Air Force bounces US manufacturer for Brazilian competitor

posted at 10:45 am on November 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s start this off by stating that the Air Force may well have had a good reason for disqualifying Hawker Beechcraft from the bid process on a billion-dollar contract for an updated light attack aircraft.  If so, though, the reasoning seems to have escaped Hawker Beechcraft and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), who represents the district in which Hawker Beechcraft is based.  The decision will have jobs heading to Brazil, most likely:

The Air Force has notified Hawker Beechcraft Corp. that its Beechcraft AT-6 has been excluded from competition to build a light attack aircraft, a contract worth nearly $1 billion, the company said.

The company had hoped to its AT-6, an armed version of its T-6 trainer, would be chosen for the Light Air Support Counter Insurgency aircraft for the Afghanistan National Army Corps. The chosen aircraft also would be used as a light attack armed reconnaissance aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. …

The decision appears to favor the Super Tucano built by Brazil’s Embraer for the initial contract to supply 35 with the potential for 55 aircraft worth up to $950?million, which does not include foreign sales, the Eagle reported.

Oddly enough, Embraer has been in the news lately.  Less than three weeks ago, the Brazilian airplane builder announced that the SEC had begun a probe — for corruption:

Embraer, the world’s third-largest commercial aircraft producer, said it is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for corruption, casting doubt over one of Brazil’s top companies. ..

Embraer’s shares dropped nearly 5 per cent on Thursday, falling the most in six weeks, after the announcement, which was included in the group’s third-quarter results statement.

“In response to a subpoena issued in an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission relating to possible violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the company retained outside counsel to conduct an internal investigation,” Embraer said in a filing late on Wednesday, a national holiday in Brazil.

What’s at stake?  Oh, a few jobs here and there:

Hawker Beechcraft said it had been working with the Air Force for two years and had invested more than $100 million to meet the Air Force’s requirements for the plane. It noted that the Beechcraft AT-6 had been found capable of meeting the requirements in a demonstration program led by the Air National Guard.

“We have followed the Air Force’s guidance close, and based on what we have seen, we continue to believe that we submitted the most capable, affordable and sustainable light attack aircraft,” the company said.

The company has said that winning the contract would have kept its T-6 production line running after 2015. About 1,400 employees in 20 states – including 800 at Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita – work on the AT-6 and T-6 programs for Beechcraft and its U.S. suppliers and partners.

If Hawker Beechcraft competed for the contract and lost on price and quality, well, that would be the market at work.  However, they’re not being allowed to compete at all for the new purchase, even though they already supply the Air Force and had been allowed to work on the new bid without any notice that they would be excluded, wasting the $100 million, which produced a plane that appears to have met the guidelines for the bid.  The decision to exclude Hawker Beechcraft from the competition seems curious at best.

Perhaps Congress might want to take a closer look as to why the Pentagon appears to have favored a foreign builder for homeland-security needs over a domestic firm even before the final bid decision.  If there is a good reason for the decision, then let’s see it — but if not, let’s see why this decision got made.

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Build more A-10s instead.

pseudonominus on November 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

And the hits keep on coming..

sandee on November 22, 2011 at 10:51 AM

[Off-topic spam comment deleted, user sent to mod queue — Ed]

listens2glenn on November 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Oddly enough, Embraer has been in the news lately. Less than three weeks ago, the Brazilian airplane builder announced that the SEC had begun a probe — for corruption:

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Foreign corrupt practices violations are almost always bribes.

Vashta.Nerada on November 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Maybe one of those highly-educated MSM “journalists” should investigate why Obama favors Brazil when it comes to offshore oil and also why this Administration essentially gave Brazil this aircraft contract?

What is Obama’s Brazil connection?

coldwarrior on November 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Something’s not right, since it’s usually the other way around.

There really isn’t a good reason to hand something like that to someone outside the US when it comes to military equipment. Doubly so for South America.

sethstorm on November 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Corruption?

Like in

PAY TO PLAY??????????????????????????//

golfmann on November 22, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Build more A-10s instead.
pseudonominus on November 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Oh yeah. Can’t have too many “can openers”.

