Will the U.S. Air Force Really Buy a New Light Attack Aircraft?
The U.S. Air Force recently announced the next phase of its Light Attack Aircraft experiment — or OA-X. Two aircraft, the Textron AT-6 Wolverine and the Sierra Nevada A-29 Super Tucano will participate in another round of demonstrations between May and July as part of the experiment, which could... Read more
Shooting Down Drone Swarms With Prop Planes
Last week’s massed attempted drone strike against Russian forces in Syria is a harbinger of things to come. Indeed, it is almost inevitable that American forces could come under similar attack. However, countering drones with surface-to-air missiles or interceptor aircraft is expensive, thus an airplane such as Embraer and Sierra Nevada’s A-29 Super... Read more
The Pentagon Has Two Choices for Light-Attack Planes
In mid-2015, after a bruising battle on Capitol Hill over the future of close air support, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh directed exploration of a future attack aircraft, notionally designated A-X. Up until then, there had been no equivalent to the A-X program that developed the... Read more
Afghanistan Gets Its First Tiny Attack Planes
On Jan. 15, four A-29 attack planes touched down at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan. For a project beset by seemingly never-ending delays and military-industrial rivalries, the event was a major milestone. The A-29 is a variant of the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano — a light, flexible turboprop... Read more
To Strike the Islamic State, America Should Unleash Light Attack Planes
The Obama administration is searching for options in Syria. The conflict, which has raged for four years, shows no signs of abating. The Russian entry into the war on behalf of the Syrian regime is an unwelcome development that will serve to increase civilian casualties. For the United States... Read more

Michael W. Pietrucha

Col. Mike “Starbaby” Pietrucha was an instructor and electronic warfare officer in the F-4G Wild Weasel and the F-15E Strike Eagle, amassing 156 combat missions and taking part in 2.5 SAM kills over 10 combat deployments. As an irregular warfare operations officer, Pietrucha has two additional combat deployments in the company of U.S. Army infantry, combat engineer and military police units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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