November 7, 2007:
While the U.S. Air Force is cutting personnel in order to pay for new F-22 and F-35 fighters, many jet fighters are in danger of being replaced, in part, by equally new warplanes that look like something out of World War II. Case in point is the A-67 counter-insurgency aircraft (PHOTO). Initially designed as a private venture in the United States, it is now being developed for production next year. The propeller driven, single engine aircraft has one engine, a crew of two and can carry 1.5 tons of sensors and weapons. It can stay in the air for ten hours per sortie. The A-67 will cost about $8 million each, and is built to be easily, and cheaply maintained by small ground crews. With modern sensors and smart bombs, such an aircraft could do what an F-16 does over most of the world's battlefields, but at a fraction of the cost. Sales efforts are being directed at nations that need air power, but can't afford jet fighters. Afghanistan is a good example, as is any nation with islamic terrorists, or rebels of any kind, to deal with.