: )

listens2glenn on November 22, 2011 at 10:56 AM

listens2glenn on November 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Doesn’t speak well for Glenn’s judgement as far as political candidates go.
*Before y’all jump on me-I have FOUR(5?) of Beck’s books.*

annoyinglittletwerp on November 22, 2011 at 10:56 AM

As a plane geek and someone who wants one of these for his own, I think there may be good reasons for this.

The Tacano can carry more ordinance and isn’t a converted trainer, it was designed from the start as a tactical attack plane, including a wider undercarriage for rough-field operations. And from what I understand it will be assembled in Florida.

Bishop on November 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

This is crazy, considering Solyndra this has to be looked at more carefully than normal.

Cindy Munford on November 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Corruption?

No, more like international socialist agenda. Basically it is a policy of global redistribution of wealth. You use government policies to move business activity from the “industrialized” world to the “developing” world. One way they can do that is through contracts like this. Another way that is used is “environmental” policy where the regulations are so onerous in countries like the US that it forces business such as steel production to countries which seem to be exempt from all environmental regulations … like Brazil, India, and China.

crosspatch on November 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Smell test fail.

CantCureStupid on November 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Maybe we need to rethink that effort to avoid letting the trigger cut the defense budget.

a capella on November 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Also, the majority of the aircraft are probably for the Afghanistan National Army Corps. I’d rather not give them A-10s.

blink on November 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

We won’t.

listens2glenn on November 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM

All part of The One’s effort to redistribute the wealth from the lazy Americans to hard working foreigners. Like solar panels, where we pay China ~$3/W now, instead of American Workers $2/W over the next 30 years for a gas turbine power plant, making China the Saudi Arabia of electricity.

This is vengeance for the boos against Mooshell.

DrEvilDoer on November 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

One more reason that our #1 goal is to get Obama out of office.

tencole on November 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

I want to know why the AF did this.

dogsoldier on November 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Is Soros invested in Embraer by any chance…?

Sekhmet on November 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Something’s not right, since it’s usually the other way around.

There really isn’t a good reason to hand something like that to someone outside the US when it comes to military equipment. Doubly so for South America.

sethstorm on November 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Obama is doing it so Brazil will give us a discount on our oil we’re letting them take, when we buy it from them.

TugboatPhil on November 22, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Maybe one of those highly-educated MSM “journalists” should investigate why Obama favors Brazil when it comes to offshore oil and also why this Administration essentially gave Brazil this aircraft contract?

What is Obama’s Brazil connection?

coldwarrior on November 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I’m wondering the same thing.

juliesa on November 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Check how much they donated to the Obama election campaign.

albill on November 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Heard rumor Obama is thinking about buying our nuclear bombs from a new contractor that builds them cheap…located somewhere in Iran….

;-)

albill on November 22, 2011 at 11:10 AM

This is way OT, but I just wanted to mention that there are new ClimateGate emails out this morning, so you had better stock up on popcorn.

juliesa on November 22, 2011 at 11:10 AM

The AT-6 prototype has some pretty good optical systems. And while I know far less about the Embraer proposal, it might be a good idea to not supply the Afghans with the best avionics the US has to offer. Until someone explains why the Texas II was excluded, it’s hard to draw a conclusion.

Meanwhile, the original article says:

The piston planes are designed for counterinsurgency, close air support, armed overwatch and homeland security, The Wichita Eagle reported.

“Piston planes” certainly is an intriguing way to describe notoriously piston-free turboprops.

Blacklake on November 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Wasn’t that what the A-37 was supposed to be? Aren’t abunch of them languishing in the desert outside Tuscon?

Please, Kansas, like South Carolina is a RIGHT TO WORK state. What possible benefit would the president enjoy allowing another plane to be built in another state that eschews unions???

E9RET on November 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Bishop on November 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

That makes me feel somewhat better but couldn’t they have decided that before Hawker Beechcraft shelled out all that money trying to please them? I still want them to look for corruption, I don’t trust The Won.

Cindy Munford on November 22, 2011 at 11:15 AM

George Soros has a major shareholding in Harbin-Embraer, the Chinese subsidiary of Embraer.

Soros is also a major share holder of Petrobras.

Obama’s Presidency is a major Soros “investment.”

