The AT-6 Wolverine participating in the evaluation at Holloman in August last year. USAF/Ethan D. Wagner

IN MAY 2018, the US Air Force began the second phase of its Light Attack Experiment, also known as OA-X, testing out turboprop light attack aircraft at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. This may eventually lead the ying branch to purchase 300 such machines for supporting ground troops in areas where air defenses are minimal or non-existent.

These aircraft would not survive in a war between great powers and fthgeneration jets but would ply their trade in tackling insurgencies and guerrilla conicts in the developing world. Here, light and maneuverable aircraft armed with cannon, rockets and small bombs cany low and close to the ground and hunt targets better than fastermoving aircraft.

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