Hawker Beechcraft Protests Exclusion of AT-6 from U.S. Light Air Support Contest

AIN Defense Perspective » November 25, 2011
The Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 (shown in formation with a T-6C) has apparently lost out to the Embraer Super Tucano in the U.S. Air Force Light Air Support contest. (Photo: Hawker Beechcraft)
November 25, 2011, 8:50 AM

The U.S. Air Force has apparently chosen the Embraer Super Tucano to meet the Light Air Support (LAS) requirement. Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 was the other contender. No official announcement has yet been made, but Hawker Beechcraft said it received a letter from the USAF that excluded the AT-6 from the hotly contested competition. The company is protesting the decision to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The LAS competition was designed to produce an alternative to jet combat aircraft for counter-insurgency operations. The Air Force planned to buy 15 aircraft for a training school at Eglin AFB, Fla., but had not confirmed plans to equip any of its own squadrons.

However, the U.S. was expected to supply or sell LAS aircraft to various countries, starting with 20 for Afghanistan. It was this potential that led Hawker Beechcraft and partners to spend “more than $100 million to meet the Air Force’s specific requirements,” the company said.

Last month, Hawker Beechcraft completed weapons drop tests with the AT-6, a modification of the successful T-6 primary trainer on which all U.S. military pilots graduate.

Meanwhile, Embraer teamed with Sierra Nevada Corp to offer the EMB-314 Super Tucano, and said it would assemble the aircraft in a new facility at Jacksonville, Fla. 

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Marcos Simoes
on October 15, 2012 - 12:35pm

You just forgot to mention that Hawker Beechcraft is a company Canadence.
$ 100 million is enough money to build a completely new plane,
is a lot of money to make some adjustments. Do not you think?

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