OV-10 Bronco Reinvented

Icarus Aerospace, with headquarters in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and Tampa (Florida, USA), revealed a highly customizable, twin-turboprop which is a multi-role capable aircraft, with a rugged, versatile, and technologically advanced design. The name of the programme is “TAV”, which is an abbreviation for Tactical Air Vehicle. The aircraft which spawned from the programme is called Wasp.

The clean-sheet force-multiplier could be the solution for the world’s security and armed forces. The optionally manned aircraft could fullfil 90% of the mission capability of modern fighter and costs only 15% of a modern combat jet! The Wasp is planned with two 1700shp engines, an 360-degree AESA radar, and is designed to operate near jet speeds while being able to carry up to 8000lbs of payload on eleven hardpoints. It is equipped with and In-Flight Refueling probe and an Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR) system for unmatched loiter and range capability. Quite unique for such a type of aircraft.

Icarus advertises the aircraft for the following missions: Close Air Support (CAS), Counter-Insurgency (COIN), Forward Air Control (FAC), Armed Aerial Scout (AAS), Special Ops Coverage, Combat Search and Rescue (C-SAR), Armed Nation’s capital / City Protection and Border Patrol. It can also be equipped for Armed Coastal and Maritime Patrol, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Piracy missions as well as Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Electronic Warfare (EW), Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), COM/INTEL Relay & Battlefield Management.

The long fuselage could also be designed for Medical Evacuation and Re-arm & Re-supply missions. A special fuel tank can be installed so it can act as a Refueling tanker.

The Wasp measures 51ft (15.5m) wingspan and 52ft (15.85m) in length and can fly up to 36,000ft. Weapons can be attached: Laser guided bombs and rockets, GPS guided munition, up to two torpedoes, sonobuoys, anti-ship rockets, air to air infrared missiles plus conventional unguided bombs and rockets.

Due to the nature of the aircraft and its early stage of development, Icarus reports it must impose restrictions about the communication of technical specifications and performance data. But it is clearly that the company puts this very promising design into the market as a serious competitor for the A-29 Super Tucano, T-6 Texan II and Textron Scorpion as well as with a good sales pitch to countries with a smaller defense budget. Icarus is also known to develop a High Altitude Unmanned (Combat) Aerial System (UAS) named Branta.

Artist impressions: Icarus Aerospace

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