US Air Force receives first AT-6 Wolverine multi-role turboprop

USAF receives first AT6
First AT-6E Wolverine multi-role turboprop delivered to USAF. The aircraft received
a rare camouflage scheme.

The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center announced Wednesday the delivery of the first Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft to the US Air Force. It is the first of two AT-6s that the Service has procured from Textron Aviation Defense under a $ 70.2 million contract signed in March 2020.

According to Textron, the aircraft will be deployed "in support of Air Combat Command’s (ACC) development of operational tactics and standards for exportable, tactical networks that improve interoperability with international partners."

This acquisition enables the U.S. Air Force to leverage a commercial off-the-shelf, non-developmental integrated weapons system to equip a multi-national coalition with a common system that meets a wide array of training and operational requirements.

"Our focus is on how a light attack aircraft can help our allies and partners as they confront violent extremism and conduct operations within their borders," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein in a previous U.S. Air Force press release. "Continuing this experiment, using the authorities Congress has provided, gives us the opportunity to put a small number of aircraft through the paces and work with partner nations on ways in which smaller, affordable aircraft like these can support their air forces."

ACC will experiment with the AT-6 to further examine the ways in which a common architecture and intelligence-sharing network will connect platforms, sensors and weapons and deliver a digital network for light attack aircraft.

"The U.S. Air Force and Navy flew the AT-6 during the Light Attack experiment, putting its combat-proven A-10 mission computer, Wescam MX-15 EO/IR sensor, Airborne Extensible Relay Over-Horizon Network (AERONet) and other capabilities to work, employing a substantial amount of ordnance, demonstrating aircrew re-fueling and re-arming at the Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP) and conducting other activities in support of experiment objectives. The AT-6 met all of the experiment’s standards and proved itself as a high performance, austere field-capable aircraft that delivers unparalleled mission capability, deployability and sustainability," said Brett Pierson, vice president of Defense Strategy and Sales at Textron.

USAF receives first AT6

USAF receives first AT6

Photo Credit: Brett Schauf via AFLCMC

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