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US Special Operations Command chooses L3Harris’ Sky Warden for Armed Overwatch effort


Army.ca Dinosaur
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Well, this is pretty cool....

US Special Operations Command chooses L3Harris’ Sky Warden for Armed Overwatch effort​

WASHINGTON — U.S. Special Operations Command on Monday announced it has selected the AT-802U Sky Warden, made by L3Harris Technologies and Air Tractor, for its Armed Overwatch program.
The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract will be worth up to $3 billion, L3Harris said in a release Monday. The initial program contract award is for $170 million.

Air Tractor is an aircraft manufacturer from Olney, Texas, that typically makes firefighting aircraft and agricultural planes such as crop dusters.
Initial production of the Sky Warden will take place at Air Tractor’s facility in Olney. L3Harris will then modify those planes into the Armed Overwatch mission configuration at its Tulsa, Oklahoma modification center, beginning in 2023. L3Harris said work will also take place at its other sites in Greenville, Rockwall and Waco, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee.

Air Force Special Operations Command’s Armed Overwatch program aims to build a fleet of up to 75 flexible, fixed-wing aircraft suitable for deployment to austere locations, with little logistical tail needed to keep them operating.

That's bloody brilliant. You can see the crop duster heritage in the air frame. Cost effective, highly manoeuvrable and easy to maintain is what they basically are. Not up to the A-10 capability but a good enough payload to fit nicely into Spec Ops.

Would these be warrant officers? Or like a secondary qualification?