Business

June 14, 2012

Sierra Nevada sues to reinstate Air Force contract

by Roxana Hegeman
Associated Press

Sierra Nevada Corp. is suing for the reinstatement of a $354 million contract to build light air-support aircraft for use in Afghanistan, after the U.S. Air Force canceled the deal following objections by a rival manufacturer and under pressure from lawmakers.

The Air Force canceled the high-stakes contract in March and launched an investigation after Hawker Beechcraft Corp. said it had been wrongly excluded from the bidding process.

Sierra Nevada sued for the contract’s reinstatement in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims June 12, contending that the revised bid proposal was tilted in favor of Hawker Beechcraft. The contract could ultimately be worth nearly $1 billion, depending on future orders.

Sparks-Nev.,-based Sierra Nevada also raised concerns that the new selection process eliminates any flight demonstration or evaluation, meaning the first opportunity the Air Force will have to test the aircraft will come after it has been purchased and produced.

Wichita, Kanas,-based Hawker Beechcraft has not yet put into production the single-engine turboprop it proposes to build under the contract.

“It is unfathomable that the Air Force won’t test this aircraft until it is past the point of no return, especially when one of the aircraft in the competition is still developmental,” Taco Gilbert, Sierra Nevada’s vice president of business development, said in a news release.

“This has happened only rarely in (Department of Defense) aircraft acquisitions and it has usually turned out very poorly for both the war fighter and the taxpayer,” Gilbert said.

Hawker Beechcraft spokeswoman Nichole Alexander declined to comment on the filing, saying only in an email that the company is “working hard to meet the Air Force’s needs.”

The Air Force initially awarded the contract in December to Sierra Nevada, which was to work in concert with Brazil-based Embraer in building the aircraft. But Hawker Beechcraft complained that it had not been allowed to submit a bid and Kansas lawmakers lobbied hard in Washington to bring the contract to Wichita. The Air Force set aside the contract effective March 2, saying it was not satisfied with documentation supporting the decision.

Sierra Nevada said cancellation of the contract was an extreme response to paperwork errors.

“Despite repeated written and verbal attempts, we have not received adequate explanation – much less justification – for the termination of our contract, the reopening of the LAS competition or the readmission to the LAS competition of our competitor whose submission was previously found to be technically deficient and carry unacceptable mission capability risk,” Gilbert said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 31, 2015

News: Carter: Military leaders could arm more troops at home – Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.   Business: DOD weighs supplier base,...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

U.S. delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package. It says in a July 30 statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully tests design changes for Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system

Lockheed Martin photograph A protective panel for Orion’s service module is jettisoned during testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California facility. This test series evaluated design changes to the spacecraft’s fair...
 

 

Australian company to provide parts for initial production of Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman has awarded the first Australian supplier contract for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system initial production lot to Ferra Engineering. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components. “At Northrop Grumman it’s very important to not only develop...
 
 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>