The U.S. Air Force has examined two close-air support aircraft models to perform light attack missions and potentially serve as a short-term replacement for the service branch’s current fleet, FlightGlobal reported Sunday.
Leigh Giangreco writes Air Force has investigated Beechcraft’s AT-6 and Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano as possible short-term replacements to its Fairchild Dornier A-10 fleet and seeks to acquire an initial order of 20 OA-X aircraft by 2017.
“[The Air Force] clearly intends to buy these two planes in addition to the trainer,” said Loren Thompson, Lexington Institute chief operating officer.
“[The Air Force] wants them out the door as fast as possible… they’ve got reasonable data on the cost of sustainment for A-29 and even AT-6,” added Dan Goure, a Lexington Institute analyst.
FlightGlobal added the Air Force also looks to procure an AX-2 unit design that could meet a 20-year lifetime requirement.