Ongoing analysis pushes back final light-attack aircraft RFP

By Rachel Cohen / December 18, 2018 at 4:14 PM

The Air Force will not release a final request for proposals for a light-attack aircraft acquisition program in 2018, despite earlier expectations the solicitation would come out this month, a service spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

"The Air Force does not anticipate release of the final light-attack request for proposals by the end of the calendar year as we complete additional analysis," Capt. Hope Cronin said in a Dec. 18 email.

Textron's AT-6B and the Sierra Nevada-Embraer team's A-29 are vying for a production contract that is slated for award in the last quarter of fiscal year 2019. Buying a less-expensive platform to fly close air support, air interdiction, combat search and rescue, strike coordination and reconnaissance and other missions could cost nearly $2.5 billion through FY-24.

Earlier this month, Inside Defense reported the service was waiting for industry's response to a second draft RFP before finalizing an acquisition strategy. Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force's military deputy for acquisition, said the service is letting the FY-20 budget process play out as well.