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News

Lockheed Martin and Hawker Beechcraft team up for USAF LAAR aircraft


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Lockheed Martin
: 16 September, 2009  (Company News)
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation and Lockheed Martin have teamed to compete for the opportunity to provide a low-cost, low-risk solution to address U.S. Air Force (USAF) needs for a Light Attack and Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft. The USAF is expected to launch an acquisition program in fiscal year 2010.
HBC, based in Wichita, Kan., will be prime contractor and Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, NY, will be the mission systems integrator for the Beechcraft AT-6 LAAR aircraft. The AT6 will be a product of the combined heritage and expertise of the two companies, leveraging the existing worldwide fleet of Hawker Beechcraft T6 aircraft that recently passed the one million flying hour milestone, with the proven missions systems integration expertise of Lockheed Martin.

'This teaming agreement marks a big step forward in working to meet the Air Force's emerging Irregular Warfare needs,' said Hawker Beechcraft Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture. 'By teaming with Lockheed Martin, we will deliver an AT-6 LAAR aircraft that meets the training and light attack capabilities the Air Force needs in one flexible platform. The AT-6 is a low-risk, low-cost solution that complements existing combat aircraft capabilities and will contribute to the Air Force's building partner capacity initiatives around the world.'

'The Hawker Beechcraft and Lockheed Martin team bring together the best of both worlds: a proven platform and a proven mission system integration capability,' said Marillyn Hewson, president of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego. 'Together, we have a strong offering that will deliver a needed light attack capability requested by the warfighter.'

The AT6 incorporates the very best of proven training and close air support capability to meet expected LAAR requirements. The aircraft covers a wide mission spectrum that includes training, manned Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and light precision attack, while also offering non-traditional capabilities for Homeland Defense and Civil Support missions. The AT-6 has tremendous commonality between the USAF T-6A and the U.S. Navy (USN) T6B, and Lockheed Martin-developed missions systems Avionics commonality with the combat-tested A10C.

Last week, production began on a second AT-6 prototype, designed to both improve performance and expand mission capabilities over the first AT-6 prototype, which is currently in flight testing through spring 2010.

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