Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has filed a suit against the US government, hoping to reinstate a contract to supply light air support (LAS) aircraft for the US air force (USAF) on behalf of Afghanistan.
The lawsuit marks the latest twist in the USAF's attempt to purchase 20 LAS aircraft for the nascent Afghanistan air force. A previous contest was won by SNC, but the contract was cancelled after protests by competitor Hawker Beechcraft over paperwork errors. A new competition was declared, which SNC now wishes to halt.
"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," says Taco Gilbert, vice president of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance at SNC.
SNC is partnered with Brazilian manufacturer Embraer to market the A-29 Super Tucano against Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6.
"What we seek is a fair and open competition - one where there is a level playing field, one that provides transparency into the decision making process, and one that selects the best value as required by the Request for Proposal (RFP)," says Gilbert. "Unfortunately, based on the information we have, we are concerned that this competition will not conform to these goals."
Hawker Beechcraft could not be reached by press time.