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Air Platforms

Jordan receives first upgraded AT-802 turboprop, five more to follow

25 January 2018

IOMAX has returned the first of six AT-802 Block 1 light strike turboprops to Jordan upgraded with the modernised Armament Control System (ACS), as fitted to the Archangel Border Patrol Aircraft.

A Royal Jordanian Air Force AT-802 light strike turboprop. The six aircraft donated by the UAE are being upgraded to give them a heavy-weapons carriage and increased hardpoint capability. (US Air Force)A Royal Jordanian Air Force AT-802 light strike turboprop. The six aircraft donated by the UAE are being upgraded to give them a heavy-weapons carriage and increased hardpoint capability. (US Air Force)

Speaking to Jane’s on 25 January, IOMAX CEO KC Howard said the company had carried out the ACS conversion work on the first of the six aircraft that had been donated to Jordan by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and that this aircraft was now back with the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF).

“In early May 2017 we were contracted to replace the original ACS that we installed in the aircraft in 2010 with the Archangel Block 1B system. We ferried the first aircraft over to the US in October 2017, and delivered it back to Jordan in December 2017,” Howard said.

As noted by Howard, with the first aircraft having been upgraded at IOMAX's Mooresville facility in North Carolina, the next two aircraft are being upgraded by company technicians in Jordan. The remaining three aircraft are to be upgraded in-country by the Jordanians themselves before the end of the year.

The Block 1B-standard ACS allows for the fitting of heavy-store pylons as well as increased hardpoint carriage. Upgraded aircraft will be able to carry Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, Cirit laser-guided rockets, as well as GBU-12 (500 lb) and GBU-58 (250 lb) precision-guided bombs. While the Hellfire and GBU-58 were available under the Block 1 standard, the Block 1B opens up the carriage of the heavy GBU-12 and the Cirit.

With the first upgraded aircraft now in Jordan, IOMAX has conducted live-fire demonstrations of the Hellfire missile so far, with the other systems to follow. Further to the ACS upgrade, the platform’s FLIR Brite Star II electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) system is being replaced with the Wescam MX-15.

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