Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Warthog replacement anyone? Former Air Force officers say to think beyond light attack aircraft

A-10 -

WASHINGTON — As the Air Force contemplates whether to buy a new fleet of light attack aircraft, a duo of former Air Force officers are pressing for an even wider revival of the attack aircraft inventory that could include a light reconnaissance plane or even a purpose-built replacement to the A-10 Warthog.

Fielding a light attack aircraft, or OA-X, should only be the Air Force’s first step, wrote retired Lt. Col. Michael Buck and retired Maj. Gen. Lawrence Stutzriem, both of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, in a paper on light combat aircraft released May 18.

The service could also benefit from pursuing follow-on aircraft that could fill roles that continue to be in high demand by Central Command, such as a light ISR aircraft or R/A-X; a replacement to the venerable A-10 Warthog close air support plane or A/X-2; or an attack version of the future T-X training jet called A/T-X.

“If we develop a long-term program of continuous development, this I think will pay off in spades, with the revitalization of the attack enterprise that allows the fourth and fifth-gen high-end assets to work more on near-peer threats,” Buck said during a Friday roll out of the paper.

Embarking on an attack aircraft renaissance would be a huge change for the Air Force, which has largely backed away from attack plane procurement in the last 35 years.......Continue reading: HERE

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