Skip to comments.Beechcraft Bailout Gone Bust
Posted on 11/21/2011 10:46:00 AM PST by DefenseMatters
End-Game for USAF Competition?
By Ed Timperlake
November 20, 2011
11/20/2011 The headline in the Wichita Eagle says it allHawker Beechcraft loses out on big Air Force contract
Reporter Dan Voorhis writing for The Wichita Eagle, (November 18 2011) points out that;
Hawker Beechcraft Corp. says the Air Force has informed the company that it lost out on a military contract worth nearly $1billion.
The company had hoped to win the Light Air Support contract with its AT-6, an armed version of its T-6 trainer. But on Friday, the company said it received a letter from the Air Force saying the AT-6 had been excluded from the competition. The company wants an explanation.
To clarify using Occams Razor that the simplest explanation may be the best before an orchestrated campaign to attack the integrity, professionalism, judgment and rational for a very wise USAF decision a simple point can be made. The opening principle of the request for entry into the selection process has the below first sentence in the RFP and everything that occurred may have followed:
BACKGROUND AND REQUIREMENTS: LAS aircraft must be a non-developmental item (NDI) that is production-ready. No development or testing funds are available. Introduction of LAS Solicitation FA8615-10-R-6088
In response to the Air Force decision Hawker Beechcraft immediately issued what may go down in history as one of the worst press statement ever made. Not only does the press release demonstrate why they were eliminated HBC may also find out, by their own words that any legal recourse for any protests are staggeringly bad.
We have been notified by the United States Air Force in a letter that the Beechcraft AT-6 has been excluded from the Light Air Support competition. The letter provides no basis for the exclusion. We are both confounded and troubled by this decision, as we have been working closely with the Air Force for two years and, with our partners, have invested more than $100 million preparing to meet the Air Forces specific requirements. Additionally, the AT-6 has been evaluated and proven capable through a multi-year, Congressionally-funded demonstration program led by the Air National Guard. We have followed the Air Forces guidance closely and, based on what we have seen, we continue to believe that we submitted the most capable, affordable and sustainable light attack aircraft as measured against the Air Forces Request for Proposal. We have requested a debriefing from the Air Force and will be exploring all potential options in the coming days.
By their own words We have followed the Air Forces guidance closely . HBC admits that they are to be measured by the terms of the RFP see the initial RFP opening requirement stated above-they were not ready to compete and the AF called them on that fundamental point as the public evidence evolved to make that very clear.
Additionally, in making their defense and initiating a demand for an explanation they publicly state that they have spent $100 Mil in their continuing and ongoing effort to develop the AT-6 to compete in a non-developmental contest!Priceless. Physician heal thyself!
In a request to Embraer on how much they invested in preparing the Super Tucano for the flight testing part of the competition it was their estimate that it was under $50,000 to fly the aircraft to the test site, fly the test missions and then return to Brazil. Since RFP paper work is constant among competitors the accurate ratio of $100 Million to $50,000 says it all. Additionally, the $100 mil was US taxpayer dollars, and the $50,000 was at the Super Tucanos teams risk funding.
The AF evaluation team proves that The Right Stuff can be shown in all dimensions of creating a modern airpower combat team. From an office at Wright-Pat to eventually the combat skies over Afghanistan our war effort to help the that country and quickly leave just took a turn for the good.
The attempt at legal analysis in the article is pathetic.
The a-29 is made by Embraer, a Brazilian company. Looks like another George Soros decision.
The A-29 Super Tucano will be proudly built in Jacksonville, Fla., with parts and services from more than 70 U.S. companies in 21 states.
This contract will immediately support the creation of at least 50 new jobs on the final assembly line in Jacksonville, and will help support at least 1,200 more jobs across America. Some 60 U.S. companies will supply components that will go into the Super T or services related to the LAS contract.
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the contract lead, currently employs more than 2,100 people at 29 locations in 15 states. Embraer North America has been in the United States for over 30 years, and employs 800 people in Florida; Arizona; Tennessee; Minnesota; and Connecticut. The company recently opened a new executive jet production facility in Melbourne that is creating 200 new jobs. The Jacksonville facility will augment this ongoing U.S. production.
Embraer is the worlds third-largest aircraft manufacturer and sources a majority of its component parts across all business lines from the United States. More than 7,000 U.S. jobs are supported as a result of Embraers component purchases
It would appear the best aircraft won... as it should be, our airmen deserve nothing but the best, wherever it comes from
These are prop planes which we are apparently building and then plan to give away to countries such as Afghanistan.
