The US Air Force shared a draft request for proposal for the Light Attack Aircraft with Sierra Nevada / Embraer and Textron Aviation following the conclusion of the second phase of its Light Attack Experiment.
This is the first step in working with industry towards the final RFP release that is expected in December 2018, the US Air Force said on 6 August. Air Force acquisition officials indicated there are items that still need to be finalized prior to the release of the final RFP, but it is prudent to begin the dialogue with industry in order to adjust the RFP as appropriate in order to meet the timelines.
“We must develop the capacity to combat violent extremism at lower cost,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “Today’s Air Force is smaller than the nation needs, and the Light Attack Aircraft offers an option to increase the Air Force capacity beyond what we now have in our inventory or budget.”
Wilson said in the past year the Air Force has completed two flying experiments and drafted the Light Attack Aircraft request for proposal.
“We’re where we’re at today because both Congress and our industry partners understood the need to find ways to get capabilities to our warfighters faster,” she said.
Pilots flew the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano and the Textron Aviation AT-6B Wolverine this summer as a live-fly experiment to gather additional information about aircraft capabilities, as well as partner nation interoperability, prior to a potential light attack purchase.
“It is important to look at the light attack aircraft through the lens of allies and partners,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “An interoperable light attack aircraft that delivers common architecture and intelligence-sharing network capabilities will enhance our collective ability to compete, deter and win across all domains.”