Just buy a damn aircraft already! Its a turboprop light attack and observation aircraft destined for another country for goodness sake, not a stealth bomber. The Brazilian built Embraer Super Tucano is better suited for Afghan use than the AT-6. If the USAF were to buy these for our services directly than the Hawker AT-6s commonality and familiar cockpit configuration may be the right airplane for the job. The Super Tucano is larger, features internal guns, is a battle proven and hardened machine that has flown in austere combat environments around the world. In all reality, the USAF needs to weigh it’s priorities here. Is nitpicking which airframe to buy the right course when we are trying to get out of Afghanistan as soon as possible? The Afghans will need an organic counter insurgency and precision strike platform after we leave, so lets get iron on the ramp now and start training pilots. The opportunity cost of fumbling around with selecting an airframe are monumental. Once again, those in the Pentagon’s bureaucratic bubble cannot not see the forest for the trees.
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