This article can be read in Air Force Magazine.
By Brian Everstine
April 23, 2018
USAF Urging Allies to Buy Light Attack Aircraft As Well
The Air Force not only wants to procure a new light attack aircraft for itself, but also for as many allies as possible to help combat extremism around the world. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, speaking Friday at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., said the service’s ongoing light attack experiment is focused on finding ways to fly counter violent extremism missions more affordably in a permissive environment.
The two finalists have shown they are capable of flying attack and surveillance missions, and the service wants them “to be able to train with partners and allies because [the aircraft] are less expensive to fly, and less expensive to maintain.” The Air Force is encouraging allies and partners to look at buying the same aircraft if it is within their budget, she said. The experiment will kick off its second phase at Holloman AFB, N.M, later this year with the two finalists—Textron Aviation’s AT-6 Wolverine and the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano—set for further evaluation.
At the end of the experiment, the Air Force could buy the aircraft. Last month Wilson told lawmakers the service might consider reprogramming money to get the aircraft faster.