U.S. Air Force Scraps $355 Million AT-6 Super Tucano Deal
Says Questions About Documentation Caused The Abrupt Cancellation. The Air Force has cancelled its $355 million contract with Embraer for 20 Super Tucano aircraft that it had awarded December 31st effective Friday. The contract award, which is still being litigated, will be investigated.
"While we pursue perfection, we sometimes fall short, and when we do we will take corrective action," Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said in a statement, according to Reuters. "Since the acquisition is still in litigation, I can only say that the Air Force Senior Acquisition Executive, David Van Buren, is not satisfied with the quality of the documentation supporting the award decision."
“We are disappointed by this decision," said Taco Gilbert, Ret. USAF Brigadier General, and Vice President of ISR Business Development at Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). "We offered the U.S. Air Force a fully proven and cost-effective Light Air Support solution – and one that would be made in America, create and support American jobs and result in economic investment in the U.S. We know that our submission fully met the requirements of the U.S Air Force Request for Proposal (RFP) and that Sierra Nevada Corporation fully complied with the RFP process as set out by the U.S. Air Force.
“Today’s announcement only further delays the effort to get critical capabilities into the hands of our men and women in uniform and our coalition partners in-theatre. It also stymies efforts to create jobs and economic development at a time when our economy needs the boost. SNC and our team remain ready to get to work on this important contract. The A-29 Super Tucano, made in America, is the only plane that is capable today of meeting the requirements of the LAS mission. Nothing changes the fact that the war-fighter needs this capability immediately.”
Hawker Beechcraft praised the decision in a statement released to the media. “We commend the Air Force for this decision and we believe strongly it is the right thing for the Air Force, the taxpayers and the people of Hawker Beechcraft,” said Bill Boisture, Chairman, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. “We look forward to competing for this contract as this important initiative moves forward.
“This LAS competition is about much more than 20 aircraft for Afghanistan or a billion dollar contract,” Boisture added. “It is about the U.S. Air Force’s ability to build relationships with U.S. partner nations around the world for a generation to come. We continue to believe the American manufactured AT-6 is the right aircraft for this critical United States mission.”
Hawker Beechcraft said it is grateful to have the support of "its employees, concerned Americans, members of the flying military and policy makers from across the United States."
Source: 29 February 2012 - www.af.mil, www.builtforthemission.com, www.missionreadyat6.com
Photo: The U.S. Air Force AT-6 Super Tucano (Photo by hawkerbeechcraft)