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.


 
 

 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 

 

USSOCOM signs a five-year framework contract for the Carl-Gustaf weapon system

Defense and security company Saab has signed a new framework contract with the U.S. Special Operations Command for the company’s Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system (in the U.S. named MAAWS; Multi-role, Anti-armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System). The contract is a follow on agreement to a previous five-year contract for the 84mm recoilless rifle system. In connection with...
 
 

RQ-4 Global Hawk demonstrates expanded mission capabilities

With several test flights this summer, the U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk Wide Area Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System proved its ability to operate with an expanded variety of intelligence exploitation ground stations and collect mission data in more places. The RQ-4 Global Hawk UAS is built by Northrop Grumman and is equipped with a...
 
 
boeing-jordan

Boeing celebrates delivery of Royal Jordanian’s first 787 Dreamliner

  Boeing and Royal Jordanian Aug. 27 celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner. The airplane will play a central role in the Amman-based airline’s strategic plan for fleet modernization. Roy...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>