The U.S. Air Force has examinedÂ 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 investigatedÂ Beechcraftâ€™s AT-6 and Embraerâ€™s A-29 Super Tucano as possible short-term replacements to itsÂ Fairchild Dornier A-10 fleet and seeksÂ to acquire an initial order of 20 OA-X aircraft by 2017.
â€œ[The Air Force] clearly intends to buy these two planes in addition to the trainer,â€ said Loren Thompson, Lexington Institute chief operating officer.
â€œ[The Air Force]Â wants them out the door as fast as possible… they’veÂ got reasonable data on the cost of sustainment for A-29 and even AT-6,” added Dan Goure, a Lexington Institute analyst.
FlightGlobalÂ added the Air Force also looks to procure an AX-2 unit design that could meet a 20-year lifetime requirement.