Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano
In a surprise move, the U.S. Air Force revealed today that it will take “corrective action” on the light air support (LAS) aircraft contract. The Air Force had earlier announced the contract would be awarded to Sierra Nevada, a U.S. company that partnered with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to offer the E-314 Super Tucano.
In what turned out to be his last days as CEO of Hawker Beechcraft, Bill Boisture cranked up to thunderous his company’s response to the Air Force’s awarding its light air support contract to Sierra Nevada and its partner, Brazilian OEM Embraer.
When the U.S. Air Force announced on December 22 that it had selected Sierra Nevada and its Brazilian partner Embraer as the winner in the competition to build a light air support aircraft, not everyone was happy, in particular Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft, a competitor for the same contract.
In light of Hawker Beechcraft’s pending litigation over award of a light attack aircraft contract to competitor Sierra Nevada, the U.S. Air Force has issued a temporary stop-work order. Hawker Beechcraft filed suit after learning that the GAO had dismissed its protest over exclusion from the bidding.
Brazil’s Embraer and its U.S. partner, Sierra Nevada Corp., confirmed that the A-29 Super Tucano won the U.S. Air Force Light Air Support (LAS) competition. Hawker Beechcraft continued to protest the decision, by appealing to the Court of Federal Claims, and the Air Force issued a stop work order this week, just days after Sierra Nevada was awarded a $355 million contract for an initial 20 aircraft, as well as training equipment and support.
After the U.S. Air Force awarded a $1 billion light attack aircraft contract last week to Sparks, Nev.-based systems integrator Sierra Nevada and its partner, Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, Hawker Beechcraft described the process as “yet another example of the Air Force’s lack of transparency through this competition.” The decision eliminated Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 in favor of Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano, both of which are high-performance, single-engine turboprop aircraft developed from military trainers.
The U.S. Air Force has apparently chosen the Embraer Super Tucano to meet the Light Air Support (LAS) requirement.
Hawker Beechcraft completed a series of weapons delivery tests from its AT-6 light attack and reconnaissance aircraft, dropping eight laser-guided bombs as part of an ongoing operational assessment by the U.S. Ai