Saturday, July 4, 2009
"Some of the warplanes drawing the most attention at this year's Paris Air Show are some of the slowest. Aerospace and defense companies are trying to capitalize on the growing appeal of low-cost planes packed with high-tech survelliance gear and weapons. These planes are suddenly in vogue as the costliest warplanes are falling out of favor at the Pentagon. ... Chunky no-nonsense looks are brutish enough to make passing generals stop and stare. [AT-802U's] 8,000-pound payload of missiles, rockets, cannons and bombs offers a contrasting image of air warfare to the larger, sleeker jet fighters that cost tens of millions of dollars and are the usual showstoppers here. ... Air Tractor's Air Truck, with a top speed of 210 miles per hour, will never be a stand-in for the US Air Force's F-22 Raptor, the kind of high-tech marvel that keeps enemies away so planes like an Air Truck can operate. But Mr. [Robert] Gates, who plans to end F-22 production, is focusing on fighting insurgents and buying less-expensive weapons systems, making such planes increasingly attractive", my emphasis, August Cole at the WSJ, 16 June 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124508942994615891.html.
I see nothing wrong with the Pentagon buying AT-802Us for use in say, Iraq. However, such planes are only usable after the US has achieved air supremacy. Got that Gates?