Oh goody, the Chair Force has itself a new platform to use in hunting down MAGA types.
The U.S. Air Force has taken delivery of its first Beechcraft AT-6E Wolverine single-engine turboprop light attack aircraft. The service has said in the past that it could acquire up to three of these aircraft to support a program called the Airborne Extensible Relay Over-Horizon Network, or AEROnet, focused on developing a low-cost communications and data-sharing architecture to help allies and partners work together better during coalition operations.
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, announced the arrival of the AT-6E on Feb. 17, 2021. The AT-6E is a variant of the T-6 Texan II trainer from Beechcraft, a division of Textron, configured for light attack and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The Air Force, as well as the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army, already operate unarmed versions of the Texan II.
The most immediately visible difference between the AT-6E, which Beechcraft has marketed in the past as the AT-6B, AT-6C, or simply the AT-6, and standard Texan II trainers are its six underwing pylons. These can accommodate various precision-guided bombs and missiles, as well as rocket and gun pods, among other stores.
It’s actually a good-looking aircraft. I started to embed one of the pics, but there’s no pressing need for that, really. Contra the USAF’s blushful demurral about “help(ing) allies and partners work together better during coalition operations,” it’s a fair bet that at least some Real Americans will be enjoying a close-in view of the new birds soon enough.
Okay, “enjoying” might not be exactly the mot juste here.