Textron Aviation Defense confirmed it has been invited to participate in the Air Force’s OA-X light attack experiment this summer.
The unit of Wichita-based Textron Aviation said in a statement on Monday that its Scorpion multimission tactical jet and Beechcraft AT-6 will participate in the Air Force’s evaluation of aircraft to augment its aging fleet of A-10 Warthogs that provide close-air support to ground forces.
“This is an exciting step forward for these programs, and we are confident the Scorpion and AT-6 are exceptional platforms to fulfill the USAF’s light attack mission,” the company said in the statement. “Both platforms offer advanced mission systems technology, affordability and adaptability. Designed, sourced and built in the United States, the Scorpion and AT-6 also offer a strong, positive economic impact aligned with the goals of the current administration.”
The evaluation will take place at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
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The evaluation is separate from a first-of-its-kind Air Force airworthiness assessment of the Scorpion. Textron Aviation hopes to use that assessment – it’s the first time the Air Force has assessed a military aircraft the Defense Department hasn’t ordered – to garner orders for the jet from foreign military services.
Textron’s confirmed competition in the OA-X evaluation is Embraer Defense & Security and Sierra Nevada Corp.’s A-29 Super Tucano.