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A-29 Super Tucano

Mattis, Dunford Defend Strategy: Afghan Force Smaller But Better

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Air Force photo

WASHINGTON: Yes, Afghan forces are shrinking even as violence grows, but that smaller force is better trained, better advised, and better at taking the offensive against the Taliban, the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs told the Senate. The ongoing increase in US and other NATO advisors is crucial to this turnaround,… Keep reading →

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Afghan AF Getting New Hellfire-Shooting Planes; More Airstrikes Coming

Posted by Paul McLeary on


WASHINGTON: The Afghan Air Force is about to get a powerful new weapon in what is shaping up to be a bloody year in the 17-year-old war against the Taliban. On Friday, the U.S. Air Force announced an $86 million deal with an American defense contractor Orbital ATK to supply single-engine, turboprop AC-208 airplanes to… Keep reading →

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SecAF: Don’t Expect Large Budget Increases After 2019; $2.4B Set For Light Attack

Posted by Colin Clark on


The Air Force placed a $2.4 billion placeholder in the 2019 budget to buy Light Attack Aircraft over the next five years, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters this morning.

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Air Force Cautions On Light Attack Combat Test: AF1 Refueling Update

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: It’s always difficult to tell when the military is covering its tuckus and when it’s just being careful. So when the outgoing head of the Air Force press desk, Col. Patrick Ryder, told reporters this afternoon that the service had not made any decision about whether to go ahead with a combat test of… Keep reading →

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Light Attack Competition: Air Force, McCain Tout Acquisition Experiment

Posted by Colin Clark on


CORRECTED: TACO GILBERT’S AFFILIATION HOLLOMAN AFB: It may be hard to believe but the future of the Air Force may depend on three turboprop planes and a $20 million spec-built attack jet. They are the entries in what the service calls the Light Attack Experiment, a back-to-the-future attempt to rekindle the sort of innovation and… Keep reading →

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McCain’s 300 Low-End Fighters A ‘Great Idea:’ CSAF Gen. Goldfein

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: A key part of Sen. John McCain’s alternative defense budget proposal is the rapid purchase of 300 “low-cost, light-attack fighters that would require minimal work to develop.” I asked Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein today what he thought of McCain’s proposal, contained in Restoring American Power. “Great idea,” he said, pointing… Keep reading →

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A-10, Then A-11 And A-12? Air Force Ponders CAS Future

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Adds Ayotte Comment WASHINGTON: The Air Force is considering not one, but two replacements for the aging A-10 Warthog close air support plane. But analysts wonder why, given that the service is already building a new bomber (the B-21), a new tanker (the KC-46), a new fighter (the F-35A), they would want to build two Close… Keep reading →

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Beechcraft Protests Light Air Support Award; Kansas Lawmakers On Warpath

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Wichita Congressman Mike Pompeo and Kansas senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran have written the Pentagon to protest Wichita-based Beechcraft’s loss of the bitterly contested Light Air Support contract, Rep. Pompeo told Breaking Defense this afternoon. Beechcraft, which had offered its AT-6 Texan II aircraft, announced plans earlier today to file a formal protest… Keep reading →

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Beechcraft Exits Bankruptcy On Eve Of Air Force’s Light Air Support Pick

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[Updated 1:15 pm, Feb. 20] Wichita-based Beechcraft — formerly Hawker Beechcraft — has officially emerged from bankruptcy with a new name, 2,000 fewer employees, $2 billion less debt, and one last shot at a bitterly contested Air Force contract to provide ground attack planes to Afghanistan. The Air Force’s decision on the Light Air Support… Keep reading →

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Tucano Debuts At Airshow Amidst Lawsuit, Chinese Takeover Talk

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED with comment from outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz] Sierra Nevada Corp. unveiled its Super Tucano to the American public even as its lawsuit proceeds against the American government. The Air Force initially decided to buy 20 of the light attack planes for Afghanistan, then unexpectedly cancelled the Light Air Support… Keep reading →

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