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Thu, Nov 24, 2011

HBC Requests GAO Review Of Light Air Support Bidding Process

Air Force Has Refused A Second Request For An Explanation

Following the notification last week that Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) was excluded from the Light Air Support (LAS) bidding process, the company has requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) review the Air Force's decision. 

"Yesterday (Monday), we received notification that the United States Air Force formally denied our second request for a debriefing. As a result, we still have no information on why the Beechcraft AT-6 was excluded from the Light Air Support competition," HBC said in a statement.

"We continue to believe that we offered the most capable, affordable and sustainable light attack aircraft as measured against the Air Force's Request for Proposal. HBC's exclusion from competing for this important contract appears at this point to have been made without basis in process or fact. We are very interested in learning more about the decision and look forward to the results of the GAO's review."

As ANN reported Tuesday, Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) (pictured), who represents the Wichita area, said he is also keenly interested in the development. “It is vitally important for the Pentagon to clarify this matter, especially in light of allegations that Hawker’s main competitor in the LAS competition, Embraer, is being investigated for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," he said in a statement.

"Just last week, I alerted the Department of Defense to these allegations. I will continue to closely follow this issue.”

The primary competitor to HBC for the LAS is Embraer's Super Tucano, which had been characterized by many as something of a dark horse in this race. But it would appear that the billion-dollar contract is now likely to be awarded to the Brazilian manufacturer.

The Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia was quoted by the Wichita Eagle as stating, “They (Hawker) seemed to be the front runner for the contract... They had the most infrastructure spread over the most states and the most political support.”

FMI: www.hawkerbeechcraft.com

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