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Light Attack providers get second chance with SOCOM

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posted on May, 13 2020 @ 06:29 PM
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Sierra Nevada Corp., Textron Aviation, Air Tractor, and Leidos will get a second chance to provide light attack aircraft to the Pentagon. SOCOM wants the aircraft for close air support; armed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; strike coordination and reconnaissance; and airborne forward air control. Competitors have already submitted paperwork for the first round. SOCOM plans to visit each competitor to take a closer look at each entrant before selecting aircraft for the flying demonstration. Each selected company will receive $4M, with up to four selected. Ultimately, SOCOM wants 75 aircraft over 5-7 years.


Multiple companies who faced off in the Air Force’s light attack experiment will again compete for a similar contract from U.S. Special Operations Command.

Sierra Nevada Corp., Textron Aviation, Air Tractor, and Leidos are offering aircraft for a three-phase armed overwatch competition that ends with live-fly demonstrations in November. That demo follows the Air Force’s nearly three-year light attack effort that ultimately fell short of a full-fledged buy.

SOCOM Acquisition Executive James Smith told reporters May 13 the command is very pleased with industry’s response so far. He declined to say how many proposals SOCOM received.

“We’ve got a good competition going,” Smith said. “There are sufficient vendors out there that have a product that they can offer that we’ll be able to put into production in fairly short order.”

www.airforcemag.com...




posted on May, 13 2020 @ 06:48 PM
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I’m surprised Airtractor is still in the game, the only thing going for it is it’s cheap price tag. it’s build similar to a homebuilt aircraft, and flimsy, keep it a cropduster. That Beech AT-6 is purpose built, and IMO much better quality.



posted on May, 13 2020 @ 07:06 PM
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a reply to: 38181

Honestly, I'll be surprised if it doesn't end up with the A-29 and AT-6. I love the Bronco II, but Embraer and Sierra Nevada just have more name power behind them. As much as they say it doesn't, that carries weight in the final decision with more than a few of these contracts.



posted on May, 13 2020 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: 38181

Yeah but the idea of a ground attack/COIN platform based on a friggin Air Tractor is like something out of Mad Max or a Miyazaki movie and for that I'll always have a soft spot for it.



posted on May, 13 2020 @ 08:18 PM
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I'm really surprised that SOCOM isn't interested in something like the OV-10's. I'll spare you my opinion on where this is all headed.
Bronco II, btw, has nothing to do with the NA/Rockwell Bronco. It's just the South African AHRLAC with a jazzy name.



posted on May, 13 2020 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

It's still a neat little plane.



posted on May, 17 2020 @ 01:12 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I honestly find all the entries kinda disappointing and depressing from the standpoint of these all being older aircraft that don't take advantage of any of the new technologies etc we could have in something like this.

Also, it kinda sucks that these will get legacy engines when they're right in the middle of developing next gen turboshafts for our rotary wing fleet.



posted on May, 17 2020 @ 01:29 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I agree. I believe one of the requirements the last time Bid was for a retractable landing gear. The Tuscano and Texan 2 are phenomenal platforms. Would do circles around that AT802U. Plus the AT doesn’t have an ejection seat. I just don’t see it being very quick to out run anything. That T-6ii on the other hand is a friggin rocket.

edit on 17-5-2020 by 38181 because: (no reason given)




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