Almost sounds as if this “Brazilian” company is really an American company that has it HQ in a place that has lower taxes.
Almost, unless you consider the Board of Directors does not have one American on it.
No its a foreign owned and operated company which figured out the Americans would outsource military defense contracts.
yes they are prop jobs.......but they are to be used in counter insurgency roles...they get way better fuel consuption than a jet, carry a crapload of ordinance, and have better loiter time... a tool that is needed in our arsenel... the ground pounders that have had these at their disposal love them, they are a great ground support tool ( to be used after air superiority is established) I do not believe they are slated to be “given away”
Spoken like Kip Chalmers
Perhaps you think outsourcing Americas defense infrastructure to semi-friendly countries is a good thing, I don’t.
Perhaps you aren’t motivated by a strong America though.
Buy a Mooney!
I believe giving our forces the available tools they ask for, without nonsense preventing it.
“I believe giving our forces the available tools they ask for, without nonsense preventing it.”
Nonsense? Procurement of items “vital to our nations defense” from foreign sources is nonsense?
Spoken like a true Benedict Arnold.
So we can buy 100 planes that don't exist from the Canadian owned company with a presence in Kansas or 100 that do exist from the Brazilian owned company with a presence in Fla.
Actually, if I follow you, this plane should be bought from a 100% US owned company - so I guess we should buy no planes at all.
So yes, nonsense is all that you have stated.
strawmans are easy
but hey don’t let me interrupt you’re celebration of a foreign owned and operated company getting our defense contracts.
You would know.
Stating the FACT that this company is foreign owned and operated is not a strawman.
So either you work for this company or you are from Brazil, which one is it?
Whoever they buy from it is money flushed down the toilet. With a trillion dollar budget deficit we are buying the planes for Karzai’s Afghanistan, who said recently that in a war between Pakistan and the US, Afghanistan would side with the Pakistan (who’s ISI supported the Taliban that hosted Al Qaeda). Afghanistan within it’s present borders was created to serve as a buffer state between British India and Czarist Russia, an obsolete function. We would better served by allowing Afghanistan to breakup along racial and linguistic lines, the breakup would be bloody and messy, but it would not be our blood. Fighting over the merits of either plane is just arguing over the most efficient way of doing something that it makes no sense to do.
go back and look at one of my first posts, where I said we were probably going to give the dang things away
Now you demand answers to questions about nonsense. Are you Wesley Mouch?
Thanks, looks like you are correct. Everything I’ve heard about this deal sounds like it is a foreign aid program. I’d rather we go back to building a large bomber fleet, like we had in the fifties. Our 9-11 memorial should have been wasteland where Kandahar once stood.
And yet supposed Freepers celebrate the waste and the outsourcing of the contracts.
Don’t forget Mecca and a few other choice targets.
I haven't seen any comparative cost or performance data. But wonder how purchasing foreign is a plus for Americans. Are we talking cheap like Chinese toys??
If so then shame on us. American industry has been known for their ability to quickly tool up for any challenge.
p.s. I soloed in a T-6 in 1949.
If the article were true why would the USAF have let HBC continue on with the program up until weeks before the contract award.
If their aircraft did not meet the basic requirements ‘as-is’ like the article says above someone at the pentagon should have said something.
Otherwise this was all a waste of not only their internal funds but also taxpayer dollars!
The simple truth is that HBC has coordinated with the USAF for years! (There has been involvement with the Iraqi Air Force since 2008!) Why would the USAF have strung them along up till now only to see them get the boot? It doesn’t make any sense.
Some of you seem hung up on how good the Tucano is....but have you seen the advanced systems going into the AT-6.
The Tucano may be proven in combat but does that necessarily mean it’s better? Would you also say the F-22 is a terrible airplane because it hasn’t seen real combat yet?
Did Air Tractor ever have a shot at this? I thought they were building some military models suitable for counter-insurgency.
“The simple truth is that HBC has coordinated with the USAF for years!”
The USAF wanted a plane that was production-ready. The AT-6 seemingly is still not ready.
“Did Air Tractor ever have a shot at this?”
Apparently they had about the same shot at this as the AT-6. (sarcasm)
The AT-6 is ready to go right now. AT-1 and AT-2 were the test aircraft and the third off the line is representative of production. So by the time this contract is awarded, yes, it is an ‘off-the-shelf’ peice of equipment.