The Air Force is looking at two demonstration aircraft as possible replacements for the A-10 Thunderbolt II. Testing of Textron Aviation’s AT-6 Wolverine and Sierra Nevada/Embraer’s A-29 Super Tuscano will take place for roughly three months beginning in May at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The service has long sought to retire the so-called Warthog, while encountering resistance largely from the Army and Marine Corps — both of whom have come to rely upon its formidable efficiency as a close-air support platform.
Testing will focus upon logistics and maintenance requirements, weapons and sensors, the training regimen, and the aircrafts’ capability to operate with other assets. Meanwhile, the Air Force plans to develop a suitable communications system that would prove effective in interaction with international forces, and demonstrate its command-and-control abilities.