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Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 Guns For Embraer's Super Tucano: Rival Planes Compared
AOL Defense ^ | March 1, 2012 | Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

Posted on 03/03/2012 7:44:36 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki

Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 Guns For Embraer's Super Tucano: Rival Planes Compared

It's Texan versus Tucano, take two, and the embarrassed Air Force has got to get it right this time.

With all the claims, counter-claims, and rumors swirling about the controversial contract to buy the Embraer Super Tucano, which the Air Force cancelled unexpectedly on Tuesday and will likely re-compete, AOL Defense went both to the rival companies and independent sources to distill this definitive guide to the competition, from the two planes' performance to the manufacturers' twenty-year history of feuding.

The bottom line? Both leading competitors are offering small, propeller-driven planes that derive from foreign designs but will be built in the United States. Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 Texan II (pictured above) is smaller, quicker, and more familiar to U.S. pilots and maintainers because of its similarity to the standard T-6 trainer. The Embraer Super Tucano is a larger plane with a solid track record of operating in tough conditions for non-U.S. air forces. Other contenders, including a militarized crop duster called the Air Tractor AT-800 and a proposal to resurrect the Vietnam-era OV-10 Bronco, are out of the running. It's down to two, and all eyes are on the Air Force.

For the Air Force: Small program, big stakes

The $355 million Light Air Support contract, intended as a (by Pentagon standards) quick and cheap way to get easy-to-operate ground attack planes for the nascent Afghan Air Force, has ballooned into a major embarrassment. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters yesterday that "Our institutional reputation is at stake." While the Air Force's formal court filings from Tues

(Excerpt) Read more at defense.aol.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: a29; aerospace; at6; embraer; hawkerbeechcraft; supertucano

Super Tucano Dropping 2 Mark 82 Bombs

1 posted on 03/03/2012 7:44:43 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki
AT-6 launching LGB
2 posted on 03/03/2012 7:46:16 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

These planes are going to be for the Afghan Air Force. They’ll be flying low and slow to provide ground support, so I think one of the main considerations would be how much damage they can take from ground fire and still get the job done. This article doesn’t really address that issue. Obviously, there’s politics involved in awarding the contract to an American company.


3 posted on 03/03/2012 8:04:51 AM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Ah that there were a way to economically begin producing the Skyraider, P-47, or F4U Corsair. All excellent for this mission.


4 posted on 03/03/2012 8:12:11 AM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
There is a psuedo-FReeper named Defense Matters, or something like that, who posts every press release from the Embraer consortium touting the Tucano or blasting the AT-6.

Surely they will be responding soon and he will post their 'impartial analysis' on why the Tucano is a superplane and AT-6 is a POS.

5 posted on 03/03/2012 8:17:45 AM PST by diogenes ghost
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To: GreyFriar

P-51 was used for ground attack in Korea with success.


6 posted on 03/03/2012 8:23:42 AM PST by PAR35
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To: smokingfrog

How many times has The Afghan military killed American dossiers in the last year. Why are we going to give them ANY attack aircraft?


7 posted on 03/03/2012 8:35:42 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: smokingfrog

Autocorrect,,, that’s American soldiers


8 posted on 03/03/2012 8:38:56 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Droooling over the AT-6 - wouldn’t it be something to own one????? Have flown the WWII version, cannot imagine the performance with a turboprop/modern fuselage......


9 posted on 03/03/2012 8:41:12 AM PST by Arlis (.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I want some of the stuff you get out of the Pentagon’s water fountains! It’s got to be good stuff.

Seriously, giving any type of airpower to the friendly Afghani forces is a study in stupidity.

There is no central government.

Without a central government any 4th world nation cannot support an air force. Like it or not an air force is one of the most expensive kind of armed force; the unique logistic, manpower, and training requirements are extensive and incompatible with any other use.

No 3rd or 4th world government will internally support the air force. Unfortunately in the 3rd and 4th world military forces are kept incompetent. Yes, they look real good in a parade; but, which quasi dictator wants a professional force that can over thrown him? Their primary use is to keep the extended family of the current dictator in power (aka alive); the headlines for the last 20 plus years clearly demonstrate this.

