AT-6 featured by 146th ASOS
By Airman 1st Class Brigette Waltermire, 137 ARW
/ Published September 18, 2014
WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Oklahoma City -- The 146th Air Support Operation Squadron held a tour for demonstration of AT-6 capabilities at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City Sept. 18.
The Beechcraft Contract Close Air Support Platform was here to demonstrate how it can be used in conjunction with the ASOS mission.
"We were looking for a cheaper way to fulfill training requirements with something that's completely dedicated to the unit," said Lt. Col. James Waltermire, commander of the 146th ASOS.
The aircraft is based on the original T-6 design. Pilot Ben Griffith, the program executive for Beechcraft Light Attack Programs, said that the plane is more durable and sustainable.
Its turbo prop is better for air intake than jet engines because debris from air intake gets pushed out by the inertial separator before it goes into the turbine.It is 85% similar to the primary trainer for the Air Force, which allows for continuity through sustainable parts and maintenance. Beechcraft has built three AT-6s and partnered with multiple military ground units as part of joint training efforts to display the capability of light attack (AT), Griffith said.
Its sensor integration mission system is comparable to a 4th generation fighter like the A-10 or the F-16. Griffith said its weapon capabilities run the full spectrum.
"We can do anything from traditional dumb bombs like the MK-82 up to GPS guided munitions," he said. "It can carry up to a 500-pound bomb."
The maximum weight of the aircraft is 10,000 pounds. The aircraft can carry 1,200 pounds of internal fuel, and add up to four external wing tanks at 400 pounds each.
The plane can sustain four hours of loiter time when equipped with two external fuel tanks, two GBU-58 (laser-guided bombs) that weigh 250 pounds and two LOW 131-7 (2.75 inch rockets).