TDL’s pals at Inside the Air Force (subscriber-only) got thescoop of the week, in my opinion. Boeing is apparently pitching a new — andreally improved — version of the OV-10 Bronco for the counter-insurgencymission.
BOEING LOOKING TOGET INTO LIGHT-ATTACK PLANE MARKET WITH NEW OV-10
As the Air Forcecontemplates a requirement for a light-attack plane, Boeing has internally puttogether plans to build a souped-up modernized version of the Vietnam-era OV-10Bronco, Inside the Air Force has learned.
While thetwin-engine plane would maintain much of its 1960s-vintage rugged externaldesign, the 21st Century edition would feature a computerized cockpit,intelligence sensors and smart-bomb-dropping capabilities, according to anOV-10(X) product card obtained by ITAF. The
defense-giant has quietly beencirculating plans at military-sponsored events across the country that detailhow the company could rebuild and modernize the Bronco, according to Pentagonand industry officials. Chicago
I immediately called Jim “Grump” Hodgson,president of the OV-10 Bronco Association. About three years ago, senior
Unfortunately, Hodgson couldn’t give them good news. Only afew OV-10s were left in the boneyard, and most of the rest were in activecombat service in
Hodgson said several members of his group are aware ofnew Boeing’s plans for the OV-10. Interest is growing internationally in restartingproduction. The US Air Force also might consider it, but, as theITAF story reports, it would compete for the role agains the T-6B Texan II,AT-67 Dragon and EMB-314 Super Tucano.
The sudden appeal of the old OV-10 — even in an agedominated by Predator drones — doesn’t surprise Hodgson.
“It doesn’t make any different how good your UAVis,” he said. “Nothing replaces a couple of eyeballs on a head thatmoves around.”