The need for the OA-X

program is clear

  • Sustain and extend lifecycles of current fighter fleets
  • Certified, off-the-shelf option that can be deployed quickly
  • A low cost-per-flight-hour alternative offering more value to taxpayer
  • Bottom line: More effective and efficient fleet

Reducing Wear & Tear

The Department of Defense (DOD) relies on more expensive fourth and fifth generation fighter fleets, like the A-10, F-35 and F-22 for contested fights. Deploying these assets for low-end missions in uncontested theaters increases operation & sustainment costs (O&S) and reduces platform life.

Lower Cost Alternative

Lower O&S costs associated with a non-development light attack platform save money when fighting in permissive environments, including insurgencies. This directly addresses the DOD’s growing O&S challenge.

Pilot Training

A non-development light attack platform provides pilots with additional flight training time in combat missions at a lower cost, building pilot proficiency. The program would allow pilots to refine tactics, techniques and procedures in a time where increased O&S costs are reducing pilot flight time & proficiency.

Joint Training

Funding a U.S. Air Force (USAF) light attack aircraft creates opportunities for joint training with Special Operations, U.S. Army and Marine Corps ground forces that is not currently available due to the lack of available aircraft.

Capability Assessment of Non-Developmental Light Attack Platforms

The USAF Summer 2017 Capability Assessment aims to collect data that will determine the viability of non-development aircraft to meet Air Force requirements. This experiment will essentially determine if the USAF should procure a fleet of light-attack fighters with minimal work to develop, based on recommendations from Arizona Sen. John McCain.

SNC, together with its partner Embraer Defense & Security, was invited to participate with the A-29 Super Tucano in the USAF experiment beginning in July 2017.

Should the USAF procure an OA-X aircraft, officials have said it would sustain fighter fleets like the A-10, F-15, F-16 and F-22. Using a new light attack aircraft, like the A-29, would extend the life and reduce maintenance costs of other military aircraft now entering service like the F-35.

The A-29, which is the only light air support (LAS) aircraft in the world with a U.S. Military Type Certificate, can help the USAF enhance warfighter support and bring greater value and affordability to the American taxpayer.

Manufactured in Florida and in use by 13 air forces worldwide, the A-29 is a durable, versatile and powerful turboprop aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of fighter and ISR missions. The A-29 is combat-proven in Afghanistan and in theaters around the globe.