A United States-based firm “Basler Turbo Conversions” upon knowing that the Philippine Air Force is looking for a replacement of its Rockwell OV-10 Bronco light attack aircraft, a variant of Basler Turbo BT-67 reportedly being offered to the Philippine government wherein it will be used as a gunship for the Philippine Air Force.

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According to a report from Janes.com, It said that Basler Turbo Conversions is offering the BT-67 as a replacement for PAF’s Rockwell OV-10 Bronco.

Philippine Air Force – Rockwell OV-10 Bronco – pinterest.com

BT-67 is just like a United States AC-130 specter gunship, the only difference is that the Lockheed manufacturer converted C-130 Hercules transport fixed-wing aircraft into a formidable more deadly and heavily armed long-endurance ground-attack AC-130 gunship, that carries a wide array of anti-ground oriented weapons that are integrated with sophisticated sensors, navigation, and fire-control systems.

While Basler BT-67 is a utility aircraft produced by Basler Turbo Conversions of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is a remanufactured and modified Douglas DC-3, the modifications designed to significantly extend the DC-3’s serviceable lifetime.

The conversion includes fitting the airframe with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67R turboprop engines, lengthening the fuselage, strengthening the airframe, upgrading the avionics, and making modifications to the wings’ leading edges and wingtips.

The company also fitted BT-67s with forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras that could be slaved to .50-caliber machine guns and Gatling guns on both sides of its fuselage.

Due to the slightly higher fuel consumption of the turbine engines of the BT-67, compared to the original piston designs fitted to the standard DC-3, a range on the standard fuel tank, with a 45-minute reserve, is reduced from 1,160 to 950 nautical miles (2,150 to 1,760 km). Basler provides a long-range fuel tank which increases the aircraft range to 2,140 nautical miles (3,960 km).

The move to replace the current PAF OV-10s aircraft are being initiated by the Department of National Defense (DND) for its project acquisition of a Close Air Support (CAS) Aircraft which was propelled a few times, however, did not come into fulfillment. The project includes the procurement of Six (6) brand new Close Air Support Aircraft bundled with Initial Logistics Support (ILS). -JCE.

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