USSOCOM Looks to Acquire Light-Attack Aircraft for Special Ops Missions

The U.S. Special Operations Command has launched a new program aimed at providing manned light-attack aircraft to special operations forces, FlightGlobal magazine reported Thursday.

According to a previously released notice, the Armed Overwatch program seeks fixed-wing aircraft for precision strike, close air support and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in “austere and permissive environments.”

If Armed Overwatch’s demonstration phase is successful, USSOCOM may issue a potential seven-year follow-on award for the procurement of 75 aircraft along with maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

In October 2019, the U.S. Air Force released requests for proposals for light-attack aircraft built by Textron and a team composed of Sierra Nevada Corp. and Embraer.

The service branch wanted to acquire up to six Textron AT-6 Wolverine and SNC-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft as part of the effort aimed at supporting the Air Combat Command’s tactical network testing and development activities.

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