I distinctly remember discussing this topic in theater 10-years ago with both Navy and USAF pointy-nose folks. We have discussed it here over and over the disgrace that the Navy never brought online the RW assets to support Riverine like we had in Vietnam, not to mention some light attack aircraft for SOF as well ... etc ... etc ...
Moving at a glacial pace ... this came up in Sept.
Lockheed Martin and Hawker-Beechcraft are considering pitching its AT-6B light-attack counterinsurgency plane for the upcoming Navy-led Combat Dragon II program, according to sources familiar with the effort.If you want a(nother) poster child for a hide-bound, myopic, and war-losing acquisition process - here you go.
The Navy recently shifted over $17 million into the Combat Dragon II program, designed to prove that a small, turboprop-driven aircraft can be used for "high end/special aviation" missions in Afghanistan.
The program was driven by the need coming out of from Central Command to have aircraft do close air support missions that larger fighters and bombers could not do, specifically in support of Naval Special Warfare units.
Well - in twice the time it took to defeat the Axis Powers .... so close ...
The House Appropriations and Armed Services committees and Senate Armed Services Committee rejected a $17 million U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) request for the Combat Dragon II program, according to a Pentagon reprogramming document.BTW - you know what we talk about Thursday. Add up all the money we spend on that in a FY and then bounce it off the figure above. Just thought I would add that in for 'ya.
Hat tip bthbts.