The AT-6E is a turboprop light attack/armed reconnaissance aircraft developed from the T-6 primary trainer.
Wolverine incorporates the A-10C’s mission computer, the F-16’s Hands-On-Throttle Stick, HMCS, and a digital glass cockpit with three color MFDs for integrated navigation, sensor, and weapon’s management/delivery. The aircraft can carry a wide array of air-to-ground weapons on six wing pylons in addition to a centerline-mounted MX-15D EO/IR sensor for targeting and tactical ISR.
The AT-6 is equipped with LINK-16/SADL data links, real-time FMV/ROVER for integration with ground forces, and tactical VHF/UHF/SATCOMS. The type was originally proposed for USAF’s Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) requirement which fell prey to budget cuts a decade ago.
The service launched a renewed effort in 2017, kicking off the Light Attack Experiment (OA-X) which evaluated rapidly procurable off-the-shelf CAS/ISR platforms to relieve pressure on existing fleets. USAF opted to procure two AT-6 Wolverines (in addition to an equal number of AFSOC A-29 Super Tucanos) to continue experimentation with a rapidly procurable, exportable, light CAS/ISR aircraft following the end of phase two trials in 2018.
The AT-6s will continue that effort, moving to Nellis to develop secure-tactical networking for U.S./ partner-nation COIN integration dubbed “AEROnet.” The first aircraft was handed over to USAF on Feb. 17, for joint-industry/USAF airworthiness certification and testing with Beechcraft in Wichita.
Contractor: : Beechcraft/Textron Aviation Defense (formerly Raytheon); Lockheed Martin (mission systems), Esterline (glass cockpit), L3/Harris (sensors).
First Flight: Sep. 10, 2009 (AT-6).
Delivered: Feb. 17, 2021-present.
Production: Three (planned).
Aircraft Location: Wichita, Kan. Planned: Nellis.
Active Variants: •AT-6E Wolverine. Light attack/armed reconnaissance variant of the T-6A.
Dimensions: Span 33.5 ft, length 33.4 ft, height 10.7 ft.
Weight: T-O 10,000 lb.
Power Plant: One Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68D turboprop 1,600 shp
Performance: Speed 360 mph, range 1,700 miles (with four external tanks), mission endurance 4.5 hr (7.5 hr ferry).
Ceiling: 31,000 ft.
Armament: Wide-array of laser/inertial-guided PGMs as well as laserguided rockets (APKWS), AGM-114 Hellfire, and/or .50 cal gun on six wing-mounted hardpoints.
Accommodation : Two pilots on Martin Baker MK16LA zero/zero ejection seats.