Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) and Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) have carried out the second test flight of the USAF’s AT-6 production representative test vehicle (PRTV).

The USAF is expected to launch an acquisition programme for the AT-6 trainer aircraft this year.

The AT-6, a derivative of the T-6A/B trainer, will address the mission needs of the air force’s light attack and armed reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft.

The aircraft is powered by a new P&WC PT6A-68D engine with 1,600shp, improving the overall performance of the AT-6.

Hawker Beechcraft US and international government business president Jim Maslowski said the enhanced performance of the 1,600shp engine, when combined with the company’s demonstrated A-10C derivative mission avionics capabilities, offered air forces around the world an LAAR aircraft that is unmatched in the market.

The AT-6 offers the best of proven training and close air support capability, and can help pilots quickly transfer between basic flight training missions and complex net-centric LAAR missions, he said.

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The aircraft covers a wide mission spectrum including training, manned intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, and light precision attack.

It also offers non-traditional capabilities for homeland defence, homeland security and civil support missions.