AC-235 Light Gunship
ATK, a leader in weaponized, special-mission aircraft, in conjunction with King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), delivered the first modified CASA-235 light gunship aircraft to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in April 2014. ATK was awarded a contract by KADDB to modify two of the country’s CASA-235 transport aircraft into highly capable and cost-effective special mission aircraft. The first completed aircraft was delivered to the customer and was featured during the 10th edition of the Special Operations Conference and Exhibition (SOFEX), May 6-8, 2014, in Amman, Jordan.
The AC-235 designation requires a bit of unpacking. If this were a military designator, AC would indicate an attack variant of a cargo aircraft, and the 235 would be the latest in a numerical sequence. But in this case, while the A is attack, the C is CASA and the 235 is the company's designator, generally following a chronological development.
ATK, with the full participation of KADDB, began the U.S.-based flight and gun test program in the fall of 2013. The comprehensive test program was conducted to validate the performance of the gunship and to perform system checkouts. Testing included a full suite of aircraft flying qualities, sensor and weapons testing, with accuracy validation completed in March 2014. “The delivery of this light gunship is a significant achievement for the program and our collaborative partnership with KADDB and Jordan,” said Mike Kahn, senior vice president and president of ATK’s Defense Group. “We brought together our strong weapon and mission systems expertise from across ATK Defense to provide this important multi-mission gunship capability to our allies.”
In collaboration with KADDB, ATK developed and provided the system integration and aircraft modifications to turn a CASA-235 cargo plane into a multi-mission gunship. Modifications included the installation of an electro-optical targeting system, a laser designator, aircraft self-protection equipment, a synthetic aperture radar and an armaments capability that provides sustained and precise firepower in a variety of scenarios using Hellfire laser-guided missiles, 2.75-inch rockets, and a side-mounted M230 link-fed 30mm chain gun. The ATK-supplied gun is controlled by the fire-control system, automatically linking the gun’s aim point to the selected target of interest, as illuminated by the mission operators using the laser designator. These capabilities are integrated with and controlled by ATK’s Mission System that provides both day and night reconnaissance and fire control capabilities, and the ability to acquire, monitor and track items of interest.
The gunship capability package is part of ATK’s Special Mission Aircraft product portfolio, which provides affordable, responsive and advanced capabilities to customer-preferred platforms, including a roll-on, roll-off palletized approach. ATK’s expertise includes outfitting various aircraft — including the Alenia C-27J, CASA CN-235/295, Lockheed C-130, Bombardier Dash-8, Hawker Beechcraft King Air, Cessna Caravan and others — with integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and weapons employment capabilities.
- Robust day/night intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) solution now available with precision strike/close air support capabilities
- Ownership targeting and weapons employment provided via integrated targeting and fire control systems
- Off-board data links provide full motion video to ground stations
- Defensive countermeasures systems and ballistic protection standard
- Night vision goggles (NVG) compatible.
- Adaptable to multiple platforms A new irregular warfare capability. Features
- Orbital ATK’s proven mission system: Compact MPU; Dual-Color Display; Integrated fire control system
- EO/IR sensor with integrated laser designator and IMU
- Fuselage integrated weapons pylons supports AGM-114 Missiles and 70MM rockets
- Lightweight 30MM M230LF side-firing trainable Cannon
- Synthetic aperture radar
- AAR-47/ALE-47 defensive countermeasures system
- Ballistic panels for cockpit and passenger protection.
- Line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond LOS tactical communications
- Cockpit tactical displays
- Tactical data links
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