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Sierra, Embraer Super Tucano Win USAF LAS; Hawker Fights

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Sierra, Embraer Super Tucano Win USAF LAS; Hawker Fights

Post by gvla on Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:01 am

By Michael Bruno michael_bruno@aviationweek.com, Fred George fred_george@aviationweek.com
Washington, San Diego



Sierra Nevada and its major partner Embraer have been awarded a firm-fixed price contract for $355.1 million for the U.S. Air Force’s Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft program; but competitor Hawker Beechcraft indicated it will continue to fight the move in court.

Hawker, the Pentagon and Sierra and Embraer variously announced the award Dec. 30, including dueling press statements between the prime competitors over what could become a federal court case regarding USAF contract procedures, the fate of Hawker Beechcraft and the future of U.S. efforts to train allied air force pilots, starting in Afghanistan.

According to a Pentagon announcement, issued after regular trading closed on U.S. stock markets, the five-year award is for 20 “non-developmental aircraft procured for conducting advanced flight training, surveillance, air interdiction and close air support.”

As described by the contract announcement, “The LAS aircraft is a single-engine turboprop fixed-wing aircraft with tricycle, retractable landing gear, and tandem two-place pressurized cockpit with ejection seats, capable of operating from semi-prepared air fields.”

The Hawker AT-6 and Embraer Super Tucano were evaluated by the Air Force in a flyoff conducted in January 2011. Sierra is the A-29 Super Tucano’s U.S. lead in the LAS competition, and final preparation will occur in Jacksonville, Fla. In a press statement Sierra and Embraer executives hailed their win.

““We are ready to support the LAS mission immediately,” said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, President Embraer Defense and Security. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Embraer, the citizens of Florida and the thousands of employees who will be part of our supply chain.”

“We are honored by this decision and the opportunity to serve our country,” said Vice President of ISR Business Development Taco Gilbert. “We believe in the goals of the Light Air Support mission and are proud to be able to support the United States in its partner-building efforts in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. American warfighters, American workers, and our partner nations all win with this award.”

Embraer will provide the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, simulators and planning stations, and spare parts. Sierra will provide in-field logistic support and pilot and maintenance training. The companies said more than 70 U.S. suppliers in 21 states will supply parts or services, and at least 1,200 U.S. jobs will be supported through this contract.

Earlier in the day, Hawker said the firm had learned from Justice Department attorneys at a U.S. Court of Federal Claims hearing that the Air Force apparently awarded its Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft contract to Sierra Nevada and Brazilian airframe manufacturer Embraer on Dec. 22.

Furthermore, as of early Dec. 30 government officials apparently had elected not to make public the contract award, although Dec. 28 court transcripts confirmed the fact, according to Hawker.

The lag prompted Bill Boisture, Hawker chairman and CEO, to say, “This is yet another example of the Air Force’s lack of transparency throughout this competition.” Hawker filed suit with the Court because it was declined a review of why it was disqualified from the LAS competition. “With this development, it now seems even clearer that the Air Force intended to award the contract to Embraer from early in this process.”

Hawker’s AT-6 LAS bid, a beefed up and more powerful version of its T-6 Texan II trainer, faced stiff competition from the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano fielded through Sierra, during the LAS competition. The AT-6 is a newcomer to counterinsurgency warfare and the LAS program would have been its first opportunity for combat experience. Super Tucano, in contrast, has been on active duty for several years with the armed forces of Brazil and Colombia, among other nations, and it is a veteran LAS combat aircraft.

As Aviation Week & Space Technology reports in its Jan. 2, 2012, edition, the outcome of the legal battle could directly affect Hawker’s future. Despite the profits from military sales, the company has posted cumulative operating losses of nearly $1 billion since 2009, and its core market of business jets is not expected to rebound significantly until at least 2013. And unlike other business jet manufacturers such as Cessna, which is owned by Textron, and Gulfstream, a unit of General Dynamics, Hawker does not have the backstop of a large corporate parent. Investment bank Goldman Sachs and Canadian buyout firm Onex Corp. purchased Hawker in 2007 from Raytheon for $3.3 billion.

