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Textron AirLand Scorpion | Light attack and reconnaissance aircraft

Textron AirLand Scorpion
Textron AirLand Scorpion
Militarymedia.net | The Scorpion ground attack aircraft was developed by Textron AirLand as a private company. It is a joint venture between Textron and Airland Enterprises. Development began in 2012. A prototype was built by Cessna, which is a subsidiary of Textron. The Scorpion made its first flight in 2013. The aircraft was specifically developed to meet the possible requirements of the US National Guard and export customers. These light attack aircraft are inexpensive to purchase and operate. It is a budget alternative for small foreign militaries. Many countries need tactical aircraft, but cannot afford the high-end types. The Scorpion fills the gap between light turboprops and expensive ground attack jets. If the customer is found Scorpion production may start in 2015. Shipments can start within 15-18 months after the production order is received.

Scorpion can carry out light attack, reconnaissance, domestic interdiction, air patrol and training. This aircraft is limited to low-threat battlefield missions. Yet it outperformed turboprop aircraft in terms of range, durability and sensors. It is said that the aircraft is tough enough to withstand minimal damage. Unlike most ground attack aircraft, the Scorpion uses many commercially available components for its business jets, most of them from Cessna's inventory.

The Scorpion Demonstrator is powered by a commercially available Honeywell TFE731 turbofan. This engine is widely used on commercial business jets. Also these cost much less than specially designed military machines and much easier to service. Although newer versions of the Scorpion could have a different engine. During flight tests, pilots reported that the Scorpion was agile, agile, and powerful even when flown on a single engine. Aircraft do not have fly-by-wire to simplify design and keep costs down.
Textron AirLand Scorpion
Textron AirLand Scorpion
The developer claims that the Scorpion's flight hours cost only $3,000. None of the turbojet attack aircraft designed for Western purposes can even come close to this figure. For example, F-16 flight hours cost $25,000.

The aircraft has a retractable nose mount for electro-optical and infrared sensors. It is pulled into the nose when not in use to minimize drag.

The aircraft has an internal weapons bay. For the reconnaissance role, this bay can be reconfigured to carry sensors. It can also be used to carry extra fuel. Further depending on mission requirements, the internal bay can be configured to carry a mixture of weapons, sensors and fuel. There are also six external hardpoints for various weapons such as gun pods, missiles, rockets and bombs. The aircraft can carry precision-guided munitions with laser or GPS guidance. The aircraft has an internal payload capacity of 1,360 kg. An additional 1,400 kg of ordnance can be carried externally.
Textron AirLand Scorpion
Textron AirLand Scorpion
The Scorpion is a two-seater aircraft. However it can be flown by one pilot.

The unit cost of the Scorpion is estimated to be less than $20 million. This is less of an upgrade than the A-10 or F-16.
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