US-based close air support (CAS) contractor, Blue Air Training, has added seven North American-Rockwell OV-10D+/G Broncos to its fleet.
The contractor announced the acquisition on March 27, saying it “is integrating the highly reliable, cost effective, multi-purpose light attack OV-10” into its operations as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training platform.
James ‘Chef' Barlow, founder and CEO of Blue Air Training, said: “As a career A-10 pilot, I’ve always had a tremendous respect and appreciation for the OV-10 Bronco. Its unique look and mission focused design rings true to my heart. In our configuration of [eight] bombs, [seven] rockets, 2000 rounds, FLIR and Link-16, there is no wonder why this aircraft was recently selected to take the fight to ISIS. For those very reasons, the seven OV-10D+ and OV-10G Broncos we are adding to the Blue Air [CAS] fleet are undeniably the best JTAC training [platforms] in the air, anywhere.”
The OV-10 Bronco was conceived in the early 1960s, being designed for simple, rugged CAS, along with being capable of performing armed/unarmed reconnaissance, observation, forward air control, helicopter escort, gunfire spotting, utility and ground attack missions. The platform has a history with the US military, having served with the US Air Force (USAF), US Marine Corps (USMC) and US Navy. It has also served within the military air arms of Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Morocco, Thailand and Venezuela. In a para-public setting, the Bronco has been operated by NASA, the US State Department Air Wing and the Bureau of Land Management, along with California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. In recent years, a pair of OV-10s were evaluated in operations in the Middle East against so-called Islamic State.