Let’s be honest: had it been the latest Iranian fighter jet we would have laughed at it. But it was designed by Cessna so we believe it has at least a few chances to succeed.
We are talking about Scorpion, the new tactical strike aircraft secretely developed by Cessna parent company Textron and unveiled to the public in September.
The aircraft aims to replace current, expensive warplanes in irregular warfare, border and maritime patrol, intelligence surveillance reconnaissance, counter-narcotics, air defense operations and any other task that could be fulfilled by a light aircraft capable to reach a maximum speed of about 450 kts and accomodate some precision guided munitions.
Its shape is at least weird but with a planned hourly cost of only 3,000 USD, the Scorpion could fill the gap between choppers and hi-tech, costly combat planes in homeland security missions and low lethality scenarios.
Provided the U.S. Air Force will venture on a new plane for missions that are being gradually transferred to UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles).