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By David B. Gleason from Chicago, IL (The Pentagon) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

USAF reveals intentions to acquire light attack fighter fleet

By Garrett Reim, FlightGlobal

After more than a year of flight demonstrations the US Air Force is formally moving the light attack aircraft experiment into the acquisitions phase, with the intention that it will award a production contract to Sierra Nevada Corporation or Textron Aviation in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The pre-solicitation notice for the other than full and open competition was announced on 3 August. It is anticipated that a formal solicitation will be released in December of 2018, according to the USAF.

“[Light attack aircraft] will provide an affordable, non-developmental aircraft intended to operate globally in the types of irregular warfare environments that have characterized combat operations over the past 25 years,” the USAF wrote in its pre-solicitation notice. “Sierra Nevada Corporation and Textron Aviation are the only firms that appear to possess the capability necessary to meet the requirement within the Air Force’s time frame without causing an unacceptable delay in meeting the needs of the warfighter.”

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