SOCOM granted five businesses a total of $19.2 million earlier this month to show low-cost aircraft capable of surveillance and strike delivery in harsh environments like Africa. Some analysts perceive such an airplane’s possible “armed overwatch” duty as a continuation of the Air Force’s canceled Light Attack aircraft program. Congress was wary of the project, and Armed Overwatch was viewed with skepticism as well. SOCOM was forbidden from obtaining any Draco replacements under the fiscal 2021 military policy bill, although the command was allowed to conduct a review. There’s no certainty that a “winner” would land a production deal, but a diverse group of contenders is anticipated to compete.