Second phase of light-attack experiments canceled by USAF
The experiment flights of the second phase of the OA-X program will not resume, announced the United States Air Force on July 3, 2018. The flights were previously suspended following the Super Tucano crash of June 22, 2018.
The USAF announced it collected sufficient data to put an end to the second phase of the experiments. It will now analyze the results to proceed to the next stage.
The Air Force Safety Investigation Board is now focused on identifying the cause of the A-29 Super Tucano crash on June 22, 2018, that lead to the death of a pilot, and left another one injured. The results of the investigation should be known within 30 days, said Arnold Bunch, military deputy at the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.
However, the program itself remains active. The demonstration phase, due to take place in front of more than 50 countries, initially scheduled for July, 19, 2018, is postponed to a date yet to be defined. “If we decide that we're going to go forward with the acquisition ... if that's the direction we're going to go, we want to get an RFP out on the street by December,” said Bunch, reported by military.com.
The Light attack experiment also known as Observation and attack experiment (OA-X) was supposed to evaluate the potential integration of either the Textron Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine or the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, two propeller planes, as light attack air platforms. The goal was to find a less costly alternative to stealth fighters such as F-35 Lightning or F-22 Raptor to carry out operations in asymmetrical conflicts.
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