The U.S. Air Force is weighing the purchase of new light-attack aircraft to fight terrorists in the Middle East, an investment the service believes would provide a more cost-effective way to do the critical job of protecting soldiers on the ground. Less obvious is the way such an investment would also help the Air Force fill a growing shortfall in fighter pilots. The Air Force is in the midst of an experiment at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, that pits four off-the-shelf aircraft against each ...

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