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USAF light attack not dead

Photo: An A-29 during the first Light Attack Experiment in 2017. USAF/Ethan D. Wagner

 

Citing budget uncertainly, the USAF indefinitely delayed its planned release of a request for proposals associated with the acquisition of a new light attack aircraft, which had been expected in December 2018. However, all is not lost for the prospective contenders. Rather than proceed with the procurement of a new fleet, the USAF says it will continue its experimentation. It has therefore requested $35 million in research and development funding to continue its light attack experiment with a more extensive set of airframes that could include unmanned aircraft, helicopters and more sophisticated aircraft including Boeing’s T-X trainer.

It plans to include $400 million in procurement funding in FY22-24. In the meantime, the USAF will use use $60 million in R&D funding and $100 million remaining from FY18 and 19 to purchase three A-29Bs and three AT-6 aircraft from Sierra Nevada Corporation and Textron respectively. The two aircraft would respectively be based at Hurlburt Field, Florida and Nellis AFB, Nevada.

Full details of the FY2020 US defense budget will appear in our May issue. Ensure you never miss an issue and check out our great subscriptions offers, which will get your copy to you hot off the press each month: https://combataircraft.keypublishing.com/subscribe/

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