American Air Force Backtracks On LAS Contract, Embraer Disappointed

  • 12:00 AM, February 29, 2012
  • 2413
The U.S Air Force has announced today that it is withdrawing the $354 million Light Air Support (LAS) contract which was earlier awarded to Sierra Nevada, a U.S. company that partnered with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to offer the E-314 Super Tucano. Embraer expressed its disappointment in today’s announcement by the US Air Force. “Along with its US partner, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Embraer participated in the LAS selection process providing, on time and without exceptions, all the required documentation. Embraer remains committed to offer the best solution to the US Air Force and will await further clarification on the subject to decide next steps, in consultation with its partner, SNC,” the statement said. Expressing regret in the decision, Taco Gilbert, retired Air Force general and vice president of ISR business development at Sierra Nevada, said in a statement, “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”. The contract was awarded Dec. 22 to Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corp., which was to work with Brazil-based Embraer on the project. In January, the Air Force halted work after Hawker Beechcraft Corp. filed a lawsuit claiming its own aircraft was wrongly excluded from the selection process.