18 mars 2019 | International, Aérospatial

Air Force to buy handful of light-attack planes, but will a bigger program follow?


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force will procure a handful of A-29 Super Tucano planes from Sierra Nevada Corp. and AT-6 Wolverines from Textron to continue light-attack demonstrations, the service’s top general said Wednesday.

That purchase provides a modest, but much-needed show of confidence for the two companies, which have invested internal funding over the past two years on the Air Force’s light-attack experiment and are still hoping the service moves forward with a bigger buy of light-attack aircraft.

The Air Force plans to place small detachments of AT-6 and A-29 turboprop planes at Nellis Air Force Base — the Nevada-based installation that hosts Red Flag and other training exercises — and Hurlburt Field, Florida, where Air Force Special Operations Command is based, Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Defense News that the service would likely buy two or three of each aircraft, but Goldfein told lawmakers at the hearing that the exact numbers would be dependent on the price tag of the planes.

“The United States Marine Corps has already said they’re joining us,” Goldfein said. “We’re going to invite allies and partners, and with the authorities you’ve given us now that we own those prototypes, we will continue to experiment to build the interoperable network that we’ve already advanced.”

Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/smr/federal-budget/2019/03/13/air-force-to-buy-handful-of-light-attack-planes-but-will-a-bigger-program-follow