Sky Warden

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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Elite 2K

Elite 2K

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Unread post08 Oct 2022, 14:42

SOCOM will invest about $170 million to build 75 Sky Warden aircraft based on the Air Tractor single-engine turboprop AT-802U. To start, Sky Warden will replace Air Force Special Operations Command’s aging fleet of U-28A Draco ISR aircraft and in turn augment the Air Force’s remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper drones. But AFSOC and other experts anticipate an expanding role for this simple platform, which requires a very small footprint to operate in the wild.


Sky Warden is designed to “collapse the stack” of up to 20 ISR and armed defense aircraft that are sometimes called in to support missions like the failed 2017 operation in Tongo Tongo. Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Kingsley, who led U.S. Africa Command prior to his 2016 retirement, said that stack can include ISR assets like the Draco, unmanned platforms like the Reaper, and manned fighters like the F-16 to validate and act on intelligence.

“We’re entering into a world now, where a majority of the fighters and other airplanes, to include remotely piloted airplanes, are going to be focused elsewhere,” Kingsley said. Russia’s war on Ukraine and China’s increased assertiveness in the Pacific is changing U.S. defense priorities, and counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism missions may not always be able to garner the attention and commitment of forces needed.


Sky Warden won out over five competing options using an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) competition intended to accelerate acquisition. The first batch of seven aircraft are due in fiscal 2023, and Air Force Special Operations Command anticipates 75 planes by the end of fiscal 2029. The 18th Special Operations Test and Evaluation Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will start putting the aircraft through its paces by the end of calendar 2023. Ahead of that, contractor and government verification testing is already underway at L3Harris facilities in Waco, Texas.

“We’re basically buying this complete production aircraft off the shelf, like a fully mature aircraft,” said Maj. Alex Flori, branch chief for Armed Overwatch requirements at headquarters, AFSOC. ... dangerous/



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Unread post08 Oct 2022, 15:55

Guess we can finally declare the Super Tucano program dead.


Elite 1K

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Unread post24 Nov 2022, 11:00

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