Friday, March 02, 2012

Texan vs Super Tucano

You may have read a bit about the controversial decision to choose Embraer's Super Tucano over the Hawker-Beechcraft Texan in the competition for a small counter-insurgency ground support fighter. When a contract doesn't go to a contender there is inevitably a political brouhaha and the outcome can be huge delays in getting needed equipment to the field.

I looked at it a few months ago and sort of concluded that the Tucano was a better choice based primarily on the issue of an already operational aircraft versus a development of the existing T-6 trainer which has only been prototyped.

Here is a detailed analysis and while it offers a lot more information, I think I'm still on with the Tucano:

Bigger Might Be Better But Familiar Carries Weight

Prototype AT-6B Texan


FlyingBarrister said...

I vote to scratch the whole program. It's a lot of money for so few aircraft because the overall program expense is high. This is a good opportunity to cut our losses in AFG. Let them choose their aircraft and figure out how to pay for it.

The Donald said...

I say resurrect the Staggerwing!

Hippo said...

External gun on the Texan is a showstopper for me.

Anna said...

I say scrap the whole program. Embraer has managed to sell Super Tucanos around the globe before this contract. I am sure they could sell direct to Afghanistan.

The USAF portion now totals a mere 15 aircraft, it is not economical to contemplate. Keep the A-10Cs flying for CAS/COIN.

In a broader context I have to wonder what is wrong with the USAF. First KC-X, then CSAR-X, and now this program beset with problems.

Hippo said...

@Anna, the USAF has gone downhill ever since Raz and I retired (g).