IOMAX demonstrated the capabilities of its Archangel Border Patrol Aircraft (BPA) to the US Marine Corps (USMC) during a series of recent training courses in southern California and Arizona.
In mid-October a pair of Archangels took part in a Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) 29 Palms in California, and in a Marines Special Operations Command (MARSOC) helicopter assault exercise near Yuma in Arizona.
The WTI course conducted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) saw the Archangels operate alongside USMC Boeing F/A-18 Hornet and McDonnell Douglas AB-8B Harrier II combat aircraft, as well as Bell UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper helicopters. The Archangels worked with two different Tactical Air Control Parties (TACPs), two 81 mm mortar sections, and several different heavy machine gun (HMG) sections during the event.
As noted by IOMAX, the light-strike turboprops executed 14 different simulated 'nine-line' attacks (where target information is transmitted to the aircraft) using GBU 12/59 precision-guided bombs, Cerit guided-rockets, and AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, with each attack being integrated with other aircraft and the mortar or HMG sections. Different target markers were utilised including mortars, infrared markers, direct fire HMG impacts, and lasers.
"The Archangel endurance and systems were fully utilised during the time on station and impressed the TACP with its ability to quickly gain situational awareness of the battlefield with its MX-15 [sensor turret]. The aircraft's endurance was on full display, and it had to leave 29 Palms not because of fuel but because of the MAWTS-1 instructor pilot's crew day limitations. Key TACP takeaways included the Archangel's time on station, weapons load, and weapon types available," the company told IHS Jane's . Also, although 'only' a turboprop, the Archangel was also one of the fastest aircraft to respond to attack tasking due to its endurance and having already been over the battlefield for an extended amount of time.
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