Thursday, January 19, 2017

US Air Force Chief Lends Support to Light Attack Aircraft Buy

US Air Force Chief Lends Support to Light Attack Aircraft Buy: The US Air Force’s top general on Wednesday indicated he would be supportive of purchasing low-end attack aircraft to ease the pressure on state-of-the-art fighters deployed to the Middle East.

Asked about Arizona Sen. John McCain’s recent suggestion to buy 300 low-cost, light-attack fighters, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said it was a “great idea” that would help ameliorate growing readiness issues.

“I think we’re 15 years into a long campaign in the Middle East. This will continue to be a coalition fight. So we’ve got to continue to evolve and look at the way we prosecute and sustain this campaign,” he said during an event at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

In a white paper published Monday, McCain, the Republican leader of the Senate Armed Services Committee, proposed procuring 300 inexpensive, off-the-shelf fighter aircraft, 200 of which could be acquired by fiscal 2022.

“The Air Force should embrace a 'high/low mix' of fighter aircraft. Very expensive fifth-generation technology is not needed in every scenario,” McCain wrote in the paper.