Like it or not airpower isn’t the way to fight an irregular war. It lacks the ability to differentiate between friendly, non-target, and enemy forces. That’s right, in irregular war you have three totally different classifications of things on the ground instead of conventional war’s two. Add to the targeting issue the use of force; how good is air delivered munitions against intermixed things? Everything from staffing passes to bombs to missiles have large lethal footprints that have, and will, and will always include friendly and non-target deaths and injuries. The issue in irregular war is not time on target but response time. If your air power platform cannot put effects on target within seconds it is ineffective. This is part of the part of the targeting issues above. Finally, air forces present a large, fixed, visible, and highly valuable target on the ground that will provide the media with instant headlines which ever direction the media wants to run (friendly, transitional, opposed).

Did I miss anything Vietnam Vets? That’s right folks. Everything I quickly listed above from “no central government” down was clearly documented during our Vietnam experience, 1953 – 1973. In 1977, the year that Nordy went to squadron officer’s school, the USAF brass at Headquarters declared and started teaching that we were never going to fight another Vietnam ignoring totally the 25 – 30 “Vietnam type” (aka irregular war) conflicts going on at the time. Why did I use 1977 as a date? That was the year that Nordy Schwartz (1973 commissioning date) and I went to squadron officer’s school – he was the class ahead of me. At that time Nordy was a slick C-130 pilot; his career in SpecOps started three years later.

Full disclaimer. I have been involved in one way of the other in irregular warfare off and on since 1969 with 30 years spent in or around the USAF version of it.


10 posted on 03/03/2012 8:47:55 AM PST by Nip (TANSTAAFL and BOHICA)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
It's a waiting game.

Hawker Beechcraft is hurting right now and rumor has it that they'll go Chapter 11 if they don't score this contract. Obama is trying to get reelected and another bankruptcy or bailout shreds the fiction that the economy is improving.

Meanwhile, there is trouble in Afghanistan. Anti-American sentiment runs high because of the Koran-burning incident, with riots and US soldiers being killed. Christians in general don't seem to be very welcome there. I have been asking myself two questions:
1) Why should US taxpayers be giving the Afghans anything at all, much less combat aircraft? They don't appear to be trustworthy allies...2) Exactly who would these combat aircraft be deployed against? Would they be used to strafe Christian villages?

We all know Obama's #1 priority is the get reelected, so the AF (and Hawker Beechcraft) will just have to wait.

11 posted on 03/03/2012 8:53:22 AM PST by ZOOKER ( Exploring the fine line between cynicism and outright depression)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Is an LGB a Lesbian Gay Bomb? If so, what is the choice of ordinance for Transgenders?


12 posted on 03/03/2012 8:53:24 AM PST by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: PAR35; zot

That is true because the USAF still had a lot of LIQUID COOLED P-51s vice AIR COOLED P-47s. All three planes I mentioned were AIR cooled, thus would not stop running because of lack of coolent, due to anti-aircraft fire.

Also both of the two planes under consideration are turbo-props, which causes me to wonder if that makes them more vulnerable to a heat seeking missile such as SA-14 or Redeye? To my thinking, air cooled prop jobs don’t have that concentrated heat source. Although overall engine heat may make them vulnerable to IR missiles. I’m no expert on that and perhaps there is a knowledgeble person her on FR that is.


13 posted on 03/03/2012 8:57:06 AM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: Arlis
Droooling over the AT-6 - wouldn’t it be something to own one????? Have flown the WWII version, cannot imagine the performance with a turboprop/modern fuselage......

Other that a name their no relation between the two

14 posted on 03/03/2012 8:58:28 AM PST by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
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To: Arlis
Droooling over the AT-6 - wouldn’t it be something to own one????? Have flown the WWII version, cannot imagine the performance with a turboprop/modern fuselage......

