Alenia Aeronautica has lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission, the Czech Republic's anti-trust office and the nation's defence ministry over Prague's signature of a memorandum of understanding with EADS Casa based on the C-295 transport.

The Italian company says it has taken the step "after having waited in vain for a formal request for information from the Czech Republic's authorities to be able to participate in the bid for a new transport aircraft for the Czech air force".

The Czech government's agreement with EADS Casa involved a proposed deal to exchange one C-295 for five surplus Aero Vodochody L-159 trainers, with options on a further three transports (Flight International, 29 April-5 May).

Alenia claims it was "unlawfully excluded and discriminated [against]" due to the absence of "an open and competitive tender", and charges that the C-295's selection "is in evident breach of the transparency and non-discriminatory principles set out by the relevant EU laws on the award of public contracts". The company had hoped to offer its C-27J Spartan to meet Czech requirements.

Source: Flight International