WASHINGTON — Over the skies of Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, three industry teams are either preparing for or already engaged in a flight demonstration of their light attack planes, hoping to entice the Air Force into buying hundreds of new aircraft.

Another sales opportunity could be quick on its heels. The Air Force and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) have noted an emerging opportunity to sell complementary light attack technology — or potentially additional aircraft — to the special operations community, and defense contractors are hungry to learn more.

A-29 Super Tucano demo at OA-X

Holloman Air Force Base is hosting the OA-X demonstration of light attack aircraft. One contender is the A-29 Embraer Super Tucano. The OA-X experiment looks to find cheaper off-the-shelf alternatives to operating jets against low-tech threats.

In a July 31 presolicitation published on FedBizOpps.com, the service indicated interest in pursuing “platform-agnostic light attack aircraft technologies relevant to a potential future SOF [special operations force] light attack mission and/or emerging light attack platforms.”