Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MigBuster

Scorpion

Recommended Posts

Analysts are unsure about what markets Textron AirLand is targeting with its new jet-powered Scorpion light tactical aircraft.

Ostensibly, the new attack aircraft is aimed at the US Air Force, but analysts are doubtful about the service’s desire to operate such an aircraft. Perhaps a more pressing question is the USAF’s ability to afford a new programme given the impact of Congression-mandated sequestration budget cuts.

“Beyond the issue of being able to afford another new programme, many of the missions suggested for such an aircraft might be better performed by RPAs [remotely piloted aircraft],” says Mark Gunzinger, a noted airpower analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “Possibly at less cost than a manned platform if you factor in the need to maintain pilot currency.”

According to Textron AirLand, a joint venture between Textron and AirLand Enterprises, the Scorpion is being designed for irregular warfare, border patrol, maritime surveillance, emergency relief, counter narcotics and air defense operations and building partner nation capacity.

The target market is the USAF’s Air National Guard component and foreign partner nations that cannot afford high-end combat aircraft like the Lockheed Martin F-35.

yourfile.jpg

 

 

“The target market that we have was kind of this hybrid of both ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and light attack,” says Scott Donnelly, Textron’s chief executive officer. “This aircraft was designed because we saw a very, very large gap between very high performance aircraft and single-engined turboprops.”

Donnelly says that acquiring the Scorpion would cost less than upgrading existing aircraft like the Fairchild Republic A-10 or Lockheed F-16. Additionally, sustainment costs for the new machine are expected to be much lower than either existing warplane.

Oddly, while the Scorpion can be used as a trainer, Donnelly says this version of the aircraft is not aimed at the USAF’s nascent T-X jet trainer programme. It could, however, be modified to fit those requirements with a single engine and swept wings, he says.

Historically, the USAF and most advanced air forces have shunned aircraft like the Scorpion for much higher performance machines, says Richard Aboulafia, an analyst at the Teal Group. It is doubtful that the USAF would have purchased this aircraft even at the height of the two Middle Eastern counter-insurgency wars.

However, Aboulafia suspects that Textron must have specific foreign customers in mind already. “I’m not so sure anyone would be this committed to the programme if they didn’t have some kind of likely launch customer,” Aboulafia says. “I just don’t know who that could be.”

Traditionally, the only solid market for an aircraft of this class has been the UAE. The Scorpion has a reconfigurable internal payload bay that would be able to carry a variety of weapons and sensors or fuel, but the aircraft will not have any dedicated built-in combat avionics such as radars or electro-optical cameras. Total capacity of the bay is 3,000lb (1362kg). The aircraft also carries 9,000lb of internal fuel.

The aircraft is also being designed with six external hard-points that appear to carry a combined total of 6,200lb of weapons or fuel. At max gross take-off weight, the aircraft weights 21,250lbs and will have ferry range of 2,400nm (4440km).

Donnelly says that the demonstrator aircraft that Textron is building will be powered by two Honeywell TFE731 geared turbofans, which provide a combined total of about 8,000lb (35.6kN) of thrust. The engines give the Scorpion a maximum speed of 450kt (833km/h).

Textron is in the final stage of construction on its Scorpion demonstrator aircraft, Donnelly says. The aircraft is expected to make its first flight before the end of the year. If a customer can be found, the aircraft could enter production in 2015, Donnelly adds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seems somehow familiar...........................

 

 

 

images.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-textrons-scorpion-will-struggle-to-find-a-niche-390725/

Edited by MigBuster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice bird!!! It would be nice to have one of them here at CA!!!

Edited by ignacioc91

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

looks nice, the back is similar to the Tomcat, the front is more similar to the Tucano IMHO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for starters I want one, both real life and on my HDD :rofl:

 

nice design! I really like the shape, and yes I agree it's somewhat Tomcat-ish in the back... But... I bet Cruise with his ego wouldn't fit in there

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What puzzles me is these "analysts" getting top billing in the article.

"We don't know what they're doing!"...followed multiple sentences later by the company actually saying what they're doing.

 

It's written in such a way as to cast doubt on the intelligence or at least business sense of the companies making it while making the "analysts" seem like brilliant authorities who know better. Because after all, if you really knew what was best, you'd be working for one of those companies and making them big bucks instead of working as some "analyst", wouldn't you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone on the keypublishing forums said " with budget sequestration ongoing and the DOD/USAF agonizing over retiring a number of types including the A-10, B-1B and KC-10 the idea that funding could be found for a twin light attack jet is wishful thinking at best and a pitiful joke at worst.  Textron knows this full well! Yet there is a prototype so they clearly want to do something with it, there is pretty much no chance we shall ever see this aircraft being purchased by the US in this role so the question is "what is Textron's game here ? "
 

Edited by Atreides

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Their hope is obviously that the decision will be made to cut some of the other forces in favor of this. So for 10 F-35s you could get 100 of these or something.

 

You can argue that will never happen, and you can argue it's bound to look good. Only the decision makers know what they'll think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They have the capacity to think? Could have fooled me with some of the 'decisions' of late (including the proposal to axe the A-10)....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..