Next.

coldwarrior on November 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Come on now….the new vision is America is just aisle 7 and no longer a seperate storefront on Main Street Earth.

Limerick on November 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Senators from Kansas need to bring the entire Senate to halt unless this gets reversed. Why is it that the Repubs never seem to have enough balls to take on this president??

georgealbert on November 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/21/MNBV1M26P7.DTL

OT but have we talked about this yet?

VegasRick on November 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Bishop on November 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Wouldn’t each company have the tech specifications?
Seems odd Beechcraft would invest a hundred million, knowing their competitor had a superior product.

a capella on November 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I wonder if there might be any Soros money invested in Embraer?

djtnt on November 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Hmmm… Embraer is known for corruption, so are a number of individuals within this administration. I wonder if there’s a link?

theCork on November 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Obama’s Presidency is a major Soros “investment.”
coldwarrior on November 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

THAT cuts to the chase, right there.

listens2glenn on November 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

djtnt on November 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

In a word: yes.

coldwarrior on November 22, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Apparently they didn’t contribute to Ofilth’s reelection campaign.

KeepOhioRed on November 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Also, the majority of the aircraft are probably for the Afghanistan National Army Corps. I’d rather not give them A-10s.

blink on November 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM[AGREE]

We won’t.[AGREE]

listens2glenn on November 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM

BUT. . . .we still need to build more A-10′s.

Jason Coleman on November 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Wouldn’t each company have the tech specifications?
Seems odd Beechcraft would invest a hundred million, knowing their competitor had a superior product.

a capella on November 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

At the beginning of the process, they probably did not know who would be their competitors or competing designs. When they found out they were probably counting on the “patriotism” card to rescue an inferior design proposal.

AngusMc on November 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM

What is Obama’s Brazil connection?

coldwarrior on November 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

First the oil, now defense. Odd.

Key West Reader on November 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM

This could very well be part of the government’s desire to transfer funds from the United States to the 3rd world nations. We’ve attached ourselves to the UN’s Agenda 21 in so many ways and transfer of wealth is a stated goal.

njrob on November 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM

No, more like international socialist agenda. Basically it is a policy of global redistribution of wealth. You use government policies to move business activity from the “industrialized” world to the “developing” world. One way they can do that is through contracts like this. Another way that is used is “environmental” policy where the regulations are so onerous in countries like the US that it forces business such as steel production to countries which seem to be exempt from all environmental regulations … like Brazil, India, and China.

crosspatch on November 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

We’re on the same wavelength.

njrob on November 22, 2011 at 11:31 AM

VegasRick on November 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM

I went to the Vault and looked back as far as the 15th and didn’t see anything. Not that I couldn’t have missed it, I’m famous like that.

Cindy Munford on November 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Now I don’t know if the Wikipedia information is correct, but it puts the price of the Embraer Super Tucano at 9 million… which would mean that the entire program of 55 units would cost around 500 million… that is about half of what they say the program was considered to going to cost?
Again, I don’t know much about these things, but could it be that the price difference is just too big for a very similar type of aircraft?
I don’t know the answer, but it will be interesting to find out what the Pentagon responds to the congressman’s inquiry. If it does not respond, it could very well be a Soros Embraer link that caused this, as pointed out.

ChristianRock on November 22, 2011 at 11:33 AM

I went to the Vault and looked back as far as the 15th and didn’t see anything. Not that I couldn’t have missed it, I’m famous like that.

Cindy Munford on November 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM

More incompentance.

VegasRick on November 22, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Doing some quick reading on military websites. The consensus is this:

The Embraer plane is already in service and is proven to be very capable in its role.

The Beechcraft plane is still in the prototype stage and is terrible: has real problems with being tail-heavy, poor external mounts for weapons, and can’t land well in rough conditions.

AngusMc on November 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM

The Tucano is an excellent plane and a well established design so I can see why it was selected over a drawing board design. One technical difference between the two designs is that the Tucano can still manoeuvre aerobatically with an unbalanced weapons load. That is an advantage for a COIN mission. The plane is to be assembled in the US (FL) with about 90% US parts. You might want to point that out Ed. In fact, the Tucano is probably more American than the Hawker Beechcraft plane.

