Textron AirLand Unveils Scorpion Light Attack Jet

Textron AirLand, a joint venture between Textron and AirLand Enterprises, on Monday unveiled the Scorpion, a new intelligence-gathering and light-attack jet, at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. “We began development of the Scorpion in January 2012 with the objective to design, build, and fly the world’s most affordable tactical jet aircraft capable of performing lower threat battlefield and homeland security missions,” said Textron Chairman Scott Donnelly, in the joint venture’s release. Scorpion is “well into the test and integration phase” and should be flying by the end of this year, he said at the press briefing announcing the jet. Twin turbofan engines power Scorpion, according to its fact sheet. It also features retractable sensor mounts, an internal payload bay, and external carriages for precision and non-precision munitions. The design makes it well matched to Air National Guard missions like border patrol, maritime surveillance, counter-narcotics, and air defense operations, states the release. Donnelly said there is also international interest in Scorpion. (For more images, see Textron Airland website.)