Because of ongoing - and growing insurgencies - worldwide, there remains a market for counter-insurgency aircraft. These rugged, purpose-build systems rely on a bevy of weapon loadouts, long loitering times and strong communications with forward-operating elements to achieve mission success. Such close-support weapon systems have proven their worth in wars in Columbia, Iraq and Afghanistan and remain a desired over-battlefield element for both large and small world military powers alike.
IOMAX of the United States has, therefore, developed a new counter-insurgency platform under the "Archangel" name. This aircraft is based on the Thrush 710P series aircraft used for crop-dusting in the agricultural sector. As such, the Archangel comes with straight wing mainplanes and inherently strong low-altitude handling characteristics. It is a direct development of the AirTractor AT-802 "Border Patrol Aircraft" also developed by IOMAX USA of North Carolina. This particular product was taken on by the United Arab Emirates for border security duties beginning in 2011.
The Archangel carries over the excellent qualities of the 710P and AT-802 lines but is given larger wings and a more powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67F turboprop engine of 1,600 horsepower driving a five-bladed propeller unit in the nose. Survivability for the crew of two (seated in tandem) has been further increased as has been situational awareness to incoming threats such as missiles. The aircraft sports a mission endurance window of over ten hours allowing it to loiter over contested spaces for some time. The wheeled undercarriage (tail-dragger) is fixed during flight which does away with some of the added complexity and maintenance requirements of a retractable arrangement.
Along its fuselage centerline, the aircraft showcases the "Iomax Flexbile Pod" housing a Wescam MX-15D series electro-optical camera system and Rover data-link allowing direct communications with elements on the ground. The centerline pod offers full High-Definition quality in 1080p as well as laser designation of targets, an SWIR band sensor and 120x zoom capability.
Internally, the cockpit is all-modern with digital processing and three large Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) in the front cockpit and two in the rear cockpit. The avionics fit is the Esterline CMC Electronics Cockpit 4000 series which is common across some training platforms in circulation already. The twin cockpits are set up with dual-control schemes making it possible for either airman to control the aircraft. Night vision is supported in both cockpits as is Head-Up Displays (HUDs) and Hands-On-Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS).
The Archangel has six total underwing hardpoints (three to a wing) and can carry precision-guided weaponry including missiles and bombs as well as more traditional rocket pods and gun pods. Dual-rail launchers increase lethality as the platform is cleared to carry up to forty-eight CIRIT Roketsan laser-guided missiles, twelve Hellfire missiles or ten GBU-58 (MK-81) Laser-Guided Bombs (LGBs) or six GBU-12 (MK-82) LGBs.
Beyond its given counter-insurgency role, the Archangel is being marketed to cover various other service roles including border security, counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and anti-smuggling. It has found its launch customer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - a fleet of twenty-four aircraft will succeed the AT-802 aircraft in service.
May 2017 - Egypt has put in a request for 12 IOMAX Archangel aircraft with the United States government. These aircraft will strengthen its border patrol arm if the request is approved.
November 2017 - The IOMAX Archangel Block 2 aircraft was debuted at the Dubai Air Show. An L-3 Wescam MX-25 electro-optical camera unit is showcased in the chin position of the fuselage.
Production 30 Units
Iomax USA, Incorporated - United States
Egypt; Jordan; United Arab Emirates
- Ground Attack
- Close-Air Support (CAS)
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
9,259 lb (4,200 kg)
14,804 lb (6,715 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the IOMAX Archangel production model)
1 x Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67F turbo-prop engine developing 1,600 horsepower driving five-bladed propeller unit at nose.
242 mph (389 kph; 210 kts)
25,000 feet (7,620 m; 4.73 miles)
1,553 miles (2,500 km; 1,350 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the IOMAX Archangel production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
Various munitions including air-to-surface missiles, anti-tank Hellfire missiles (Hellfire), gun pods, cannon pods, guided bombs, unguided bombs, and rocket pods spread across six underwing hardpoints (three per wing). Mission sensors and pods also supported.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the IOMAX Archangel production model)
Archangel - Base Product Designation
Archangel Block 1 - Initial batch model
Archangel "Border Patrol Aircraft" (BPA) - Outfitted for border patrol work.
Archangel Block 2 - Electro-optical camera system fitted under the fuselage; other subtle changes instituted.
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.