Scorpion: Meet the Cheap Jet that Nobody Wants | Military Update




Scorpion: Meet the Cheap Jet that Nobody Wants | Military Update

It looks good on paper, It looks good on the ground,... heck it even looks good in the air but is it actually good enough to catch a buyer? let see.

Meet the Textron AirLand scorpion built by a combine team of Textron and AirLand enterprise. The Scorpion was build in secret with various Commercial-of-the-Shelf technology in Cessna's Wichita, Kansas facility in April, 2015.

The AirLand Scorpion was born out of a need for low-cost, low-budget and less powerful tactical aircraft. As experienced gained during the Afghanistan and Desert Storm conflict major top of the line aircrafts like Su-27, MiG-29S, F-15s, F-16s e.t.c were frequently used for Combat Air patrol (CAP) and Close Air Support (CAS), This operations does not require high-G or complex maneuvers thus a high performance jet doing low performance duty in a mostly uncontested airspace will incur high operational cost. For instance an F-16 costs about $24,899 per flight hour to operate.
Click here to watch the scorpion's first flight
Click here to watch the scorpion's first flight

AirLand Enterprises first approached Textron in October 2011 with the concept of building the "world’s most affordable tactical jet aircraft." The two companies created a joint venture called Textron AirLand and development of an aircraft began in January 2012. Neither Textron nor its subsidiaries had much experience designing fixed-wing combat aircraft. Textron saw a market for the type. The first concept had a single engine.

The Scorpion can be integrated with a variety of sensors, electro-optical / infrared devices and communication packages and weapon systems.

More than two years after Textron AirLand’s Scorpion tactical jet took off for its first flight, orders for the military aircraft still hasn't appeared although, analysts think orders will still come for the jet, particularly from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America

So far, the Scorpion has accumulated about 600 hours and flown to 10 countries. Textron said the jet which sells for less than $20 million can be easily configured for different missions - with its easily detachable wing which can be reconfigured according to the mission.

The scorpion's primary role include;

Surveillance
Tactical jet training
Border Security
Irregular Warfare
Maritime security
Flight training
Close Air Support.

Also given its low price as a military jet and low operating cost of $3,000 an hour the jet might be considered by less wealthy countries with fewer conflict to handle.

The scorpion is targeting Countries which cannot afford more expensive fighter fleet such countries include Chile, Nigeria, Angola or Malaysia which has previously shown interest in the aircraft. With Nigeria fighting an insurgency and a growing unrest of the civil population coupled with the United State unofficial arms sanction on the country.

FEATURES OF THE SCORPION JET

Built-in Flight Management System
Class-B Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS)
Engine Indicating/Crew Alerting System (CAS)/Master Caution
Dual Air Data Attitude Heading Reference Systems
Dual Global Positioning System/Satellite-Based Augmentation System (GPS/SBAS)
Display of External Video (Mission Processor, EO/IR, etc.) – Sensor Agnostic
Integrated Moving Maps Including Highway in the Sky Functionality
Weather Radar Controls
Night Vision Compatible
Low Power Consumption
Digital In Flight Sensor Playback for Forensic Analysis

DIMENSIONS
Aircraft Length 44 ft 3 in
Wingspan 47 ft 10 in
Height 14 ft 2 in
Standard Empty Weight 11,800 lbs
Max Takeoff Weight 21,250 lbs
Max Internal Fuel Load 6,000 lbs
Max Internal Payload Bay 3,000 lbs
Thrust ~8,000 lbs
Max Speed 450 KTAS
Service Ceiling 45,000 ft
Ferry Range 2,400 NM

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