THE USAF’s AT-6 COIN PLATFORM LOOKS LIKE A WINNER

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/awst/2011/05/16/AW_05_16_2011_p48-316178.xml&headline=AT-6%20Seen%20As%20Versatile%20Combat%20Aircraft&next=0

I am a BIG supporter of a dedicated CAS/FAC-A/COIN platform that can loiter for long periods of time and can deliver precision ordinance. Right now using F-16s and F-15Es for this task is like taking a Ferrari on a cross-country road trip, it’s just too much performance at to great an operating cost to sustain. Although the Embraer Tuccano is the better aircraft for this job, the avionics suite and general multipurpose nature of the project is really a step in the right direction for the USAF. In the AT-6 you have an aircraft that needs a lot of horse power to stay in the air and a high wing loading, I wish the DoD would step back from its “common platform” obsession and weigh the decreases in mission suitability against any superficial cost savings the commonality concept truly creates.

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