In recent months, there has been widespread speculation that the company’s owners could try to recoup part of that investment by selling off some or all of its operations in pieces, with the military segment going to a U.S. buyer and the civil aircraft unit sold to an entity in China, which is trying to become a player in the business and general aviation market. But if the company does not win the LAS competition, its military line would be less attractive.


- with Joseph C. Anselmo in Washington

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/awx/2011/12/30/awx_12_30_2011_p0-410370.xml&headline=Sierra,%20Embraer%20Win%20USAF%20LAS;%20Hawker%20Fights&channel=defense

Now we expect that Brazil will buy F-18.....
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Re: Sierra, Embraer Super Tucano Win USAF LAS; Hawker Fights

Post by gvla on Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:42 am

A-29 SUPER TUCANO WINS DEFENSE CONTRACT IN US
Embraer Defense and Security and partner Sierra Nevada Corporation will provide the US Air Force with the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft for the LAS program




Conteúdo
​São Paulo, Brazil, December 30, 2011 – The U.S. Air Force today announced that it has selected the A-29 Super Tucano, produced by Embraer Defense and Security, for the Light Air Support (LAS) program. The aircraft will be supplied in partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) as the prime contractor, and will be used to conduct advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance and light air support operations.

“This opportunity to serve the US Government with the best product for the LAS mission, under the leadership of the Sierra Nevada Corporation as the prime contractor, honors us,” said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, CEO of Embraer Defense and Security. “We are committed to pursuing our U.S. investment strategy and to delivering the A-29 Super Tucano on schedule and within the budget.”

As specified by the Air Force, this is a firm-fixed price delivery order contract in the amount of $355 million for the Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft and associated support. Twenty LAS aircraft will be provided, as well as ground training devices to support pilot training and support for all maintenance and supply requirements for the aircraft and associated support equipment.

“We are honored by this decision and the opportunity to serve our country,” said Taco Gilbert, Vice President of ISR Business Development at SNC. “We believe in the goals of the Light Air Support mission and are proud to be able to support the United States in its partner-building efforts in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. American warfighters, American workers, and our partner nations all win with this award.”


About the LAS Program

The LAS mission requires a non-developmental solution that provides the versatility, engagement, and persistence that the warfighter needs in a counterinsurgency environment, at a significantly lower cost than fighter jets. That aircraft must offer intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities; deliver a wide variety of munitions (including precision guided weapons); and operate in extremely rugged terrain and austere conditions.


About the A-29 Super Tucano

The A-29 Super Tucano was built specifically for counterinsurgency missions and is currently used by five air forces and on order by others. It has proven extremely capable for LAS missions and is credited with helping the Colombian government defeat the FARC and other governments counter illegal activities. The 150+ units now in operation around the world have logged over 130,000 flight hours, including more than 18,000 combat hours without any combat loss.

About the Sierra Nevada Corporation

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is one of America’s fastest growing private companies based on its significant growth and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft, communications systems, and solar energy. Under current leadership since 1981, SNC’s seven unique business areas employ over 2,100 people in 29 different locations in 15 states, all of whom are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC’s dynamic customer base. SNC is the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States.

Over its approximately 50 years of history, SNC has remained focused on providing its customers the very best in diversified technologies to meet their needs, and has a strong and proven track record of success. The company continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements and outside acquisitions, including the emerging markets of renewable energy, telemedicine, nanotechnology, cyber and net-centric operations. For more information on SNC, visit www.sncorp.com, email generalinfo@sncorp.com, or contact +1 775 331 0222.


http://www.embraer.com/en-US/ImprensaEventos/Press-releases/noticias/Pages/SUPER-TUCANO-VENCE-CONTRATO-DE-DEFESA-NOS-EUA.aspx
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Re: Sierra, Embraer Super Tucano Win USAF LAS; Hawker Fights

Post by gvla on Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:16 am

Super Tucano wins USAF order, but Hawker Beechcraft launches challenge




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By: Stephen Trimble Washington DC
8 hours ago
Source:





A $355 million contract award by the US Air Force to prime contractor Sierra Nevada for 20 Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucanos on 30 December faces legal and political challenges from ousted bidder Hawker Beechcraft.

