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Air Force Has Completed OA-X Evaluation Process

Has Yet To Release Winner Of The Competition

The U.S. Air Force has completed its evaluation of the "light attack" aircraft demonstration held last August in New Mexico, but has not yet revealed the results.

The online news site Military.com reports that the findings are currently being received by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, but she has not yet reviewed the documents. "In less than five months, we had four aircraft on the ramp to test at Holloman Air Force Base and, last night, I just got the test report. So in less than 11 months, with five pages, we have tested four aircraft for a potential light attack aircraft for the United States and allies," Wilson said during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week.

Congress has allocated $400 million to evaluate potential new light attack aircraft for missions in the Middle East. The four airplanes tested earlier this year included the AirTractor and L3's AT-802L Longsword; Sierra Nevada and Embraer's A-29 Super Tucano; and Textron and AirLand LLC's Scorpion, as well as their AT-6B Wolverine.

 Live-fly exercises including combat maneuver scenarios and weapons drops were conducted at Holloman AFB in August.
 
Congress is looking at the OA-X acquisition program as a way to potentially speed up the process of purchasing new combat systems. During the hearing, Senator David Perdue, (R-GA) said "How do we find quick, low-cost solutions for the battlefield? These high-cost solutions -- flying an F-35 into battlespace where an A-29 might be OK, those types of examples" are what's needed, he said.

 The Air Force said it will share the findings "when appropriate".

 (Image from file)

 FMI: Original report

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