L-3 Harris Sky Warden - USSOCOM Armed Overwatch

aonestudio

I really should change my personal text
Joined
11 March 2018
Messages
2,540
Reaction score
5,914
And todays buzz word bingo winner is!

“We want to deliver game-changing, modular solutions to U.S. special operators for their hardest missions, and Sky Warden does just that.”
"Sky Warden will bring powerful and affordable close air support, precision strike, armed ISR, and command and control capabilities directly to special operations forces in the battlefield,”
“We are ready now to begin work on this modern, multi-mission system for the SOCOM Armed Overwatch program.”
“The Sky Warden design reflects our commitment to America’s national security and the AT-802U will be equipped with everything we’ve learned manufacturing aircraft over the past 46 years,”
“The L3Harris team is an excellent partner, and our production and engineering staff are ready to immediately deliver this world-class product to our nation’s special forces.”
 
L-3 Harris Sky Warden (combo with AirTractor At-802) for USSOCOM Armed Overwatch program for sub Saharan continent

1659521665358.png

TBT Paris Air Show 2017 and I wandered over to the L-3 chalet so here are pics of At-802 plus swag in the form of a bottle opener! Very useful for nights out! L_3 also had their ISTAR King Air 350 on there

cheers
 

Attachments

  • 297265420_10160635395831490_7795253606204200431_n.jpg
    297265420_10160635395831490_7795253606204200431_n.jpg
    53.8 KB · Views: 53
  • 297272928_10160635393646490_7634245422087346744_n.jpg
    297272928_10160635393646490_7634245422087346744_n.jpg
    58.5 KB · Views: 47
  • 297341571_10160635414281490_400455567713204898_n.jpg
    297341571_10160635414281490_400455567713204898_n.jpg
    112.5 KB · Views: 43
  • 297554910_10160635393531490_3431171854346144398_n.jpg
    297554910_10160635393531490_3431171854346144398_n.jpg
    75.7 KB · Views: 50
  • 26756833_10156429442856490_4581468675073940669_o.jpg
    26756833_10156429442856490_4581468675073940669_o.jpg
    275 KB · Views: 55
Diagrams of the "standard" payload options from the Air Tractor website (Sorry that the headings got lost -- the website wouldn't quite fit the whole image on my screen):

The Max Strike load is interesting, IMO. The LCLT-4 pods are quadruple Common Launch Tube pods, which you can see in the first photo in the thread. The unusual thing is that they have aft-facing tubes for launching/dropping glide weapons rather than ahead-fired missiles. But SOCOM has a lot of these sorts of weapons, so it fits their use case really well.

The Max ISR config is also a bit unusual. The MMSS Pod 1 config already includes two FLIR balls -- one MX-15, which I assume is for the pilot, and a larger MX-20, which is probably for the sensor operator. MMSS Pod 2 adds a second MX-20, presumably so the sensor operator can look off both sides of the aircraft track at once, and an I-Master radar for 360-degree radar coverage. Plus ESM/SIGINT in another pod. And a pair of Hellfire/JAGM for "see something, kill something."

Edit: fixed something -- I had forgotten that this plane actually has an onboard SENSO seat.
 

Attachments

  • CLT-4-Launcher.pdf
    1.5 MB · Views: 12
  • AT802U_Loadout-Specs_Standard-Configuration.jpeg
    AT802U_Loadout-Specs_Standard-Configuration.jpeg
    329.9 KB · Views: 42
  • AT802U_Loadout-Specs_Maximum-Strike-Load.jpeg
    AT802U_Loadout-Specs_Maximum-Strike-Load.jpeg
    415.6 KB · Views: 40
  • AT802U_Loadout-Specs_Maximum-ISR-Load_R1.jpeg
    AT802U_Loadout-Specs_Maximum-ISR-Load_R1.jpeg
    405.4 KB · Views: 48
Last edited:
If one is operating in a low intensity environment in a COIN style role this makes more sense than an A-10.
 
If one is operating in a low intensity environment in a COIN style role this makes more sense than an A-10.

It's especially tailored for ops in places where SOF are operating without any conventional forces present. So, mainly Sub-Saharan Africa or possibly parts of Asia (the Philippines has been mentioned).
 
I think it's an outstanding design but a lot of those ops request something that can transit to the operating area (and back to reload) fast. I am not convinced that SOC got this here.
Also, what about takeoff limitations with all that much vaunted war load?
 
