Seeking “Robust” Combat Talon Replacement

Air Force Special Operations Command has completed its AOA for a replacement for its Vietnam-era MC-130 Combat Talon aircraft. AFSOC’s Capt. Elizabeth Paul noted that the new aircraft—now known as M-X—will need to carry more and fly farther and faster than a CV-22. Of course, the M-X must “be highly survivable” because the “exponentially increasing array of threats” make this aircraft a “difficult niche in which to maintain a robust capability,” she said. The M-X probably will push “advanced, low-observable technologies to new levels,” Paul added. Estimated fielding date, under the current acquisition system, said Paul, is 15 years from program start.