Gunship are typical mission companions of Special Forces. It did not came as a surprise to find Orbital ATK promoting at SOFEX the latest version of its AC-208, the Eliminator. Based on the successful Cessna design, the Eliminator is an upgraded version of the AC-208B Armed Caravan aircraft. Compared to the existing version, which is in service with Iraq and Lebanon, the Eliminator features dual Hellfire launchers under its pylons, doubling the number of available missiles. Besides the Hellfire, it can however carry also 7-tube 2.75” rocket launchers that, when loaded with laser guided rockets, allow to engage a much higher number of light targets.
Designation is carried out using the laser contained in the Wescam MX-15 gimballed sensor suite located under the pilot cabin that allows to find, fix, identify, track, and illuminate the target. Orbital ATK is ready to integrate any gimbal of similar diameter on customer request. As self-protection the company proposes its products such as the ShotFinder acoustic hostile fire detection system, which allows to identify and directionally locate small arms fire, anti-aircraft artillery and rocket-propelled grenade threats, as well as its AAR-47 missile and laser warning system.
According to the company, the Terminator is in production and numerous aircraft are currently in the Orbital ATK hangars ready to be delivered at an undisclosed export customer. As for the United States, the company and the US Air Force are looking at possible applications and discussions are still ongoing. Orbital ATK is present in Jordan on board AC-235 light gunship.