Other that a name their no relation between the two

15 posted on 03/03/2012 8:58:41 AM PST by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
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To: Wally_Kalbacken
If so, what is the choice of ordinance for Transgenders?

Probably loitering, solicitation and conspiracy.

As for ordnance, one round from a .45 would suffice.

16 posted on 03/03/2012 8:59:33 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: diogenes ghost

Embrear spent $50,000 to fly a couple of Super Tucanos to flight tests. Hawker-Beech spent 7 figures to do the exact same thing.


17 posted on 03/03/2012 9:00:13 AM PST by frithguild (Withdraw from the 1967 Treaty on Outer Space. It bans private property and profits.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

They look like they came off the same drawing board.

Had a good friend that flew OV-10s in Viet Nam.
He didn’t come back.


18 posted on 03/03/2012 9:06:23 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: DesertRhino

Well, that’s another question entirely.

After this latest dust-up with the Koran burning business, the only thing I feel like giving them is - - - - you can figure it out, I’m sure.


19 posted on 03/03/2012 9:07:38 AM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: PAR35
P-51 was used for ground attack in Korea with success.

Depends on how "success" is defined. Fulfilling mission objectives? Yes. At an acceptable attrition rate? No.

The P-51 (reclassed as the F-51 by the time Korea started) was hampered by having a liquid-cooled engine that was highly susceptible to killing damage from ground fire.

The P-47 (F-47) with its air-cooled radial engine would have been a much better option for taking to Korea because it could sustain a lot more damage and still bring itself - and its pilot - home. There are two reasons generally given for why it didn't go. The usual one is that most of the F-47 units were on the US East Coast so there were logistical issues. The conspiratorial one is that the USAF brass wanted high combat attrition numbers for its piston-engined aircraft to justify spending on jets.

One aircraft that truly excelled in Korea in the ground-attack role, but doesn't usually get a lot of mention, was the Marines F7F Tigercat. In fact, about 10-15 years ago there was a study on an aircraft to act as a dedicated escort to the V-22 Osprey (since AH-1s are too slow and AV-8Bs too thirsty and with limited weapons carriage over the distances the Osprey can cover) ... and the recommended solution was an updated F7F.
20 posted on 03/03/2012 9:13:11 AM PST by tanknetter
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Droooling over the AT-6 - wouldn’t it be something to own one????? Have flown the WWII version, cannot imagine the performance with a turboprop/modern fuselage......


21 posted on 03/03/2012 9:19:46 AM PST by Arlis (.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Any idea why the AT-800 was eliminated? They are currently in use.


22 posted on 03/03/2012 9:28:30 AM PST by ngat
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To: frithguild
"...spent 7 figures to do the exact same thing."

Asking two vehicles to perform a task that only one is properly configured to do will cause that. Change the task and the results may well be the exact opposite.

For instance the Indy car won't match the top fuel dragster in a 1/4 mile, but it will take a buttload of money for the dragster to be competitive on a road course.

So, depending on the task required, your statement may, or may not, be relevant.

23 posted on 03/03/2012 9:54:18 AM PST by diogenes ghost
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To: GreyFriar
"All three planes I mentioned were AIR cooled, thus would not stop running because of lack of coolant..."

Amen...my old man flew Spitfires for the RCAF during the Battle of Britain and was shot down twice. Both times due to "glycolling", or loss of coolant. The radiator hanging down was one of the cool visuals about the Spit, but it sure was an Achilles heel.

24 posted on 03/03/2012 10:04:09 AM PST by diogenes ghost
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To: ngat
Any idea why the AT-800 was eliminated? They are currently in use.

What's an AT-800?

25 posted on 03/03/2012 10:21:52 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: tanknetter

Since the P-47 had the supercharger behind the pilot, wasn’t there an issue with all of the airflow passages getting battle damage?

I guess the plane would still get the pilot home, just with less power.


