AT-6 Texan II Light Attack/Recon A/C

Discussion in 'Modern' started by mkloby, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Read an interesting article in the Air Force times today - but can't find anything on the web regarding the AT-6 Texan II. The AF has been slammed by many on its tendency to view conflicts in which the AF plays a supporting role as less important, as well as their value of technology and equipment over all else, including tactics and doctrine. I'm not sure I agree with that, not to the extent the article ridiculed the USAF anyway. However, the AF is going to begin using AT-6 Texan II's in the LA/Recon roles for counterinsurgency operations.

    I didn't get to fly the T-6, but she's a damn fine craft. She can carry a decent payload - I saw two hellfires on port outboard stations, some sort of precision guided bomb on the inboards, and on the starboard outboard station looked to be a 2.75" rocket pod.

    A major benefit is the lower operating cost of the light, small turboprop A/C, as opposed to the larger turbofan jets. While her payload is not as large as Longbows or new Cobras - she can haul it much further and faster. Raytheon also included armoring of the cockpit and engine compartment for protection.

    Top US Army officials have reportely expressed interest in this aircraft as a tank buster - but I'm sure that's going to get pretty political, being a fixed wing attack A/C.

    This is a major change in direction for the USAF, if indeed to do continue down this road and stand up AT-6 Squadrons. There is also buzz about its export potential. It's lower unit cost, as well as operating costs, will make it attractive to smaller nations, rather than considering the F-5 Tiger II, which has enjoyed export success, but her costs often consume the smaller nations that attempt to stand up squadrons of Tigers.

    From baseops.net:
     

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  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Every so often one shows up at the Academy. Great machine, wish I could borrow one for the weekend!
     
  3. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    As you know - I just missed them and I flew T-34Cs. I think sometime next year Whiting should be transitioned to the T-6s, VT-3 Red Knights leading the move!

    For some reason they transitioned the navigator/RIO/WSO/NFO program over to T-6's before the pilots! Damn 1,100hp is a LOT :shock:
     
  4. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    It looks like a fine aircraft but I would worry about using it as a combat aircraft. It isn't that fast and even if you armour it it will be limited in the amount of damage it can take.

    If you want a cheaper strike aircraft then I would suggest going for something like a Hawk 2000 single seat version of the two seat trainer. Most jet trainers have or can easily be converted to have, a single seat version. When your operating in an environment where you control the sky then its limited air to air isn't really an issue. Plus they carry a good payload and the speed to evade ground fire.
     
  5. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    looks to be much in the same catagory in the Tucano, a training aircraft with the ability to carry weaponry, they'd only ever be used by a western nation in a dire situation, they'd be fine for developing nations to use as combat aircraft as they wont get much airial opposition, just the trusty AK-47 from troops on the ground..........
     
  6. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Sweet looking bird. Definitely wouldn't mind taking it out for a spin...or two.
     
  7. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Lanc - would you believe that the AF is also considering that exact plane as the other alternative for the light attack/recon. Good on you!
     
  8. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I don't know what that A/C stall speed is - but the ability to fly at slow speed and loiter abilities is precisely what they ARE after.
     
  9. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Interestinly the Pilutas PC-9 (I believe the Texan II is a license built version of this a/c?) which is used by the RAAF is, apart from its training role, used in the FAC role. I'm not sure if it's only for training or not but they sure do look the part!
     

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  10. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Yup - modified by Beech and marketed by Raytheon, who owns them.
     
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