Egyptian AT-802 acquisition confirmed


Satellite imagery has confirmed that Egypt is operating the Iomax AT-802 counter-insurgency aircraft, after receiving a dozen from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Two AT-802s were seen at Bir Gifgafah in DigitalGlobe imagery taken on 16 January and three on the following day, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports.

The publication in January 2015 reported that the UAE had donated a dozen AT-802s to Egypt in support of counter-insurgency operations in the Sinai, but the aircraft have not been seen until now.

Iomax was originally contracted to provide 24 AT-802s to the UAE before launching the Archangel model. Iomax uses the Thrush 710P as the basis for the Archangel rather than an Air Tractor airframe. Some of the UAE’s AT-802Us have been passed on to Jordan and Yemen, amongst others.

The UAE received ten Block 1 Air Tractor AT-802Us from Iomax between November 2010 and May 2011 and a batch of 14 similar aircraft to Block II standards, modified to carry heavier payloads and with other enhancements, followed from January 2012. Iomax delivered the first 24 Archangel aircraft to the UAE Air Force in June 2015.

It is understood that the type has been used operationally in Libya, Egypt and Yemen in the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and light attack roles.

Last year it emerged that Egypt was in talks with Iomax over the upgrade and support of its AT-802s and the acquisition of nearly a dozen Archangel border patrol aircraft.

Egypt has apparently submitted a sole source letter of recommendation (LOR) request to the US government for the AT-802L.

The AT-802L Longsword, developed in conjunction with L-3 and Air Tractor, is based on the previous militarised AT-802U, but features a number of improvements. The AT-802U was introduced in 2009 can carry a 3 600 kg payload on 11 hardpoints that includes Mk 82 bombs, Hellfire missiles, M260 rocket launchers and GAU-19 Gatling guns. Useful load is 4 000 kg after armour has been fitted.

According to Air Tractor, the AT-802U is protected by cockpit and engine armour, self-sealing fuel tanks and armoured glass windscreens and windows. The AT-802U can be fitted with a wide variety of sensors, such as retractable L-3 Wescam MX-15Di sensor pod, ROVER video downlink, satellite communications, and secure radios. A Pratt & Whitney PT6A engine provides 1 600 shp, giving a maximum speed of 394 km/h.

L-3 and Air Tractor are now marketing the AT-802L as the OA-8 Longsword.