Textron Aviation Defense has secured a contract to equip the US Air Force (USAF) with two Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft, pilot training and engineering services.

The company finalised a $70.2m other transaction authority (OTA) with the USAF Life Cycle Management Center, which will include providing up to four years of contractor support for maintenance and spares for the AT-6 multi-role aircraft.

Set to include activities in support of military-type certification, Textron Aviation’s OTA work will take place in Wichita, Kansas.

Textron Aviation Defense Strategy and Sales vice-president Brett Pierson said: “The AT-6 is a vital element of the National Defense Strategy to build ally and partner capacity, capability and interoperability, and does so at a fraction of the cost of other combat aircraft.

“We’re eager to deliver the aircraft to the airforce in support of Air Combat Command’s (ACC) development of operational tactics and standards for exportable, tactical networks that improve interoperability with international partners.”

By experimenting with the two AT-6 aircraft, the ACC will further examine how a common architecture and intelligence-sharing network will connect platforms, sensors and weapons and deliver a digital network for light attack aircraft.

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By GlobalData

With the acquisition of the two aircraft, the USAF will be able to leverage a commercial off-the-shelf, non-developmental integrated weapons system to equip a multi-national coalition with a common system.

The Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine multi-role turboprop, which delivers advanced ISR technology, is set to enter service at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, US. There, the USAF, US Marine Corps and partner countries will conduct follow-on light attack experiments.

The aircraft features 35 weapons configurations and is available to its sister business unit, Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), for contracted air services under the US Navy’s Terminal Attack Controller Trainer (TACT) programme.