US Particular Ops to pick out close-air assist winner in July | News

America’s particular operations forces are set to obtain new overhead cowl.

The US Particular Operations Command (SOCOM) says it expects round July to call the provider of its subsequent close-air assist plane, a part of a programme known as Armed Overwatch.

L3Harris, Textron Aviation and Sierra Nevada are finalists within the competitors to supply 75 manned, fixed-wing plane that may perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, and supply close-air assist to American commandos on the bottom.

Within the Armed Overwatch solicitation launched in 2020, SOCOM famous it’s looking for an plane that may perform in an “austere and permissible surroundings”, that means the winner doesn’t should be quick or stealthy; reasonably it have to be rugged, dependable and capable of function from a brief runway.

The programme will ship a alternative for the turboprop Pilatus PC-12 U-28A Draco, which is presently not geared up to supply close-air assist to floor troops in fight.

AT-802U Sky Warden c Air Tractor

All three designs chosen as finalists for Armed Overwatch are small, propeller-driven plane. Two opponents, L3Harris-Air Tractor’s AT-802U SkyWarden and Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine, function a single-engined design with a two-seat cockpit.

Sierra Nevada’s MC-145B – produced in partnership with Lockheed Martin-owned Polish agency PZL Mielec – is a twin turboprop with a small rear cargo space that provides casualty evacuation and resupply capabilities.


The three opponents carried out demonstration and take a look at flights for SOCOM in summer time 2021. SOCOM’s Acquisition, Know-how and Logistics workplace is presently within the source-selection section of the Armed Overwatch venture, with a call anticipated in July.

Funds paperwork present the US Division of Protection requested $166 million to buy six Armed Overwatch plane in fiscal 12 months 2022 and $246 million for 9 extra in FY2023.

SOCOM oversees particular operations forces from all branches of the US army and operates its personal procurement places of work and programmes separate from the remainder of the standard drive.

The Armed Overwatch programme is being managed by SOCOM’s Program Government Workplace for Fastened Wing, which additionally oversees platforms like Lockheed Martin’s AC-130 gunship, numerous unmanned air programs and air-launched precision strike weapons.