Archangel wreaks Hellfire, among other weapons.
Iomax’s Archangel armed intelligence gathering aircraft is making its debut here at the Dubai Airshow in the markings of its primary customer, the UAE armed forces.
The two-seat, dual-control Archangel, based on the Thrush 710P agricultural crop duster, is one of a number of counter insurgency and light strike aircraft being displayed here at the show.
The Archangel is a development of the Air Tractor AT-802 Border Patrol Aircraft developed by Iomax of Mooresville, North Carolina, for the UAE, which entered service in 2011.
The new model builds on the AT-802, embodying many new capabilities including enhanced survivability with podded underwing defensive aids and missile warning sensors built into the wings. With its large wing and powerful, 1,600 shp. Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67F turboprop, the Archangel is able to lift a full weapon load plus 670 U.S. gallons of fuel. Endurance is a respectable 10+ hours and maximum altitude (with oxygen) is 25,000 ft. “No other airborne platform even comes close” boasts Iomax.
On the centerline pylon is the distinctive Iomax Flexible Pod with a Wescam MX-15D electro-optical camera pod as its primary sensor, while the back end contains a Rover datalink allowing full motion video to be passed to ground troops. The pod also contains a weapon datalink and a synthetic aperture radar.
Wescam has disclosed it will deliver 28 of its camera systems for Archangel close air support aircraft for the United Arab Emirates.
The Archangel is fitted with an Esterline CMC Electronics Cockpit 4000 glass-cockpit avionics suite, already in use on a number of jet trainers, with three 5x7 inch multifunction displays in the front cockpit and one in the rear cockpit, based around a mission computer that manages and integrates sensors and radios.
Here in the UAE, the Archangel has been fitted out with typical weaponry including theHellfire, a Mk-82 laser guided bomb, and Roketsan’s Cirit lightweight missile. Iomax’s website states that the aircraft has also been cleared to fire Roketsan’s UMTAS anti-tank missile, presumably as an alternative option to the U.S.-controlled Hellfire.
UAE officials said the AT-802 Border Patrol Aircraft project has now come to an end. Several of the 20-plus AT-802s used in that initial phase have been handed to other countries including Jordan, and most recently to Yemen. Videos on the Internet have shown the unmarked AT-802s being used to train Yemeni pilots at Al-Anad air base north of Aden, presumably in a bid to re-equip and retrain Yemeni forces and to support the Arab coalition fighting the Houthi rebels there.