Lockheed Martin Unveils New MC-145B Multi-Role Attack Aircraft

Lockheed Martin Unveils New MC-145B Multi-Role Attack Aircraft
Credits: Lockheed Martin Poland via Juliusz Sabak

Lockheed Martin-owned PZL Mielec and US firm the Sierra Nevada (SNC) has unveiled the first prototype of MC-145B Multi-Role Attack Aircraft.

The new MC-145B Special Operations Multi-Role Aircraft (SOMA) features multi-role strike capabilities.

According to a company news release, MC-145B Soma is the latest variant of a versatile aircraft with many new capabilities added specifically to meet the needs of Special Forces operations by the U.S. and its allies.

The aircraft’s high wing, powerful engines and rugged, fixed tricycle gear are ideal for safe and reliable operations in the austere environments anticipated for the Armed Overwatch mission.

The MC-145B features both a cabin and a C-130-style air-operable rear cargo ramp. The aircraft rapidly re-configures to airdrop, paratroop, and casualty evacuation roles while supporting self-deployment and resupply of forwarding operating locations without reliance on strategic airlift assets.

The MC-145B SOMA aircraft is offered to the U.S. Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) in the Armed Overwatch project, formally launched last year. In May 2021, five companies, including Sierra Nevada Corporation, received contracts to build prototypes.

The weapons systems that can be used with the MC-145B Coyote include AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground guided missiles, GBU-39 SDB guided bombs, AGM-176 Griffin missiles, 70 mm missiles equipped with APKWS homing module, Small Glide Munitions (SGM) circling ammunition.

Interestingly, the MC-145B could also be the carrier of the AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles – each such aircraft is capable of carrying one weapon of this type in the hold. Dropping would be through the back door.

An additional proposal is the installation of the TRAX terminal, developed by the Sierra Nevada corporation. The above device is compatible with various types of communication networks used in the armed forces. This, in turn, means that the MC-145B Coyote could become an important platform enabling full support of special forces using various means.

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