Scorpion Jet offered to IAF
With the Problems in LCA and other Trainer Jets IAF seeks a good platform, which could be cost effective, low operating cost and it should be perform Close Air support mission, Recon mission for longer time, since the LCA failed the above aspects which have less than 500 kilometers of Combat radius, which pushed back the LCA from IAF for decades, and incapability of ADA and HAL also a reason for that.
|Fully Armed Scorpion Jet|
But here IAF heavily lacks of a Good Ground Attack platform which can assist the Ground Troops, the IAF relies on other fighters to perform such CAS and Recon missions which is a Over kill, an Armed Mirage who flying around a Clock mission somewhere in the Borders for Close Air support is an over kill, earlier IAF used Helicopter Gunships like Mi 35 and Armed Mi 17 v5 but both lacks speed altitude and Range, So the place again left for a Good cost effective CAS platform.
The same is also for USAF they relies on A 10 which is a Good platform for CAS, A 10 is the best platform for CAS, whenever enemy hears it was the A 10, he will stays in the hideouts, otherwise he would end up with the Bullets or PGM. But the main problem is the high operating and Maintenance cost, so the Americans needs a Plane that would be stay in the Air long time with Munitions also have Recon elements. Whose cost would be minimal, both in procure, flying and Maintenance.
Here American and Indian needs is equals, India Chooses the Rafale for MRCA as well as CAS and Armed Recon missions (Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance) (LAAR). While the Americans still looking for a good platform, they found nothing so the managed to keep with F 35 and F 15.
But two US companies identifies the Shortage of Such platform both USAF and most other countries, So they managed to create a Fighter who can do all the above missions and yes with the desirable low cost both flying maintaining and procurement. and they rolls out the Scorpion Light Attack Jets early 2013.
The USAF, Pentagon officials analyzed the Scorpion Jet. but they found many problems and declined to use in the Air force, the main problem lies on the Payload. Scorpion offers good Recon elements but lacks the Payload, for that it can be used only for COIN missions not in regular warfare, also the Flight have worst performance in lo lo lo and hi hi hi mission, good in Medium Altitudes only, these are the two main reasons why USAF didn't look the Textron Scorpion.
So they looks for buyers from foreign countries, Recently The US officials says that they were ready to give the Scorpion to Indian Air force, this is the second time they were offering the scorpion to IAF for both LAAR and Training missions.
But reality is the IAF should neglect the Scorpion for the same reason why USAF neglected the Scorpion,
If we compared the LCA Tejas with the Scorpion, which can outperform Scorpion each and every aspects, expect the Combat Radius, where Scorpion have 1400 km of Combat Radius without Drop Tanks, Tejas have 500 kilometers even with the Drop Tanks. here Tejas costs $32 Million per piece and costs $12,000 to $16,000 per hour, but Scorpion costs only $20 Millions and Flying costs less than $3000 per hour.
But Tejas have many other advantages but all will be downsized due to the Combat Radius, Redesigning the Tejas with same mission characteristics but with longer Combat radius that is not below 1000 KM, is a good choice for IAF, and that it can be ordered in hundreds which gives the IAF upper edge in Asian Air forces,
|The Scorpion Light Attack/Trainer Jet|
|Fully Loaded LCA|