I think it's an outstanding design but a lot of those ops request something that can transit to the operating area (and back to reload) fast. I am not convinced that SOC got this here.
Also, what about takeoff limitations with all that much vaunted war load?

From the manufacturer, with the heaviest "surveillance & weapons load," gross weight is 14,500 lbs (6,600 kg) and the takeoff run is 1,400 ft (426 m). They are not proposing to load it out wall-to-wall as a general rule.

i don't see the need to transit back and forth rapidly to reload. This aircraft is meant to support a SOF raiding operational concept. So it needs to get in ahead of the helos (or trucks), orbit while SOF do their thing, then cover the extraction. It is not doing a cab rank loiter for on-call CAS during a prolonged battle.

PS: we have a dedicated thread for this aircraft. Wondering if we should pull some of the armed overwatch conversation there instead.

 
Last edited:
1400ft is indeed a good performance, loaded (slightly longer that the usual smaller airfield length). I do agree with the mission profile but when you have a problem, it can be necessary to reload. That's where a faster transit speed is a good to have performance.
 
Given its crop duster roots, I always find this platform slightly amusing: “…got a real bad bug infestation in the south field…”:D
That was the CIA's line when they were running Southern Air Transport and Intermountain (and other) flights into Africa. Pesticides and fertilizer.

Ground crews stateside would quip about the big locusts when planes came back with holes. Lost two or three.
 
Really beefy MTOW/warload for such a small craft.

Not that small. But the real game changer is the availability of really light PGMs. That makes it possible to match or exceed the aimpoints struck of a big CAS airplane like the A-10 in a fraction of the weight.
 

It's interesting that the photos and loadout diagrams seem to show only stand-off weapons and not the multi-barreled .50 cal gun pods that were often featured in earlier promotional material. That's smart since it keeps the plane and crew further away from bad guys shooting back, but there will certainly be a temptation to put some sort of gun on it.
 

It's interesting that the photos and loadout diagrams seem to show only stand-off weapons and not the multi-barreled .50 cal gun pods that were often featured in earlier promotional material. That's smart since it keeps the plane and crew further away from bad guys shooting back, but there will certainly be a temptation to put some sort of gun on it.

I think this is part of the pivot from the USAF Light Attack experiment to the SOCOM Armed Overwatch program. They have different requirements.

The light attack aircraft, named Longsword, had a very different loadouts -- smaller fuelage-mounted FLIR ball, gun pods, more dumb ordnance.

 
Last edited:
EAST AURORA, N.Y. – Oct 18, 2022 – Moog Inc. (NYSE: MOG.A and MOG.B) announced today that L3Harris Technologies has selected Moog’s Space and Defense segment to provide its weapon Stores Management System (SMS) in support of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Armed Overwatch Program.

The flexible design of the SMS enables rapid integration and future upgrades to the sensors, avionics, and weapons ensuring value for future mission requirements in response to rapidly evolving threats. The Moog weapon SMS Armed Overwatch solution set entails the following:

- Enhanced Stores Management Computer (E-SMC)
- Stores Interface Unit (SIU)
- Remote Power Unit (RPU-6)
- Dual Rail Launcher (DRL) for HELLFIRE® Missile

The SMS equipment will be manufactured by Moog’s Integrated Defense Systems business in Orlando, Florida. Production of new, fully modified Armed Overwatch mission-configured aircraft will begin in 2023 at L3Harris’ Tulsa, Oklahoma modification center.
Moog-AT802SMS-Datasheet_Page1.jpg
Moog-AT802SMS-Datasheet_Page2.jpg
 
Last edited:
Air Tractor AT-802U receives designation of OA-1K. Really?

Oh, FFS! Go home Air Force, you're drunk.

Of course it should have been the OA-14A but someone in the program probably decided that they wanted to "honor" the old AD Skyraider, which acquired the A-1 designation in the great 1962 redesignation. There were variants up to A-1J (the AD-7) so someone knew that they were doing it wrong, but only enough to insist that this totally unrelated A-1 aircraft start as the A-1K.

We should just shut down the nomenclature office at this point. Because clearly the program offices will do whatever the hell they want.
 
Speaking of which, Paris Air Show 2017 I popped by the L-3 chalet and here are my photos of their armed Airtractor

26757857_10156429442871490_6525470967259950980_o.jpg

26240450_10156429442551490_2356399116923557246_o.jpg

26233461_10156429443276490_1001074249851469150_o.jpg


cheers
 

Similar threads

Back
Top Bottom