Turboprop light attack aircraft will deploy to the US Central Command area of responsibility and fly combat operations as a follow-on to the air force’s light attack flight experiment held at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, in August. Under the Combat Dragon III demonstration programme, an unspecified number – reported to be two each of Embraer/ Sierra Nevada’s A-29 Super Tucano and Textron’s AT-6 single-engine turboprops – are being considered for the deployment.
Where they will operate from has not been disclosed, but the previous test, dubbed Combat Dragon II, used modified Rockwell OV-10 Bronco twin turboprop attack aircraft to fly combat missions against ISIS insurgents in Syria. The Combat Dragon III programme is not currently planned to transition to a procurement effort, although this may change. At this stage the reports have made no mention of the other two experiment participants; L-3’s Longsword or Textron’s Scorpion jet.