Usually procurement projects like this are pretty transparent so it is concerning that we appear to have no official reason for the rejection of one of the bids. I knew that the Hawker Beechcraft had received a warning over cost overruns.

lexhamfox on November 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

AT-6 Tested for Light Air Defense Missions
Sept. 21 2011
******************************************

Here’s an interesting little nugget of info that came out of this week’s Air Force Association conference in National Harbor, Md:

Hawker Beechcraft and Lockheed Martin’s AT-6 entry into the Air Force’s light attack competition has been tested by the Air National Guard in the Air Sovereignty Alert (ASA) mission that defends U.S. airspace.

The turboprop plane flew in one of U.S. Northern Command’s Falcon Virgo ASA exercises out of Andrews Air Force Base, Md., last November where it intercepted a slow, Cessna-style propeller plane four times in the skies above Washington DC, said Derek Hess, Hawker Beechcraft’s director of AT-6 development, yesterday during a briefing at the conference.

Meanwhile, remember that the Air Force has apparently pushed back the contract award date for the light attack contest until November (if it goes through with the effort, at all).

While the Air Force might scale cut spending on all but its most important new weapons programs ( and light attack is not on of those programs), there are still plenty of opportunities to sell the plane to foreign air forces, said Lockheed’s Mike Silva during the same briefing.
(More…)

http://defensetech.org/2011/09/21/at-6-tested-for-light-air-defense-missions/
===========

USAF Light Attack Decision in November?
Sept. 7 2011
*************

A U.S. Army general today dropped a bit of interesting news about a U.S. Air Force program today. The air service will decide the winner of the Light Air Support — or COIN plane — contest in November, Army Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller told bloggers this morning.

For years now, the Air Force has been looking to buy a handful of light, turboprop-driven planes that can be used to train foreign pilots and carry out light attack missions. Embraer’s Super Tucano, already used throughout Latin America for these missions is a perfect example of this type of plane.

The Super T has been pitted against Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 (shown above) in the competition for up to 20 birds to help train the nascent Afghan National Army Air Force.

However, the program has been scaled back considerably since early 2010 and seemed stalled out when original the June 2011 contract award date came and went without a peep from the air service. Then, last month, news surfaced that the Air Force was to choose a winning plane in September.

Here’s what Fuller, deputy commander of programs for NATO’s effort to build the Afghan military and police, said today when DT asked for an update on the Afghan air force:

They have asked for a fighter jet, the F-16 specifically. Instead, we’re going to provide them a close air support, turboprop aircraft and it’s in source selection right now with the U.S. Air Force. The U.S Air Force is going to buy that same aircraft and when the U.S. Air Force decides what aircraft they’re going to procure, we’ll buy the same aircraft. So, sometime in November they should complete that source selection and we’ll start fielding them in about the 2014–2015 time-frame.

(I’ll let you know what the Air Force says about this when we hear back from them.)

Fuller was explaining how the U.S. is guiding the Afghan air force toward buy the right, aka cost effective airplanes such as the light attack fighter and 20 of the twin-engine C-27A Spartan transport despite the fact that local officials sometimes want to buy expensive hardware like F-16s or brand new C-130Js. “They have asked for the C-130 and we said, you can’t afford a very expensive aircraft,” said Fuller.

The same goes for ISR gear, according to the two-star.
(More….)
==========

http://defensetech.org/?s=Super+Tucano+&x=11&y=13

canopfor on November 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM

AngusMc on November 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Well, all fine and dandy but I don’t recall us buying in A6m Zeros to replace the Buffalo and P40.

Limerick on November 22, 2011 at 11:47 AM

No, more like international socialist agenda. Basically it is a policy of global redistribution of wealth. You use government policies to move business activity from the “industrialized” world to the “developing” world. One way they can do that is through contracts like this. Another way that is used is “environmental” policy where the regulations are so onerous in countries like the US that it forces business such as steel production to countries which seem to be exempt from all environmental regulations … like Brazil, India, and China.

crosspatch on November 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

It’s a scene out of Atlas Shrugged. Rand was a prophet.

iurockhead on November 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

The Super Tucano is a popular light attack and training aircraft used by most South American air forces as well as several in Africa and Southeast Asia. It would be a good fit for the Afghan Air Corps in their fight against the Taliban and as a lead into jets. It also does not compromise US equipment as Blacklake above mentioned. The A-37′s in the desert will also be a good fit for the Afghans but I do not how the spare part inventory on them is as well as the Afghan ability to work on them. A-10′s are great but out of the Afghan’s league. The A-10 line will not be reopened, as far as I know, but with upgrades the ‘Hogs will around at least until 2025. We need an A-10 follow on aircraft built around the A-10′s gun and the little prop planes ain’t gonna cut it. When you’re designed to kill tanks and survive in a European battlefield against Mother Russia and her cronies Islamoa$$maggots have no chance.

