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Meet Sky Warden, the Robust ISR Strike Aircraft That Thrives in Tough Conditions

A new aircraft is ready to tackle difficult missions even in extreme combat environments. With an inspirational name and a plethora of advanced features, the AT-802U Sky Warden looks like a winner.
Sky Warden combines an Air Tractor platform with L3Harris advanced technologies 6 photos
Photo: L3Harris Technologies
Sky Warden ISR strike aircraftSky Warden ISR strike aircraftSky Warden ISR strike aircraftSky Warden ISR strike aircraftSky Warden ISR strike aircraft
Sky Warden is the result of the newest collaboration between L3Harris Technologies and aircraft manufacturer Air Tractor. Designed as an airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) strike system, this new aircraft combines a rugged exterior and a huge payload capacity with high-tech connectivity.

Built on the sturdy and reliable Air Tractor AT-802U platform, Sky Warden is developed to operate in extreme environments where there is limited infrastructure. Thanks to its ability to take off and land on unimproved airstrips, it’s flexible enough to be deployed with special mission operators. Plus, it’s built with a multi-mission open systems architecture that merges the capabilities of armed aircraft and bigger ISR aircraft, which makes it highly versatile.

One of its most important features is the 6,000-lb (2,720-kg) combat payload and 16,000-lb (7,260-kg) takeoff weight, which is the largest in its class. And, not only does it have the largest payload capacity of a single-engine turboprop aircraft, but it also features several advanced L3Harris radios and datalinks that allow excellent line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) communications.

To make it more adaptable to austere environments, this new model is also easy to maintain, with regular hand tools and doesn’t require special support equipment. Its advanced systems are based on L3Harris’s extensive ISR experience, confirmed through 1.3 million hours of special operations and attack missions.

An imposing aircraft deserves an equally memorable name. Sky Warden actually commemorates not just one but two special operations combat platforms with outstanding performance. The A-1E Sky Raider became famous during the Vietnam era, while the U-28, with the “Warden” call sign, is a present-day multi-mission aircraft.

Combining not just two names, but the capabilities of two types of aircraft, Sky Warden is ready to write history.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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