Air Tractor OA-8 Longsword Close-Air Support (CAS) Aircraft (United States)
The Air Tractor OA-8 Longsword is the dedicated armed derivative of the AT-802 agricultural / fire-fighting platform.
Entry last updated on 3/22/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The OA-8 "Longsword" is one of many capable aircraft designs currently competing for the Close Air Support (CAS) role of various countries. The aircraft is based on the American Air Tractor AT-802 (detailed elsewhere on this site), modified by L-3 Technologies for the CAS role and debuting during Avalon Airshow 2017 (Australia). The design pairs the established Air Tractor agricultural / fire-fighting airframe with modern technologies and ordnance delivery capabilities to suit ongoing over-battlefield needs. The AT-802 is a globally popular aircraft in civilian market sectors and sees operations from Argentina and Brazil to Kenya and Indonesia.
The aircraft, in its CAS role, seats two personnel in tandem under a heavily framed canopy and within an armored cockpit due to the low-altitude flight envelopes at play in the CAS role. The cockpit is set well-aft of the long-running nose and, at the nose, is a five-bladed propeller unit powered by a Pratt & Whitney engine installation. The tail unit is of a conventional single-finned arrangement. The wing mainplanes are set low and each sports multiple hardpoints. An additional hard point pairing is seen under the belly and an optics set is fitted under the nose. The undercarriage is fixed and wheeled ("tail dragger" configuration).
Supported armament will run the gamut of widely-used munitions and ordnance options including gun pods, cannon pods, rocket pods (unguided rockets), and conventional drop bombs (smart and dumb). Armament load outs can capacity reach 6,200lb.
The Longsword has several distinct inherent features: strong low-altitude flying characteristics and handling, a 400 nautical mile operating range, and 10 hour mission endurance window. It can remain on station for over five hours.