The US Air Force will continue experimenting with two non-developmental aircraft, Textron Aviation AT-6 Wolverine and Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano this year.
The USAF plans to work closely with the industry to experiment with maintenance, data networking and sensors with the two light attack aircraft rather than do a combat demonstration, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said in a statement last Friday.
Further experimentation will examine logistics and maintenance requirements, weapons and sensor issues, training syllabus validity, networking and future interoperability with partner forces. The Air Force will also experiment with rapidly building and operating an exportable, affordable network to enable aircraft to communicate with joint and multi-national forces, as well as command-and-control nodes.
"This effort to find a lower-cost and exportable aircraft for permissive environments is directly in line with the National Defense Strategy," said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein. "A light attack aircraft would not only provide relief to our 4th and 5th generation aircraft, but also bolster our interoperability, so we can more effectively employ airpower as an international team."
The light attack effort supports our nation’s defense strategy to counter violent extremism on a global scale, alongside allies and partners. A light attack capability could sustain competence in irregular warfare, maximize capability from financial investment, and harness existing, innovative technologies. A light attack aircraft option not only offers additional value and flexibility, but also accelerates modernization of current and potential partner forces who do not require advanced fighter aircraft.
Five international partners observed the first phase of the Light Attack Experiment, and the Air Force plans to invite additional international partners to observe this second phase of experimentation.
The Air Force expects to have the information it needs to potentially buy light attack aircraft in a future competition, without conducting a combat demonstration, based on data collected during the first round of the experiment and future data anticipated to be collected in the next phase of experimentation.
The US Air Force Chief of Staff General David L Goldfein has flown the Indian Air Forces domestically built Tejas Light Combat Aircraft from an Air Force station in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. This was the first time that a foreign military head has flown the fighter aircraft
Boeing has been awarded a $195 million modification contract for Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $927
The US Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin with a $110 million, five-year Phase 1 contract to develop and demonstrate a new low-cost cruise missile called Gray Wolf. The Gray Wolf program seeks to develop low-cost, subsonic cruise missiles that use open architectures and modular design to allow for rapid prototyping and spiral growth capabilities
The US Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to provide sustainment and upgrades for its fleet of 683 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP). Valued at up to $961 million, the five-year, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract allows the Air Force to place orders for logistics, spares, software and sensor enhancements, among other activities
The US Air Force has awarded multiple contracts worth over $896 million to two US-based firms for production of 2000-pound class bunker buster bombs, built around an improved warhead called the BLU-137/B, the Department of defense announced Wednesday. The contracts worth $476 million and $419 million were awarded to Ohio-based Superior Forge and Steel Corp
The US Air force has awarded a $417.7 million worth contract to InDyne Inc
South-Africa based Paramount Group has pitched in its Bronco II plane for the US light attack aircraft procurement plan which is estimated at U$ 2.4 Billion
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