Air Force officials and international observers have flocked to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico for the service’s Light Attack Experiment, going on throughout August. The exercise has been planned for months, after Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said in January the branch was looking for an inexpensive fighter with the ability to do close-air-support missions. Goldfein’s comments came not long after Arizona Sen. John McCain released a white paper that said the Air Force should keep the A-10 Thunderbolt in service but also “should procure 300 low-cost, light-attack fighters that would require minimal work to develop.” The Light Attack Experiment, called OA-X, at Holloman is part of the service’s effort to “explore cost-effective attack platform options,” and it features four aircraft. The Textron Scorpion: The Embraer Super Tucano A-29: The AT-802L Longsword: The AT-6 Wolverine: During the first week of the exercise, Air Force pilots did basic surface-attack missions in both the Super Tucano and the AT-6 Wolverine, the service said. They have also done familiarization flights with the Scorpion and the Longsword. The trials have now shifted to combat-maneuver scenarios as well as weapons drops. “We’re experimenting and innovating, and we’re doing it in… Read full this story
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