MAG Aerospace’s proposed MC-208 Guardian fighter has been selected by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for its Armed Overwatch programme.

The production-ready solution will join the other four prototypes selected by the command for the programme.

They are Leidos’ Bronco II, Textron Aviation Defense’s AT-6E Wolverine, L-3 Communications Integrated Systems’ AT-802U Sky Warden and Sierra Nevada Corporation’s MC-145B Wily Coyote.

In May last year, Leidos, Paramount Group and Vertex Aerospace partnered for the Armed Overwatch programme.

The USSOCOM’s Armed Overwatch aircraft programme seeks to provide manned aircraft systems that will be capable of meeting close air support (CAS), precision strike, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) needs.

The five awardees will demonstrate their prototype systems that will be assessed against defined criteria.

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The demonstration will take place at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, US, and is expected to be completed by March 2022.

MAG Aerospace CEO Joe Fluet said: “Today’s warfighter is constantly being asked to do more with less and will continue to operate in budget-constrained environments that demand resource prioritisation. This was the problem we wanted the MC-208 Guardian to address.

“We created an aircraft that is readily available with an open architecture specifically designed to minimise the strain on maintainer and pilot pipelines all while being affordable, versatile, and deployable.”

The MC-208 Guardian multi-role aircraft can perform aerial surveillance, casualty and medical evacuations, air mobility, CAS and precision strike, all in one mission without the need for reconfiguration.