Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 Successfully Demonstrates Irregular Warfare Capabilities during JEFX

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Hawker Beechcraft Corporation’s (HBC) new Beechcraft AT-6 Light Attack and Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) production ready test vehicle earned perfect marks during its recent participation in the United States Air Force’s Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment (JEFX). During the two-week exercise from April 12-23 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, the AT-6 demonstrated its capabilities in a wide variety of irregular warfare operational scenarios. The AT-6 is making its first public appearance this week at HBC’s static display at the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough International Airshow in the United Kingdom.

“With its full mission system installed, the AT-6 aircraft met 100 percent of the mission sensor and communications objectives set by the USAF for the JEFX 2010 event,” said Jim Maslowski, HBC president, U.S. and International Government Business. “Both the AT-6 and a T-6C took part in the exercise, flying a total of 24 sorties to demonstrate their capabilities and readiness. They achieved 100 percent fully mission capable rates and completed the entire program with zero maintenance actions. The AT-6’s performance was termed ‘remarkable’ and graded ‘GREEN’ on all of its objectives in the Direct Action Fire Support, to include highly sophisticated digital CAS missions, FAC-A roles, and in Building Partnership Capacity scenarios.”

The objectives of JEFX were to take identified gaps in current combat capabilities and demonstrate and assess possible innovations to fill those gaps. The involvement of the AT-6 in the exercise was sponsored by the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command Test Center.

The AT-6 displayed its versatility in a variety of flight regimes by demonstrating the following:

  • High resolution sensor and targeting capabilities that enable precision geolocation and precision engagement capabilities tailored for LAAR aircraft;
  • Compatibility and interoperability with fielded combat capabilities that include currently fielded Joint Terminal Attack Controller ground and tactical aircraft airborne systems;
  • Digitally-aided Close Air Support irregular warfare operations in a live-fly combat-representation scenario;
  • Austere takeoff and landing operations and compatibility with a Special Operations MC-130 Talon II, including dry hookup refueling and rearming operations;
  • Long-duration sorties in a combat-representative environment, completing three hour minimum on-station assignments while providing necessary top cover for ground forces; and
  • High reliability and low operating costs by requiring zero non-recurring maintenance and using only 15,640 pounds of fuel for both aircraft for the entire two-week period as compared to an F-16’s fuel use of 16,500 pounds and an A-10’s use of 9,000 pounds of fuel for each 3-hour on-station assignment.

The AT-6 draws its heritage from HBC’s T-6 A/B Texan trainer aircraft. Designed to provide close air support and meet the demands of the irregular warfare environment, the AT-6 is outfitted with a more powerful engine, a variety of self-protection mechanisms, multiple secure communications functions and advanced intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

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. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.

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