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. IOMAX of the United States has, therefore, developed a new counter-insurgency platform under the “Archangel” name, is designed to provide military and special forces with improved precision strike capabilities against fixed and moving targets over land and at sea.
It is the Block 3 evolution of the Air Tractor AT-802 agricultural aircraft and can be deployed in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), border security, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, maritime patrol, stand-off precision strike, medium / low intensity conflict, and counter piracy, as well as counter-drug, and disaster relief missions. Archangel is a combat proven attack platform that fuses aircraft, crew, sensors, and weapons with long duration on-station times. Archangel seamlessly flows between the Find, Fix, and Finish tasks on station, capable of employing GBU-12/58 Laser Guided Bombs, AGM-114 Hellfire, and CIRIT 2.75” Laser Guided Rockets. In addition to Special Operations direct support missions, Archangel is perfectly suited to Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance (SCAR), Forward Air Controller (Airborne) (FAC(A)), Base Defense, and Convoy Escort missions.
The Archangel has fully integrated night vision capable front and rear glass cockpits. The aircraft features easy access for maintenance in the field or fixed base operations. The Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67F engine powers the MTV-27 MT Propeller 5-Blade propeller allowing for shorter take-off distances, reduced audible signature, increased rate of climb and cruise speed, and overall smoother operations. With a large wing area designed for heavy payload capacity, Archangel has a fixed reinforced landing gear for hard-landing survivability on rough field operations. Featuring unmatched operational flexibility, the multi-mission Archangel can operate up to 25,000 feet (with oxygen), and has 4,800 lb (2177 kg) external stores payload capacity.
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.