The U.S. Air Force has initiated the second phase of its light-attack experiment at Holloman AF Base in New Mexico to further examine aircraft capacities and potential interoperability with allies.
USAF said Monday pilots participating in the three-month experiment have started flying the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from a Sierra Nevada–Embraer team and the AT-6B Wolverine plane from Textron‘s aviation business.
“This second phase of experimentation is about informing the rapid procurement process as we move closer to investing in light attack,” said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military deputy at USAF’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition.
Bunch added he believes adopting such aircraft to support “permissive” combat missions will help the service branch to increase the availability of fourth- and fifth-generation platforms for real combat training and operations.
The service also seeks to determine how it can conduct light attack operations alongside coalition partners in the future as part of the National Defense Strategy.
USAF used four aircraft models during the first phase of the experiment that occurred in August 2017.