The US Air Force’s Light Attack Aircraft Program Office has taken delivery of the first Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine light attack aircraft, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC)announced on February 17.
The first of two airframes was delivered by Textron Aviation Defense, after it received a $70.2 million contract from AFLCMC in March 2020 for the delivery.
The contract also included pilot training, engineering services and up to four years of contractor support for maintenance and spares.
ACC will experiment with the AT-6 to examine the ways in which a common architecture and intelligence-sharing network will connect platforms, sensors and weapons and deliver a digital network for light attack aircraft.
The US Air Force is buying a limited number of light attack aircraft from Textron Aviation and Sierra Nevada Corporation/Embraer Defense & Security, who are building the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.
Both aircraft were part of a series of experiments carried out by the US Navy and US Air Force over the past years. The experiment looked at a variety of operations where light attack aircraft could be employed with partner nations, while yielding data about new exportable, tactical network communication capabilities.
The air force earlier said the light attack purchase would help support the US National Defense Strategy’s focus on building allies and partner capacity, capability and interoperability via training and experimentation.