During September, the Beechcraft’s AT-6C Wolverine light attack and reconnaissance aircraft completed its first NATO exercise. Held at Namest in the Czech Republic, Ample Strike 15 was a multinational exercise that integrated air and land forces, and was primarily focused on training for more than 100 NATO JTACs (joint terminal air controllers). As well as the Wolverine, fixed-wing assets included Slovenian Pilatus PC-9s, a Learjet and PC-9 target facilities aircraft from Germany, a Slovak L-39, plus Gripens and L-159s from the Czech air force. U.S. Army AH-64 Apaches and Czech Mil Mi-24/35s were also involved.
As part of the exercise the AT-6C flew seven operational missions, during which 35 successful engagements against adversary forces were undertaken. The scenarios included live-firing; helicopter forward and arming refueling points; smoke and kinetic blanks. “This was an important mission for the Beechcraft Wolverine,” said Russ Bartlett, president, Beechcraft Defense Company (Chalet A45). “It was the first participation in a major day/night operational exercise, as well as the first overseas operational demonstration.”
As well as its exercise participation, the AT-6C performed a number of customer demonstration flights while in Europe. It is now on show here at Dubai as part of the Textron static display. The aircraft is a derivative of the T-6 Texan II trainer, but is fully missionized for the light attack and reconnaissance role. Key features are a CMC Esterline Cockpit 4000 avionics suite, Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68D engine, a Lockheed Martin mission system based on that installed in the A-10C, and an L-3 Wescam MX-15Di sensor/designator turret.