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On 2/3/2022 at 11:32 PM, Best-22 said:

If we're placing bets:

 

It's going to be the air tractor. I'm just ignorant enough about this program to have total confidence. 

For once I'm not let down by Air Force decision making. 

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8 hours ago, pvbell said:

Exciting news! Where'd you hear this? 

I didn’t want to answer you until it was officially released, which it looks like you found. AFSOC was surprisingly tightlipped so well done to them, but things do leak from other places.

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2 hours ago, pvbell said:

Seems like a pretty standard contract award, $170 mil to kick off the contract execution, with work to begin immediately and running through 2029, leading to delivery of up to 75 aircraft.  However, do these kind of contracts usually include a "maximum ceiling value," and is it always this high?  $3 Billion seems a lot for fielding less than 100 aircraft....

Related, wonder what the ferry range is on these (couldn't find it online).  Saw some mention of the ease of disassembling, loading into a C-17, and reassembling.  Was air to air refueling considered in AOW?  Did any of the contenders consider it, or is it silly to consider air to air refueling for an aircraft with this kind of mission?

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L3 Communications Integrated Systems, Greenville, Texas, was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (FA8637-22-D-B001) in the amount of $3,000,000,000 (maximum ceiling value) in support of Armed Overwatch. Research, development, test, and evaluation; and procurement funds in the amount of $170,000,000 were obligated at time of the award.

 

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I’m happy for all my friends at L3 who will be working hard to deliver a great product and for all my Draco fam who will ride this mighty crop duster into combat 🇺🇸

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On 7/26/2022 at 7:51 AM, pvbell said:

The timing seems interesting.  Wonder if the AT-6 is slated for some FMS contract as a runner-up prize to armed overwatch.

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2 hours ago, tac airlifter said:

I didn’t want to answer you until it was officially released, which it looks like you found. AFSOC was surprisingly tightlipped so well done to them, but things do leak from other places.

Very tight lipped. Honestly impressive. We heard rumblings this morning so I was trying to confirm. Looks like we were both on the same scent.

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47 minutes ago, Blue said:

The timing seems interesting.  Wonder if the AT-6 is slated for some FMS contract as a runner-up prize to armed overwatch.

They got a contract with the Thais a few months back that was external to the AOW stuff.

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56 minutes ago, Blue said:

Seems like a pretty standard contract award, $170 mil to kick off the contract execution, with work to begin immediately and running through 2029, leading to delivery of up to 75 aircraft.  However, do these kind of contracts usually include a "maximum ceiling value," and is it always this high?  $3 Billion seems a lot for fielding less than 100 aircraft....

Related, wonder what the ferry range is on these (couldn't find it online).  Saw some mention of the ease of disassembling, loading into a C-17, and reassembling.  Was air to air refueling considered in AOW?  Did any of the contenders consider it, or is it silly to consider air to air refueling for an aircraft with this kind of mission?

 

No AAR consideration due to the operating concept of forward staging and more realistically because the airplanes aren’t plumbed for it so to get them there would’ve been cost prohibitive. Not a silly consideration, just a bridge too far IMO.

There’s a pretty interesting video on their website of disassembly and reassembly. More gee whiz, but kind of cool.

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59 minutes ago, Blue said:

The timing seems interesting.  Wonder if the AT-6 is slated for some FMS contract as a runner-up prize to armed overwatch.

The public (Textron amplified) announcement of the MTC for the AT-6 happened almost exactly 24 hours prior to their quarterly earnings call, in which the execs talked up the FMS potential and were ‘looking forward’ to the contract award. 
 

 

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15 hours ago, Blue said:

Seems like a pretty standard contract award, $170 mil to kick off the contract execution, with work to begin immediately and running through 2029, leading to delivery of up to 75 aircraft. 

However, do these kind of contracts usually include a "maximum ceiling value,"

Yes.  IDIQ contracts are more flexible and have a ceiling which is at the high end.  As conditions change on the battlefield over the next 7 years the this allows the government to change/add options/weapons/capabilities which may cost more (or less), without re-neogtiating the entire contract. 

15 hours ago, Blue said:

Related, wonder what the ferry range is on these (couldn't find it online).  Saw some mention of the ease of disassembling, loading into a C-17, and reassembling.  Was air to air refueling considered in AOW?  Did any of the contenders consider it, or is it silly to consider air to air refueling for an aircraft with this kind of mission?

In a recent exercise Sky Warden flew a 9 hour sortie and landed with 600lbs.  As Danger pointed out the mission dictates a different CONOP more akin to rapid reaction austere employment.  It will fit in a C-17 or C-130 which can rapidly deploy it to the other side of the world in less than 24 hours.  Four hours after landing (or less), it is ready to conduct combat operations off dirt or grass strips.

Three sensors (which can be federated to the ground party or others), a metric crap ton of weapons (APKWS, Hellfire, Gun, GBU, and CLT delivered munitions), it will offer a smorgasbord of options to the warfighter.

SkyWarden.jpg

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In a recent exercise Sky Warden flew a 9 hour sortie and landed with 600lbs.  As Danger pointed out the mission dictates a different CONOP more akin to rapid reaction austere employment.  It will fit in a C-17 or C-130 which can rapidly deploy it to the other side of the world in less than 24 hours.  Four hours after landing (or less), it is ready to conduct combat operations off dirt or grass strips.
Three sensors, which can be federated to the ground party or others), a metric crap ton of weapons (APKWS, Hellfire, Gun, GBU, and CLT delivered munitions), it will offer a smorgasbord of options to the warfighter.
SkyWarden.jpg.5d5c15a21d216992939a59f7b2b1a9f2.jpg

This thing is going to be critical as the ground mission keeps expanding in AFRICOM but being kept on a shoestring budget of actual assets.


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It's been almost 24 hours. Surprised we haven't heard any Congressman. Declaring that their local Air Guard or Air Reserve unit will have the aircraft based there.

 

Also. What will happen to the 4 AT-6 and A-29s at Duke and Nellis?

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58 minutes ago, BrightNeptune said:

Is the ceiling for that thing really 13,000'? Good thing we'll never have to go back into Afghanistan...or worry about MANPADS...

Nope...much MUCH higher.

28 minutes ago, MC5Wes said:

It's been almost 24 hours. Surprised we haven't heard any Congressman. Declaring that their local Air Guard or Air Reserve unit will have the aircraft based there.

Basing has already been worked by SOCOM.  Keep in mind Congress slowed the program until a report was submitted, much of the basing and pork decisions and discussions have already occurred.

30 minutes ago, MC5Wes said:

Also. What will happen to the 4 AT-6 and A-29s at Duke and Nellis?

N/A Different mission set.

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1 hour ago, BrightNeptune said:

I found a AT-802 manual that says the service ceiling is 12,500'.

Not much need to test and certify a crop duster much higher.  With a new mission comes new test and certification. 

1 hour ago, BrightNeptune said:

Did they add a pressurization system?

Nope, but it does have oxygen and a hose so it is legal to FL250.

1 hour ago, BrightNeptune said:

What about icing protection?

Not yet, but there is a plan.  Luckily the 802 platform is very open and robust.

1 hour ago, BrightNeptune said:

Can it go into IMC?

100% with a fully integrated Garmin avionics/autopilot suite.

l3harris-technologies-and-air-tractor-to

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100% with a fully integrated Garmin avionics/autopilot suite.
l3harris-technologies-and-air-tractor-to-develop-at-802u-sky-warden-isr-aircraft-2.jpg?ssl=1

Yes but will it be “Fully Acrobatic?”

(Actually heard this asked in an FMS meeting on selling this to an ally)


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