Stiff Upper Lip and a Steady Aim

Testers at Eglin AFB, Fla., successfully fired laser-guided rockets from a Hawker Beechcraft AT-6, announced the company. With these tests, “the AT-6 became the very first fixed-wing aircraft to launch a laser-guided rocket,” according to the company’s release. Derek Hess, the company’s light attack program director, characterized the tests as “a big milestone in the future of Hawker Beechcraft’s light attack program.” Guided by laser illuminators on the aircraft or on the ground, the 2.75-inch rockets struck their targets at a range of roughly three nautical miles, according to the company. These tests were part of the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Test Center’s congressionally funded evaluation of experimental weapons on the AT-6. These trials are separate from the AT-6 workouts that the Air Force conducted as part of its Light Attack Support competition. The Sierra Nevada-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano beat out the AT-6 for the LAS contract, but Hawker Beechcraft is challenging the Air Force in federal court over its exclusion.