The Buzz

The U.S. Air Force's New Light Attack Aircraft Could Have Some Amazing Killer Weapons

US-trained pilots with the Afghan Air Force have been attacking the Taliban with A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.

A-29s are turboprop planes armed with one 20mm cannon below the fuselage able to shoot 650 rounds per minute, one 12.7mm machine gun (FN Herstal) under each wing and up to four 7.62mm Dillion Aero M134 Miniguns able to shoot up to 3,000 rounds per minute.

Super Tucanos are also equipped with 70mm rockets, air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-9L Sidewinder, air-to-ground weapons such as the AGM-65 Maverick and precision-guided bombs. It can also use a laser rangefinder and laser-guided weapons.

The Super Tucano is a highly maneuverable light attack aircraft able to operate in high temperatures and rugged terrain. It is 11.38 meters long and has a wingspan of 11.14 meters; its maximum take-off weight is 5,400 kilograms. The aircraft has a combat radius of 300 nautical miles, can reach speeds up to 367 mph and hits ranges up to 720 nautical miles.

Textron Scorpion Jet

This emerging commercially constructed aircraft had its first successful flight in December of last year. Prior to this, the Scorpion successfully fired Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rockets and AGM-114F Hellfire. The weapons were guided to their targets using first a ground-based laser designator system and then an airborne laser on the Scorpion‘s L-3 WESCAM’s MX-15Di sensor suite, a Textron statement said.

Textron has also announced Garmin as the avionics provider for the enhanced Scorpion. Textron information states that the newly configured G3000 avionics system include a large, high-definition display complemented by two high-definition touch-screen controllers and provides more mission capability in the forward cockpit position, additional navigation capability in the rear cockpit position and overall weight savings for improved performance as a multi-mission aircraft.

In addition, changes to the Scorpion airframe include four degrees of sweep to the wings, an enhanced aft horizontal stabilizer for improved high-speed performance, a simplified landing gear design, a next-generation Heads Up Display and hands-on throttle and stick controls, Textron data states.

Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 Light Attack

The AT-6 is a multi-role light attack aircraft. It uses a Lockheed A-10C mission computer and a CMC Esterline glass cockpit with flight management systems combined with an L3 Wescam MX-Ha15Di multi-sensor suite which provides color and IR sensors, laser designation technology and a laser rangefinder

This first appeared in Scout Warrior here.
Image: Textron. 

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