26 posted on 03/03/2012 10:28:59 AM PST by MikeSteelBe (Austrian Hitler was, as the Halfrican Hitler does.)
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To: diogenes ghost
One problem is that the contract was for a non-developmental aircraft that could meet the specs. The AT-6 is still in development. They had to upgrade to a more powerful engine and they still have to do carriage and release testing. There is no indication that they won't have structural issues over time carrying weapons on that airframe where the Tucano has a track record.

As far as being American made the AT-6 is a licensed Swiss product, manufactured in the Kansas, with a Canadian EO/IR camera. The Tucano is Brazilian manufactured, Florida assembled, with an Oregon EO/IR camera.

I am surprised nobody raised a bigger stink over the Army LUH contract. A much bigger contract which began with a large number of aircraft being manufactured in Europe and assembled in the U.S.

27 posted on 03/03/2012 10:39:06 AM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: PAR35

The F-51 Mustang was pretty much all the USAF had early in Korea. It was a pretty fragile aircraft for low-level straffing. One fragment in the glycol radiator and you had about a minute to go for altitude & bail before the engine siezed.

There was a single ANG P-47 group operating stateside. They were a little worn-out and the complex logistics of adding another aircraft type in theater probably prevented their deployment.

The Marines operated the Corsair F4U5 and the purpose-built ground attack varient the AU1. Nasty aircraft.


28 posted on 03/03/2012 10:43:48 AM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: MikeSteelBe
I guess the plane would still get the pilot home, just with less power.

The original P-47 was derived from an interceptor. Hence the supercharger. At low altitudes you could certainly get home if the supercharger were taken out. P-38's did it a lot as their superchargers were very problematic.

29 posted on 03/03/2012 10:48:38 AM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: Tallguy
Don't bother giving the Afghans either the Embrear Super Tucano or the Beechcraft AT-6B. Buy a bunch of used Sukhoi Su-25 ‘Frogfoot’ ground attack planes, stripped down versions — and a bunch of spares. Contract with Sukhoi to do the customer support.

When the aircraft cannot fly because the Afghan camel humpers cannot service or fix them, then we're not out a lot of money. Screw the Afghans and let them go back to living in the 7th century.

30 posted on 03/03/2012 12:20:43 PM PST by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: diogenes ghost
Asking two vehicles to perform a task that only one is properly configured to do will cause that.

Or if one of the vehicles is a prototype of a vehicle that has never been manufactured.

31 posted on 03/03/2012 2:14:56 PM PST by frithguild (Withdraw from the 1967 Treaty on Outer Space. It bans private property and profits.)
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To: GreyFriar

Thanks for the ping. I don’t know about the relative heat signatures of liquid-cooled versus air-cooled aircraft engines. I just hope we don’t give the Afghans any A-10’s.


32 posted on 03/03/2012 3:42:01 PM PST by zot
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To: diogenes ghost
Asking two vehicles to perform a task that only one is properly configured to do will cause that. Change the task and the results may well be the exact opposite.

The difference in cost is due to the Super Tucano being almost a pure-COTS system; it's already in production in the configuration (or at least really near the configuration) being asked for.

This is the first time the Texan II has been developed beyond the trainer role. So while the different components could be seen as COSTS, they still had to integrate weapons and sensor capability with the airframe.
33 posted on 03/03/2012 3:47:32 PM PST by tanknetter
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To: PAR35
P-51 was used for ground attack in Korea with success.

And, IIRC, failed miserably in Israel.

34 posted on 03/03/2012 5:41:59 PM PST by norton
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To: ngat

http://www.agairupdate.com/article_detail.php?_kp_serial=00000393

The USAF wanted a smaller trainer derivative with ejection seats which the AT-802U didn’t have.


35 posted on 03/04/2012 1:59:48 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Thanks. That explains it. Just seemed like the slightly larger aircraft with the tremendous multi-use capability (destruction of drug crops) in addition to carrying weapons, was perfect.


36 posted on 03/04/2012 8:28:14 AM PST by ngat
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To: ngat

Since the aim was to provide an austere strike/surveillance capability to the likes of Afghanistan, the heavy duty features of the Air Tractor would have been out of place.


37 posted on 03/04/2012 7:56:51 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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