Textron AirLand Scorpion – reason for close air support aircraft project bids opening resched

Department of National Defense just announced the rescheduling of the Bid Submission and Opening for the acquisition of Close Air Support Aircraft Project for the Philippine Air Force from July 23 to August 11.

It is given that Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano – designed for light attack, counter insurgency, close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions – has an advantage in this project via government-to-government deal with Brazil. Super Tucano is being used by 10 operators with over a hundred built.

However, with the delay, experts say that the government might be looking for a deal with Textron AirLand venture who developed Scorpion, an American-made light attack and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) jet aircraft.

With the budget of PhP4.9 billion, the DND can still go for 6 aircraft.

Major constraint is, may be the deal breaker, the Textron AirLand Scorpion is currently on the hunt for its first clients. “We are well beyond initial discussions with at least three potential customers,” said Bill Anderson, president of the Textron AirLand venture.

The Scorpion is designed to carry out maritime security missions, close air support, jet training, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response.

It can reach the speed of 518 mph or 833 kph (Super Tucano – 590 kph), and carry 6200 lbs of armaments (Super Tucano – 3,300 lb).

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