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alberchico
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What happened to the Textron Scorpion ?

Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:35 pm

This aircraft had its first flight in 2013 and there has not been a single order announced yet. Is the program dead ? It does seem useful as a light attack aircraft and seems better suited for the role than a converted trainer.

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Ozair
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Re: What happened to the Textron Scorpion ?

Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:06 pm

alberchico wrote:
This aircraft had its first flight in 2013 and there has not been a single order announced yet. Is the program dead ? It does seem useful as a light attack aircraft and seems better suited for the role than a converted trainer.

It lost out on the US Light Attack selection so at the moment nothing is happening. The issue appears to be that the Scorpion is too costly compared to the turboprop AT-6 and Super Tucano and not enough capability compared to the converted trainers and low end fast jets.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: What happened to the Textron Scorpion ?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:31 pm

Politics. That's what happened.

It's kind of ironic, the powers that be said they wanted companies to make their own products and the Air Force even opened a new office to facilitate procurement in a different way than we are used to. They were encouraging companies to go out and make investments and that the Air Force will come in and possibly buy the products. The Scorpion basically proves it's not worth working outside of the standard procurement model as a defense contractor. The Scorpion really seems to fit a nice niche, and it's a very cheap option.

They do still take it to air shows I believe. Saw something pop up on their facebook page a while back.
 
Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: What happened to the Textron Scorpion ?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:06 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
Politics. That's what happened.

It's kind of ironic, the powers that be said they wanted companies to make their own products and the Air Force even opened a new office to facilitate procurement in a different way than we are used to. They were encouraging companies to go out and make investments and that the Air Force will come in and possibly buy the products. The Scorpion basically proves it's not worth working outside of the standard procurement model as a defense contractor. The Scorpion really seems to fit a nice niche, and it's a very cheap option.

They do still take it to air shows I believe. Saw something pop up on their facebook page a while back.

Is it cheap? Having never been in mass production or developed past the concept I'm not sure we can accurately define the cost of the aircraft. It is certainly more expensive, to acquire and operate, than the AT-6 and Super Tucano that were down selected.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: What happened to the Textron Scorpion ?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:23 pm

Ozair wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
Politics. That's what happened.

It's kind of ironic, the powers that be said they wanted companies to make their own products and the Air Force even opened a new office to facilitate procurement in a different way than we are used to. They were encouraging companies to go out and make investments and that the Air Force will come in and possibly buy the products. The Scorpion basically proves it's not worth working outside of the standard procurement model as a defense contractor. The Scorpion really seems to fit a nice niche, and it's a very cheap option.

They do still take it to air shows I believe. Saw something pop up on their facebook page a while back.

Is it cheap? Having never been in mass production or developed past the concept I'm not sure we can accurately define the cost of the aircraft. It is certainly more expensive, to acquire and operate, than the AT-6 and Super Tucano that were down selected.


Quite right. But Textron knows how to project costs. They built several of these. There were jokes that it was being called the "Citation Scorpion" because some of the off the shelf components they use on their business jets made it onto the first aircraft.

But the OAX/Light Attack competition has had goal posts moved so many times that it's difficult to really call it a fair competition at this point. At one point the Scorpion sounded like a perfect shoe in for what the Air Force was looking for. A cheap to operate plane that could loiter for 8 hours and provide reconnaissance and close air support on the battle field where little surface to air or air to air defensive capabilities are present. Basically used for counter-insurgency warfare - ie Afghanistan.

But then the goal posts moved and they wanted something even cheaper and just wanted to provide light air support at an even cheaper cost.

And now we see, again, the goal posts have moved (this time with the appointment of a former Boeing executive). Cost seems to not be as much of an issue and they want to possibly consider the Boeing T-X as an option. Which honestly goes completely against everything we knew about the light attack program 6+ months ago. This article is copied from the light attack experiment thread https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/01 ... efinitely/
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: What happened to the Textron Scorpion ?

Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:28 am

If a General is not in charge of the program and can retire into a job with the company than the program isn't going anywhere. The same thing happened to the F-20.
 
ThePointblank
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: What happened to the Textron Scorpion ?

Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:14 am

kc135topboom wrote:
If a General is not in charge of the program and can retire into a job with the company than the program isn't going anywhere. The same thing happened to the F-20.

The F-20 was designed and built because the government at the time didn't want to export the F-16 to other non-major American allies (outside of NATO, Australia, and Japan). When those export restrictions started being relaxed, the F-16 was the preferred aircraft for foreign customers because it was the same fighter the USAF was using (hence ease of training and getting spares and support), and was far less capable in air to ground missions due to a lack of available payload capacity.

And at the time, if you could not get an American jet, but you are still Western-aligned; you went French; the Mirage 2000 was a popular option for those non-NATO Western nations to pick as an alternative.

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