The heavyweights of the United States Air Force recently took a trip to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico to check out the lightweights. Those lightweights are the aircraft currently engaged in O-AX Light Attack Aircraft competition to be the new fighter in the US Air Force. Now that they have seen the competitors in action, what do they think of the results?
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson is no stranger to the world of aerial combat and wants to see American pilots succeed in their missions. But she also knows that the Air Force has its limitations, yet they need to remain ahead of enemies and maintain readiness for combat.
“If adversaries are innovating we constantly have to be thinking about how do we maintain air superiority? How do we make sure we continue to communicate command and control all of our systems? How do we make sure that whenever a marine or a soldier on the ground hears an aircraft, they don’t even bother to look up because they know it’s us.”
– Heather Wilson (Air Force Secretary)
General James “Mike” Holmes also has an established track record when it comes to the combat readiness having flown more than 500 combat hours in F-15s. Often times the fighters used in aerial combat are overkill against enemies and that the Air Force can save the American tax payers a lot of money and still come out victorious with light fighters.
“So these airplanes because they have a turboprop engine they operate much more efficiently and so they don’t burn as much fuel. Because they are simpler airframes based on a commercial airframe they don’t take as much maintenance.”
– General James “Mike” Holmes (Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Requirements)
Hear their full testimonials on the benefits of the Light Attack Competition in this clip.