Could the Textron Scorpion Jet be the Light Attack and ISR Platform of the Future?
Textron debuted its production-standard Scorpion light strike and ISR aircraft at the recent Dubai Airshow to show off its advantages to governments in the region. The composite-airframe twin-engine jet is conceived to be more cost-effective to operate in its specific role than higher-tier combat aircraft that aren’t expressly built for that purpose. For example, its Honeywell TFE731 turbofan engines are typically used on corporate jets. Acquisition cost is approximately $20 million dollars, and direct operating costs amount to only some $3000 per hour. Brett Pierson, a test pilot for Textron, explained the aircraft’s value proposition.