Lt. Gen. James Slife: AFSOC May Procure New ISR Aircraft in 2022

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Lt. Gen. James Slife
Lt. Gen. James Slife Commander AFSOC

Lt. Gen. James Slife, who leads Air Force Special Operations Command, said his group may push through with its planned purchase of a new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft in fiscal year 2022. 

The new Armed Overwatch aircraft would replace the existing U-28A Draco in FY 2022 if tests this 2021 go as planned, National Defense Magazine reported Tuesday.

The command initially wanted to commence purchases of Armed Overwatch in the current fiscal year, but pushed the plan to a later date as a result of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

Slife said at a virtual event hosted by Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies that FY 2021 funds allow for the aircraft's continued research, development, test and evaluation, prior to the final procurement decision.

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