So, two land wars in Asia ago, our Air Force decided that supersonic missile-armed fighter aircraft with the ability to deliver nuclear weapons but without a single gun on board, not even a Daisy Red Ryder, were maybe not the ideal aircraft for shooting up guys in pajamas and sandals.
There was a sudden interest in "counter insurgency" aircraft, ranging from WWII medium bombers rescued from the boneyard to jet trainers fitted with rocket pods and miniguns. These were cool for about fifteen minutes, but when we got bored and left Vietnam, they were pretty quickly neglected in favor of sexy supersonic jet fighters.
Since we're engaged in another land war in Asia against guys in pajamas and sandals, interest has cropped up again in another "counter insurgency" aircraft. Our national arteriosclerosis having greatly worsened in the intervening years, it's taken the better part of a decade to get around to announcing the competition, and we'll have been long-since bored with the war before any examples get bought.
The competitors this time around are a variant of the Hawker Beechcraft T-6 Texan II and the Brazilian Embraer Super Tucano. I wonder if the Brazilians, if they win, will be required to produce the aircraft in the US?