Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Eglin Overwatch test upcoming

U.S. Special Operations Command will put five prototype aircraft through a series of tests next month at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., as it decides which to select for missions including surveilling extremist organizations and patrolling austere parts of the globe. In a round table with reporters Monday at the virtual 2021 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, SOCOM acquisition executive James Smith said tests to select an Armed Overwatch platform will run from about June 14 to July 23 at Eglin, weather permitting. SOCOM has awarded $19.2 million in contracts to five vendors producing prototype aircraft for Armed Overwatch: The Bronco II from Leidos Inc.; MC-208 Guardian from MAG Aerospace; AT-6E Wolverine from Textron Aviation Defense; AT-802U Sky Warden from L-3 Communications Integrated Systems; and MC-145B Wily Coyote from Sierra Nevada Corp. The Armed Overwatch program wants to field about 75 fixed-wing aircraft that could be deployed to austere regions and need only a light logistical footprint to operate. In the Eglin testing, each of the aircraft will conduct five flights. The first three flights will test how well each aircraft handles. SOCOM will also have the planes test their weapons on a firing range, and they must demonstrate their communications capabilities, both line-of-sight and beyond the line of sight. (Source: militarydotcom, 05/18/21) Previous