Bubba Redneck on November 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM

And from what I understand it will be assembled in Florida.

Bishop on November 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Bishop:Correct you are!:)
————————-

Super Tucano Means New Jobs for Florida
May 16 2011
************

The State of Florida is working to stimulate its economy and develop public-private partnerships that result in investment and job creation. One such example would be the assembly of the A-29 Super Tucano for the U.S. Air Force’s light air support (LAS) mission in Afghanistan.

Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Embraer, which has its U.S. headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, are jointly bidding on this contract. If they win, the A-29 Super Tucano will be built in Jacksonville, creating high quality engineering and technical jobs.
=========

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDpUl3UPosg

canopfor on November 22, 2011 at 11:50 AM

The A-10 isn’t a “light attack armed reconnaissance aircraft” which is what the article says the US Air Force wants.

Also, the majority of the aircraft are probably for the Afghanistan National Army Corps. I’d rather not give them A-10s.

blink on November 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Oh I didn’t mean to take over the light attack role…I meant, just build more A-10s…in general! :)

pseudonominus on November 22, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Don’cha know? Oboobi wants the USA to be Brazil’s biggest company. We’re not socialist enough to get fed biz opportunities.

AH_C on November 22, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Just ask the President, Brazil is super cool, USA? not so much.

Speakup on November 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

“Piston planes” certainly is an intriguing way to describe notoriously piston-free turboprops.

Blacklake on November 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Pistons, Props…it’s all the same.

pseudonominus on November 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Major Question: Is Hawker Beechcraft UNIONIZED? I read a comment above that Kansas is a right-to-work state but that doesn’t preclude unions. In fact, Hawker Beechcraft is unionized to some extent since the company just concluded a five-year deal with the machinists union in August.
.
There really needs to be a detailed explanation about why Hawker Beechcraft was excluded, especially after $100M in R&D costs and two years working with the DoD.

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Talk about waste. Why in the world would we need $1 billion worth of new light attack armed reconnaissance aircraft when the unmanned Predator and Reaper drones have been doing the heavy lifting most admirably, and can continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

stacman on November 22, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Why are we spending money on developing *any* manned aircraft?

edshepp on November 22, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Why didn’t the damn Air Force clue Hawker Beechcraft 2 years and $100 million ago that it would be excluded? This stinks! Didn’t we do enough for Brazil’s economy by the tune of $1 billion+ so they could drill off shore with Obama’s promise to be their best customer?? I have a feeling that Hawker Beechcraft should have unionized their employees if they wanted this contract./sarc

Bob in VA on November 22, 2011 at 12:12 PM

After Northrup/EADS got shafted and the tanker deal was handed to Boeing on a silver platter, this is a molehill.

Christien on November 22, 2011 at 12:17 PM

You’d think Brazil would love us since we’re sending so many jobs their way.
Obama and Lulu, what a pair!

lonestar1 on November 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM

..to me, the AT-6 will always be the venerable radial-engined taildragger made by North American during and after WWII.

It’s like a shabby remake of an old, classic movie.

The War Planner on November 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I’ve done a lot of work on A-37Bs. Forget them. We used them for drug interdiction in South America because there wasn’t anything else that was as cheap, etc. Also, many of themwere already there. The super tocano would clean the skies of the little tweets. Not only that, the A-37B is long past it’s expiration date. A picture of one is on my link.

Old Country Boy on November 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Why are we spending money on developing *any* manned aircraft?

edshepp on November 22, 2011 at 12:07 PM

..because they’re needed for the mission. Drones can only do so much.

