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AT-6B Light Attack Aircraft / Trainer, United States of America

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The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (which became Hawker Beechcraft and is now Beechcraft Corporation). Based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 has replaced the Air Force’s Cessna T-37B Tweet and the Navy’s T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training and by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps for Primary and Intermediate Naval Flight Officer (NFO) training. The T-6A is also used as a basic trainer by the Royal Canadian Air Force (CT-156 Harvard II), the Greek Air Force, the Israeli Air Force (Efroni), and the Iraqi Air Force. The T-6B is primary trainer for U.S. Student Naval Aviators. The T-6C is used for training by the Royal Moroccan Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Mexican Air Force.

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Through the addition of open architecture avionics, state-of-the-art sensors, datalinks, cockpit and aircraft protection components and various weapons capabilities to the proven training platform, the Beechcraft AT-6B provides multimission capability on a low-cost platform.

The multirole, multimission system is designed for net-centric intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and light precision attack missions.

Beechcraft_AT-6_-_RIAT_2010_(4831973320)

The AT-6 design allows for advanced training with weapons delivery capabilities and the ability to conduct actual operational missions with the same platform.

AT-6 trainer mission roles

As well as being an initial trainer, the multirole AT-6 will be capable of performing missions including: net-centric ISR with the ability for precise geo-registration, streaming video and datalinks, light attack including combat search and rescue (CSAR), close air support, forward air control and convoy escort, homeland defence (border security), port security, counter-narcotics operations and civil missions such as disaster area reconnaissance, search and rescue and firefighting.

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Cockpit of the AT-6B light attack aircraft / trainer

The Beechcraft AT-6 is integrated with CMC Electronics’ glass Cockpit 4000 avionics suite and has the same cockpit design as that of the T-6B. The open, flexible and redundant architecture offers an integrated approach for cockpit and weapon system management.

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The avionics suite includes primary flight, engine and navigation displays, flight management systems, global positioning systems, head-up displays, navigation and mission processors, multifunction displays and control panels.

There are tandem HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) controls fore and aft for pilot and instructor.

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AT-6B avionics

The AT-6B fully integrated avionics system uses two powerful mission computers to control weapons deliveries and other mission related functions. Integrated navigation and mission data is displayed on the large, 25° total field of view (TFOV) head-up display (HUD) and on three high-fidelity 5in×7in multifunction displays (MFDs).

Cockpit4000Architecture

Weapon systems

The AT-6B is equipped with a sensor suite that can include a variety of electro-optical, infra-red, laser and hyper-spectral sensors, for example the Wescam MX-15Di. The Boeing joint helmet-mounted cueing system, in service with the USAF and the US Navy, can be fitted for targeting.

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There are six wing-mounted hardpoints for stores. With its MIL-STD 1760 smart weapons interface, the AT-6 can be armed with a variety of weapons including 0.50 calibre machine gun pods, air-to-ground missiles like Hellfire and Maverick, AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, munitions including Paveway II / enhanced Paveway II / Paveway IV guided bombs, joint direct attack munition (JDAM), small diameter bombs (SDB) and 2.75 in rocket pods.

0.50 calibre machine gun podsAir-to-ground missiles like HellfireAir-to-ground missiles MaverickPaveway II / enhanced Paveway II guided bombs Paveway IV guided bombsJoint direct attack munition (JDAM)Small diameter bombs (SDB)2.75 in rocket podsEVG_1987

In September 2011, Raytheon unveiled its plans to incorporate Griffin missiles on the AT-6 to provide the warfighter with persistent surveillance and low collateral damage during counterinsurgency and irregular warfare missions.

griffin_stmGriffin missiles

Griffin is an air and ground launched precision guided missile which enables the AT-6 to lock targets through a simple graphic user interface.

Self-protection systems and armour

The AT-6 is fitted with cockpit and engine armour for increased aircraft protection.

An infra-red countermeasures suite can include the AN/AAR-47 missile approach warning system and ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser system.

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Operators

  Canada
 Greece
 Iraq
 Israel
 Mexico
 Morocco
 New Zealand
 United Kingdom
 United States

Specifications (T-6A)

Data from Global Security, USAF and USN

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m)
  • Wingspan: 33 ft 5 in (10.19 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 8 in (3.25 m)
  • Wing area: 177.5 sq ft (16.49 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 6.29:1
  • Empty weight: 4,707 lb (2,135 kg)
  • Gross weight: 6,300 lb (2,858 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 6,500 lb (2,948 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 149.0 Imp gal (677.5 liters, 1200lbs)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68 turboprop, 1,100 shp (820 kW)
  • Propellers: 4-bladed Hartzell Propeller

Performance

  • Cruise speed: 320 mph (278 kn; 515 km/h)
  • Never exceed speed: 364 mph (316 kn; 586 km/h)
  • Range: 1,036 mi; 1,667 km (900 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 31,000 ft (9,449 m)
  • G limits: +7.0g -3.5g

Estimated cost: USD 4.27 million (wiki)

Source: airforce-technology.com, wiki

Updated Nov 10, 2016

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pt6a_67_qld_pPratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68 turboprop, 1,100 shp (820 kW)

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Comparison between AT-6 and A-29 Super Tucano

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