June 13, 2013

Beechcraft’s Statement on U.S. Government Accountability Office Ruling on Light Air Support Contract

WICHITA, Kan. (June 13, 2013) – Beechcraft Corporation today issued the following statement regarding the ruling by the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Beechcraft’s petition for further review of the U.S. Air Force’s award of the Light Air Support contract to Brazil-based Embraer. 

“It is deeply distressing that the Air Force selected a more expensive, less capable, foreign-manufactured airplane with weapons and systems unfamiliar to, and outside the control of, the United States military. We have known that the requirements for this procurement were written to favor the competition’s aircraft. During this protest, we learned that the GAO’s review looks only at whether the Air Force followed its process, but not whether the process itself was actually correct or appropriate. We question whether the Embraer aircraft with its foreign-made weapons can be certified to U.S. military standards in time to provide the mission-capable aircraft per the contract.

“It is now time for Congress to step in and put an end to this flawed acquisition process and limit the purchase of the Brazilian aircraft to only that of the Afghanistan requirement covered by the first delivery order of the LAS contract.

“Beechcraft remains confident that the AT-6, which was rated “Exceptional” by the Air Force, was the better choice for LAS and is the best aircraft for U.S. partner nations in need of light attack aircraft. The company is certain that future procurements, including those run by other governments, will validate this rating and result in the selection of the AT-6 for counterinsurgency and irregular warfare missions.”

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About Beechcraft Corporation

Beechcraft Corporation designs, builds and supports versatile and globally renowned aircraft, including the King Air turboprops, piston-engine Baron and Bonanza, and the T-6 trainer and AT-6 light attack military aircraft. Its 5,400 highly skilled employees are focused on continuously improving the company’s products and services which are sold to individuals, businesses and governments worldwide. In business since 1932, Beechcraft has built more than 54,000 aircraft and more than 36,000 continue flying today. It leads the industry with a global network of more than 90 factory-owned and authorized service centers. The company’s headquarters and major manufacturing facilities are located in Wichita, Kan. For more information, visit beechcraft.com or follow us on Twitter @Beechcraft.