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No Light Attack Planes Any Time Soon: Air Force Undersecretary

Posted by Colin Clark on


AFA: The Air Force won’t issue a Request For Information on possible Light Attack aircraft, originally scheduled to come out December, in favor of doing a lot more experiments, Air Force Undersecretary Matt Donovan told reporters this morning. The service has been dithering for over a decade about whether to buy propeller-driven aircraft for affordable close… 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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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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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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Hawker Beechcraft Chairman Rebuffs Security Concerns Over Sale To Chinese: EXCLUSIVE

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The proposed sale of bankrupt Hawker Beechcraft to a Chinese company will create no security problems for the US military, pledged Hawker chairman Bill Boisture in an exclusive interview with Breaking Defense. If the potential $1.8 billion sale to Superior Aviation Beijing actually goes through — and at least one well-regarded industry observer, Richard Aboulafia,… 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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Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 Back In Running Vs. Super Tucano: New LAS RFP Inbound

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON [updated Friday 3:30 pm to add details from the Air Force statement and comment from Hawker Beechcraft CEO]: The Texan II is back in the saddle again. Next week, on Tuesday the 17th, the US Air Force will meet with both Hawker Beechcraft, which makes the AT-6 Texan II attack plane, and rival Sierra… Keep reading →

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Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 Guns For Embraer’s Super Tucano: Rival Planes Compared

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


It’s Texan versus Tucano, take two, and the embarrassed Air Force has got to get it right this time. With all the claims, counter-claims, and rumors swirling about the controversial contract to buy the Embraer Super Tucano, which the Air Force cancelled unexpectedly on Tuesday and will likely re-compete, Breaking Defense went both to the… Keep reading →

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