Textron AirLand Scorpion Light Attack / Reconnaissance / Training Aircraft
Textron, in a joint venture with Airland Enterprises, will attempt to sell its new, low-cost Scorpion light attack aircraft to the US military and other interested global parties.
Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
With shrinking global procurement budgets, the light attack aircraft category is experiencing a renaissance of sorts as a low-cost alternative to the heavier, technology-laden mounts (and those Cold War warriors still in use) being offered by leading powers. Textron, a concern largely committed to the business jet and helicopter markets, has teamed with AirLand Enterprises (founded 2011) to develop the "Scorpion" light attack platform for possible submission to the US Air Force (USAF) and (perhaps ore realistically) other interested global parties. AirLand designed the basic concept of the Scorpion aircraft to which Textron joined as the primary brand label to help further the product - a vast departure for the company as it steps into fixed-wing aircraft territory dominated by the likes of Boring and Lockheed. The joint venture was born in January of 2012 and the Scorpion prototype has already completed its maiden flight with over 70 hours of testing to date (July 2014).
At its core, the Scorpion is a two-seat, twin-engine light attack platform featuring a straight, high-mounted wings allowing for easy clearance of underwing stores. The aircraft features three underwing hardpoints to each wing and an internal bay for ordnance and mission equipment. In all, its external carrying load reaches 6,000lb while its internal loads are restricted to 3,000lb. The aircraft is therefore setup to accomplish low-level, high-speed attacks or reconnaissance sorties through use of precision, guided, homing or conventional ordnance while displaying an inherent capability to support specialized mission equipment.