The Air Force’s Special Operations Command (AFSOC) is trying to convince Congress to approve its much-needed “Armed Overwatch” aircraft in the 2022 budget. 

When speaking to the news media earlier this week, Lieutenant-General James Slife, the commander of AFSOC, said that this program is not a rehash of the earlier Air Force light attack program, but a response to the need for a much more versatile aircraft platform that AFSOC is looking for

“I think SOCOM [Special Operations Command] envisions this as more of a multirole platform that can perform level delivery of precision munitions,” Slife said. “The first step really is getting to a flying demonstration, which we anticipate is going to take place in the coming months.”

“I think we can do that at relatively low risk, based on what we’ve seen from the vendors who have indicated that they intend to bring platforms to demonstrate for us in the coming months,” he added.