The Air Force speed demons don’t believe in the concept…
But Spec Ops ground troops often need a armed aircraft that can hang out/loiter around to take out targets….
The A-10 did that misson ….
That isn’t really a fast mover…..
They’ve trying to get rid of it…
But Congress won’t agree..
Some want the A-10 sent to the Ukraine…..
We’ll see if this actaully happens….
A cheap attack plane…
U.S. Special Operations Command has chosen L3Harris Technologies to supply up to 75 attack planes based on a cropduster aircraft in a deal that could be worth $3 billion.
It’s a huge win for the the country’s sixth-largest defense contractor which in recent years has looked to grow from a Florida-based electronics supplier to a lead contractor of high-end weapons and a disruptor among its larger peers.
“This rugged, sustainable platform will operate in permissive environments and austere conditions around the world to safeguard our Special Operations Forces on the ground,” USSOCOM Commander Gen. Richard Clarke said in an emailed statement.
L3Harris’ aircraft is a weaponized Air Tractor AT-802, a turboprop agricultural aircraft that typically flies around 150 mph. The initial contract awarded Monday is worth $170 million, but could reach $3 billion by 2029 if all of the options are exercised.
“We decided to take a clean-sheet approach to this program to align with the requirements,” L3Harris CEO Chris Kubasik said during the company’s quarterly earnings call last week. “[The] team has spent a fair amount of money in [research and development] and capital. We’ve had lots of demos that have gone well that we think position us in a good place to potentially win this program.”
The goal of the plane “to procure a low-cost, reliable, rugged, multi-role, small- to medium-size aircraft system with multiple capabilities currently performed by specialized platforms such as close air support, precision strike, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance,” SOCOM said in a statement….
The aircraft will be owned by the Air Force Spec Ops , working for Spec Ops Command….