft. The AT-6 will be a product of the combined heritage and expertise of the two companies, leveraging the existing worldwide fleet of Hawker Beechcraft T-6 aircraft that recently passed the one million flying hour milestone, with the proven missions systems integration expertise of Lockheed Martin.
“This teaming agreement marks a big step forward in working to meet the Air Force’s emerging Irregular Warfare needs,” said Hawker Beechcraft Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture. ”By teaming with Lockheed Martin, we will deliver an AT-6 LAAR aircraft that meets the training and light attack capabilities the Air Force needs in one flexible platform. The AT-6 is a low-risk, low-cost solution that complements existing combat aircraft capabilities and will contribute to the Air Force’s building partner capacity initiatives around the world.”
“The Hawker Beechcraft and Lockheed Martin team bring together the best of both worlds: a proven platform and a proven mission system integration capability,” said Marillyn Hewson, president of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego. “Together, we have a strong offering that will deliver a needed light attack capability requested by the warfighter.”
The AT-6 incorporates the very best of proven training and close air support capability to meet expected LAAR requirements. The aircraft covers a wide mission spectrum that includes training, manned Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and light precision attack, while also offering non-traditional capabilities for Homeland Defense and Civil Support missions. The AT-6 has tremendous commonality between the USAF T-6A and the U.S. Navy (USN) T-6B, and Lockheed Martin-developed missions systems avionics commonality with the combat-tested A-10C.
Last week, production began on a second AT-6 prototype, designed to both improve performance and expand mission capabilities over the first AT-6 prototype, which is currently in flight testing through spring 2010.
HBC has been meeting the needs of U.S. and foreign military customers around the world with trainer, weaponized trainer and special mission aircraft, which are currently in service in more than 50 nations. Today, all USAF and USN student pilots train in a Hawker Beechcraft aircraft. Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego is a world leader in mission systems integration on multiple platforms, including the A-10C Precision Engagement modification program, which provides an innovative government industry teamwork approach and combat-proven precision strike capability.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. The company reported 2008 net sales of $3.5 billion.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.