Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 to employ laser-guided rockets

02/14/2012 10:28 AM

08/05/2014 6:13 PM

Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 light attack aircraft successfully launched laser-guided rockets in test sorties last month, the company said today, the first fixed-wing aircraft to launch a laser-guided rocket.

Weapon testing is the part of ongoing Congressionally-funded operational evaluation of the AT-6, the company said.

“This is a big milestone in the future of Hawker Beechcraft’s Light Attack program,” Derek Hess, Hawker’s director of the program, said in a statement.

The company continues to see “great interest” in the AT-6 from military forces around the world, Hess said. “The capability to employ laser-guided rockets is another reason why the aircraft is unmatched in the light attack aircraft market today.”

In November, the program received a blow after the Air Force eliminated Hawker Beechcraft’s bid on a light air support contract. The Air Force awarded the contract to Sierra Nevada Corp., Embraer’s U.S. partner on the contract. Hawker Beechcraft has filed suit.

In the testing of the laser rocket, weapons were fired from about three nautical miles and guided to their targets using an airborne laser from the AT-6 or a ground laser from Elgin Air Force Base’s range, the company said.

“Both rockets performed flawlessly and were scored as hits on their respective targets,” it said.

Rocket testing included BAE Systems’ Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System and Raytheon’s TALON.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service