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Pentagon budget 2020: US Air Force plans Light Attack Experiment expansion

12 March 2019
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The US Air Force (USAF) is planning to expand its Light Attack Experiment (LAE) in fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020) to other aircraft classes such as rotary wing, unmanned, or turbojet, but what exactly the experiment will look like is still to be determined.The USAF is considering expanding its LAE beyond just turboprop aircraft such as Textron Aviation's AT-6 Wolverine. (USAF)The USAF is considering expanding its LAE beyond just turboprop aircraft such as Textron Aviation's AT-6 Wolverine. (USAF)

The service requested USD35 million for LAE in FY 2020, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for Budget Major General John Pletcher told reporters at the Pentagon on 12 March. He said the service will likely continue the effort's focus on experimentation as it did the previous two years. The USAF in 2018 had planned to procure light attack aircraft but decided against it, Gen Pletcher said.

"We just didn't feel comfortable that we had the right mix of capabilities that was going to attract the partners and allies that we needed," Gen Pletcher said. "So we want to look further."

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