Jul 20, 2014
Textron AirLand Targets National Guard for Potential Sales
Guardsmen will not operate the Scorpion, which will be flown by a Textron test pilot during the demonstration. However, the Guard will have access to intelligence and reconnaissance data provided by the aircraft during the mock search-and-rescue operation at the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range near Salina, Kansas.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has said it is unlikely that the service could afford new aircraft beyond its three priorities: the F-35 joint strike fighter, KC-135 tanker and a new long-range bomber. However, Textron AirLand is continuing to brief Welsh on the Scorpion, and executives believe the possibility still remains for procurement by the National Guard.
The company is also targeting international customers. The aircraft in July flew 4,700 nautical miles from Wichita, Kansas, to Gloucestershire, England, for the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough International Air Show.
Textron could start initial deliveries 30 months after receiving its first order.