TEXTRON'S SCORPION JET COMES LOADED FOR BEAR. IMAGE SOURCE: TEXTRON.
Textron's secret weapon: The only jet fighter in this competition.
Few aircraft in the U.S. Air Force's arsenal attract as much support as the A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog.
In a fit of martial poetry, Mother Jones describes the A-10 as "an unstoppable commercial Learjet with a full-automatic cannon in its nose and an iron bathtub surrounding the cockpit." More laconic, Foxtrotalpha simply states that the A-10 is "the best CAS [close air support] platform mankind has ever designed."
Good as the A-10 is, however, even its supporters acknowledge that it must one day be retired. In anticipation of that day, the Air Force has been spooling up a "capability assessment" preparatory to acquiring a new ground attack aircraft that could, possibly, fit the bill. It's call the OA-X competition, and one year after it was announced, OA-X could finally be entering its final innings.
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WNU Editor: It looks like the fix is in.