USAF issues new Afghan LAS draft RfP to contractors

Washington DC
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The US Air Force has released a new draft Request for Proposal (RfP) for its Light Air Support (LAS) programme to equip the Afghan Air Force with a fixed-wing strike capability to potential contractors. However, the service is not publicly releasing the details of the new RfP, nor will it elaborate on exactly what it has changed in the new request.

"Because it is a draft, it was not posted," the USAF says. "But the air force met with both offerors and provided them a hard copy of the draft amended RfP."

Nor is the service saying what changes it has made to the document. The USAF says those details are "not releasable" because it is "source selection sensitive."

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Typically, any sort of federal procurement tender is posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website-draft or otherwise. However, it is not so in this case. Apparently, the RfP was forwarded to would be contactors Sierra Nevada and its partner Embraer and to rival Hawker Beechcraft on 17 April.

The USAF had originally picked the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano after it had ejected Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 offering back in December 2011. However, after Hawker Beechcraft sued the US government, the USAF's original LAS programme had to be sent back to the drawing board.

The service terminated the contract because of problems with the service's internal documentation. Those problems emerged as a result of the lawsuit.

Now, once again, the two teams are in a vicious fight over the $355 million tender to supply the Afghans with 20 light attack turboprops. All the while a legal battle continues in US courts.