Scorpion As An Airshow Aircraft?


A sale is a sale but Textron Airland probably didn’t expect its first customer-owned Scorpion military jets to hit the airshow circuit. DefenseNews is quoting unnamed sources as saying the United Arab Emirates is in “serious discussions” to buy Scorpions for its air demonstration team, Al Fursan. The team currently flies six (with a seventh spare) Aermacchi MB-339 jets made in Italy and has only been flying since 2010. It performs at air events throughout the Middle East. In English, Al Fursan translates to The Knights.

While Textron Airland has been billing the Scorpion as a relatively low-cost light attack and ISR platform, those attributes will likely make it a good airshow performer, too. “That’s probably looking at it as an entry point to get in there with the aircraft,” the industry source told DefenseNews. UAE was going to buy 48 of the newer Aermacchi MB-346 as trainers but the deal was tied up with a UAV purchase that was cancelled because of technology transfer conflicts. The Scorpion is seen as a potential replacement for that trainer deal.