Small Wars Journal

A Light Attack Aircraft Fleet: Could it Change the Fight or Put Lives at Risk?

A Light Attack Aircraft Fleet: Could it Change the Fight or Put Lives at Risk? By Stephen Losey - Air Force Times

A new light attack aircraft could provide the Air Force a cheaper, more cost-effective way of dealing with low-end threats — and free up its more advanced fighters to deal with more serious adversaries.

But some critics fear that sending a slower, more lightly armored, propeller-driven plane into battle — even in relatively permissive environments — could put pilots at risk of being shot down or even killed.

For years, the Air Force has used fighters such as the F-15, F-16, and the F-22, as well as the A-10 Warthog and AC-130 gunship, to wage war against the Taliban, Islamic State, and other insurgent groups in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But with none of those groups having any semblance of an air force, and with limited air defense capability at best, the Air Force has at times sent some of the most advanced fighters in history up against targets that are way below their weight class…

Read on.