Kansas-based Beechcraft has already launched the process of filing an appeal in the US Court of Federal Claims. Meanwhile, two Kansas representatives in the US Congress have added their support to stop the award to Beechcraft's Brazilian competitor.

"It is simply wrong from the Obama Administration to hire a Brazilian company to handle national security when we have a qualified and competent American company that can do the job," Representative Tim Huelskamp said.

"I will continue to fight for answers on this matter," added Representative Mike Pompeo, who also said the decision to select a Brazilian aircraft was "troubling".

The USAF notified Beechcraft that its AT-6 Texan II had been eliminated from the light air support (LAS) aircraft competition after failing to meet unspecified requirements by certified letter on 4 November.

Beechcraft had an opportunity to request a debrief and file a protest but the unexpected letter was apparently misplaced in the company's internal mail delivery system. Company officials told the US Government Accountability Office they did not discover the USAF's letter until 11 days after its delivery.

Both companies competed aggressively for the LAS contract. The initial 20 aircraft on order will be delivered to the Afghan air force, while another 15 could be acquired as trainers for the USAF. Dozens more light fighters could subsequently be ordered for other partner nations. The USAF originally estimated the maximum value of the programme could rise to almost $1 billion.

For Embraer, the contract award is its first major victory in the US defence market since 2004, when the ERJ-145 regional jet was selected by the army as a surveillance aircraft. However, that contract was cancelled in 2006.

"We are committed to pursuing our US investment strategy and to delivering the A-29 Super Tucano on schedule and within budget," said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, chief executive officer of Embraer Defense and Security.

Embraer and Sierra Nevada plan to assemble the aircraft at a new factory in Jacksonville, Florida. Their contract also covers the supply of associated ground training devices and support equipment

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/super-tucano-wins-usaf-order-but-hawker-beechcraft-launches-challenge-366450/

Are we going to see a serial like the one with KC-45 between boeing and Airbus
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Re: Sierra, Embraer Super Tucano Win USAF LAS; Hawker Fights

Post by gvla on Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:29 am

USAF reverses Tucano purchase  Print By: Stephen Trimble Washington DC 19 hours ago Source:

The US Air Force has been forced to reverse a contract award for the turbo-powered Embraer Super Tucano fighter after conducting an internal review of the selection process.

The reversal comes after USAF leaders pledged to clean up their acquisition process following a series of embarassing procurement blunders for tankers and helicopters.

The move also appears to re-open the light air support [LAS] contract to competition nearly four months after the USAF controversially eliminated the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 from the competition.

David Van Biden, the USAF's top acquisition official, "is not satisfied with the quality of the documentation supporting the award decision," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, General Donald Hoffman, chief of air force material command, has launched a "commander directed investigation" into the selection process, Donley said.

The USAF considered two bids for LAS contract to supply 20 turboprop fighters for the Afghan air force to perform counter-insurgency missions.
Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corporation offered Super Tucano and a Hawker Beechcraft/Lockheed Martin team proposed the AT-6 Texan II.

In early November, the USAF informed the AT-6 team that their aircraft had been eliminated from the competition, but did not explain the reason. That message, however, became lost within Hawker's internal mail system, and the company failed to respond until 11 days later.

Hawker's protest with the Government Accountability Office was rejected after the agency determined the company failed to submit its case before the contractual deadline.

Hawker filed an appeal in the Court of Federal Claims, and that litigation process is ongoing.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-reverses-tucano-purchase-368892/
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