The War Planner on November 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Correction – my picture is of a T-37B. The A-37B is olive drab, has Spanish labels and a gun coming out the nose.

Old Country Boy on November 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Everyone acts shocked because the idiocy is so shocking, but not surprising.
Of course we would lose out to foreign business, that is what this administration does.
It’s just so disappointing to see so many of our workers suffer, so many lose jobs.
That is why most of us could never be president, it would break our hearts to know that our policies put thousands of people out of work…heartless basterds…

right2bright on November 22, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Drones can only do so much.

The War Planner on November 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Drones with eyes are much more valuable than any manned aircraft. They can fly for 36 hours at a time, fly at much greater altitudes out of the range of SAMs, etc., etc., etc. Not to mention that dog fighting is a thing of the past, and the reconnaissance missions are followed up with Reapers carrying quite an impressive payload for a light aircraft. Besides, an unmanned aircraft has a pilot in the cockpit at all times.

No manned aircraft has the visuals, and they’re certainly not going to land and take the battle to anyone with 9mm sidearms.

stacman on November 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I heard Rahm Emanuel, Tony Rezko, and Larry Sinclair are board members of Aero-Naughty-Brazilian-Tranny.com. Could be a connection.

borntoraisehogs on November 22, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I just want to mention something about the Super Tucano. Here in Colombia, that is what the Colombia Air force has been using against the FARC and it had been awesome. It is a death machine for the FARC. I don’t carry water for Embraer (particularly, as a Canadian, I know how many WTO violations Brazil has committed to try and injure Canadian competitors) but you have to give the devil its due…the Super Tucano is a great aircraft.

Blaise on November 22, 2011 at 12:53 PM

What’s a Billion dollars in today’s economy? In DC that’s chump change.By the time I’ve finished writing this, we’ve thrown away a Billion somewhere or someplace, on nothing.

BruceB on November 22, 2011 at 12:54 PM

I meant, just build more A-10s…in general! :)

There are plenty of them sitting in the boneyard in Tucson.

firepilot on November 22, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Obowma and Brazil…

… Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Seven Percent Solution on November 22, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Obowma and Brazil…

… Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Seven Percent Solution on November 22, 2011 at 12:55 PM

He did get the Olympics for them.

borntoraisehogs on November 22, 2011 at 12:57 PM

[Off-topic spam comment deleted, user sent to mod queue -- Ed]

listens2glenn on November 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Into the corner with you.

Ward Cleaver on November 22, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Let’s get this guy on the phone. I have a feeling he could get to the bottom of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFBpxB5zgnY&list=PL0DECF386D9E4FEC4&index=64&feature=plpp_video

(Worth watching either way.)

Jeffster on November 22, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Based on the timing of the dismissal, the reason might have been based on the Beechcraft not being able to meet Key Performance Parameters (KPPs). We really don’t know enough details from the news article to be sure. As for Embraer, it has leased a manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Florida for the purpose of building the Super Tucano. So it’s not a total bust for U.S. jobs.

Log on November 22, 2011 at 1:24 PM

As a plane geek and someone who wants one of these for his own, I think there may be good reasons for this.

The Tacano can carry more ordinance and isn’t a converted trainer, it was designed from the start as a tactical attack plane, including a wider undercarriage for rough-field operations. And from what I understand it will be assembled in Florida.

Bishop on November 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Another plane nut here.

The Tucano is the better plane, Ed. We have needed a dedicated COIN plane since the OV-10 Bronco left the inventory. As a dedicated COIN aircraft it had been designed for the poor conditions that it is likely to encounter in Afghan service.

Funny, they asked for F-16s and C-130Js. Is obvious that they can’t support them, for the same reason that we buy them Russian designed aircraft vs US designed Blackhawks. The Tucanos like the Russian helicopters are ideally suited for low education requirement countries.

BTW, stop the meme of Brazil as a third world nation, no when they are going to deploy mostly locally designed nuclear subs and carriers.

El Coqui on November 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

It seems odd that the DOD would make this decision but there’s no reason in the article. One or the other is full of BS. I’ll reserve judgement and head exploding until we get a reason. Something tells me the notification had to have more than “no thanks, have a nice day” in it.

jnelchef on November 22, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Hmmmm…Wonder how much Embraer contributed to the Obama campaign?? Just askin’.

