Desired characteristics for next aero scout

Crew: Two military-occupation-specialty trained aero scouts.

Size: Lightweight-category aircraft.

Signature: Small, quiet, difficult to detect.

Agility: Power to be able to operate at most altitudes on “high/hot days” and maneuverability to land in small cleared areas not much larger than a rotor-blade diameter.

Optics: Mast-mounted (not chin-mounted) 3D Generation 360o infrared, coupled with a laser designator.

Lethality: Versatility to mount an anti-tank missile pod or an anti-aircraft missile pod – primarily to destroy UAS; a traversable chin-mounted machinegun or light cannon.

Endurance: Three to four hours between refuelings.

Mission command and communications: Interoperable with ground elements, including a common operating picture.

Sustainability: Reliable, easily maintained, re-armed and refueled in forward areas.

Strategic deployability: Capable of deploying by C-130, operational within minutes (not hours) after arrival.