- 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
Light Attack Experiment (LAE)
After participating in the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) Capability Assessment of Non-Developmental Light Attack Platforms, known as OA-X, in 2017, SNC and Embraer Defense & Security are proud that the A-29 Super Tucano has been selected to take part in OA-X Phase II of the LAE, at Davis Monthan Air Force Base starting in May. We look forward to the opportunity to showcase the A-29’s superior capabilities during LAE, particularly with regard to seamless integration into the USAF network, and are confident that the USAF will find that the American-built A-29 is not only a first-rate combat aircraft, but is a great value to the U.S. taxpayer in the savings it generates in training and combat, and in the extension it provides to the service lives of other fighter aircraft. We look forward to continuing on in this experiment with the end goals of accomplishing the light attack mission and making true impacts to the acquisition process.
Reducing Wear & Tear
The Department of Defense (DOD) relies on more expensive fourth and fifth generation fighter fleets 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.
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.
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. 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 selected by 14 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.