Christian Conservative on November 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Or Hmmm… Maybe Embraer is unionized?

Christian Conservative on November 22, 2011 at 2:06 PM

I’ve done a lot of work on A-37Bs. Forget them. We used them for drug interdiction in South America because there wasn’t anything else that was as cheap, etc. Also, many of themwere already there. The super tocano would clean the skies of the little tweets. Not only that, the A-37B is long past it’s expiration date. A picture of one is on my link.

Old Country Boy on November 22, 2011

Thanks, I use to work on Tweets, loudest damn aircraft in the USAF inventory

…since the OV-10 Bronco left the inventory.

El Coqui on November 22, 2011

D’oh! how could I have forgotten the Bronco? 3 tons of external munitions, three hours loiter, STOL. Don’t we have a bunch of them at Davis Monthan? Or just let Boing, who bought North American Aviation, make new ones?? I could teach a 12 y.o. Afghan to maintain them!!

Heck, we still have some geriatric “Rustic” pilots who’d love another chance to strafe some ground targets!!

Air Pirates Rule!!!!

E9RET on November 22, 2011 at 2:25 PM

These military contracts are so damn corrupt that whenever we get Obama out of office they have to be the first thing we take a look at and reform while passing austerity measures.

Having said that, in this specific case I have to agree with Ed that I would like to know why Hawker Beechcraft was excluded.

Daemonocracy on November 22, 2011 at 2:32 PM

stacman on November 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

..not disputing that drones are wonderful; just saying that they don’t do everything. I was responding to a comment that inferred *all* manned aircraft should be replaced.

The War Planner on November 22, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Hate to break it to some of you, but the parent company of Hawker Beechcraft, is Canadian.

Boeing has actually brought up restarting OV-10 production

firepilot on November 22, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Ok, ok, ok…the Brazilian aircraft is superior.

Still begs the question, why? Why aren’t we building superior aircraft?

Limerick on November 22, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Hate to break it to some of you, but the parent company of Hawker Beechcraft, is Canadian.

Boeing has actually brought up restarting OV-10 production

firepilot on November 22, 2011 at 2:48 PM

It’s actually half Canadian (Toronto). The rest of the company is an investment managed by Goldman Sachs.

lexhamfox on November 22, 2011 at 2:57 PM

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents Wichita,….

Had the highlighted word been different, you can bet that the American union shop would have won the competition.

Steve Eggleston on November 22, 2011 at 4:09 PM

..to me, the AT-6 will always be the venerable radial-engined taildragger made by North American during and after WWII.

It’s like a shabby remake of an old, classic movie.

The War Planner on November 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Not to mention a fine aerobatic platform (a ride in one was a birthday present a few years ago).

Steve Eggleston on November 22, 2011 at 4:15 PM

The Navy has also been quietly testing the Super Tucano version, in Nevada for about two years, out of Fallon NAS and Nellis AFB.

firepilot on November 22, 2011 at 4:21 PM

My guess is that George Soros is heavily invested in Embraer.

NNtrancer on November 22, 2011 at 5:39 PM

A new construction super OV-10 would be neat!

I like the idea of a second engine for one of those golden BB moments that are the stuff of legends. Then Bronco can also carry passengers Ala Mi-24 Hind. Otherwise the Tucano is it.

Above the drones comments, no one is going to sell reapers or predators to Afghanistan or Iraq.

The idea here is to have a COIN aircraft that operated by our forces can also be supplies to allies that don’t required supersonic aircraft for their defense needs.

El Coqui on November 22, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Don’t forget, Brazil is in Obama’s good books. Remember the three Billion Dollar loan or loan guarantee we gave to help their oil exploration.

davod on November 22, 2011 at 8:23 PM

It is tax-payer money, so if the Brazilians offer it cheaper…

Johnny 100 Pesos on November 22, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Michelle O. wants free Brazilians for life?

profitsbeard on November 23, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Bishop was absolutely correct. Dude knows his stuff.

hawkdriver on November 23, 2011 at 1:25 AM

Build more A-10s instead.

Helluva good idea.

Mr. Grump on November 23, 2011 at 10:11 AM