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By Jen DiMascio

“You do not need a high-end stealth fighter to destroy a narcotics factory. It is not a cost-effective way to combat violent extremism,” Heather Wilson said during a May 29 speech at the Atlantic Council.

That is part of the reason why the service continues to experiment with light attack aircraft that would cost just $5,000-$10,000 per hour to operate rather than the $30,000 per hour cost to operate a fifth-generation fighter.

The service already has started on the second phase of a light attack experiment called OA-X at Holloman AFB in New Mexico. The Air Force is looking at the sustainment, sensor and weapons capabilities of the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano and the Textron Aviation AT-6B Wolverine….