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SecAF: Don’t Expect Large Budget Increases After 2019; $2.4B Set For Light Attack

Posted by Colin Clark on


The Air Force placed a $2.4 billion placeholder in the 2019 budget to buy Light Attack Aircraft over the next five years, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters this morning.

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A-10, Then A-11 And A-12? Air Force Ponders CAS Future

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Adds Ayotte Comment WASHINGTON: The Air Force is considering not one, but two replacements for the aging A-10 Warthog close air support plane. But analysts wonder why, given that the service is already building a new bomber (the B-21), a new tanker (the KC-46), a new fighter (the F-35A), they would want to build two Close… Keep reading →

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Beechcraft Protests Light Air Support Award; Kansas Lawmakers On Warpath

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Wichita Congressman Mike Pompeo and Kansas senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran have written the Pentagon to protest Wichita-based Beechcraft’s loss of the bitterly contested Light Air Support contract, Rep. Pompeo told Breaking Defense this afternoon. Beechcraft, which had offered its AT-6 Texan II aircraft, announced plans earlier today to file a formal protest… Keep reading →

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Beechcraft Exits Bankruptcy On Eve Of Air Force’s Light Air Support Pick

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[Updated 1:15 pm, Feb. 20] Wichita-based Beechcraft — formerly Hawker Beechcraft — has officially emerged from bankruptcy with a new name, 2,000 fewer employees, $2 billion less debt, and one last shot at a bitterly contested Air Force contract to provide ground attack planes to Afghanistan. The Air Force’s decision on the Light Air Support… Keep reading →

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Hawker Beechcraft Chairman Rebuffs Security Concerns Over Sale To Chinese: EXCLUSIVE

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The proposed sale of bankrupt Hawker Beechcraft to a Chinese company will create no security problems for the US military, pledged Hawker chairman Bill Boisture in an exclusive interview with Breaking Defense. If the potential $1.8 billion sale to Superior Aviation Beijing actually goes through — and at least one well-regarded industry observer, Richard Aboulafia,… Keep reading →

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Tucano Debuts At Airshow Amidst Lawsuit, Chinese Takeover Talk

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED with comment from outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz] Sierra Nevada Corp. unveiled its Super Tucano to the American public even as its lawsuit proceeds against the American government. The Air Force initially decided to buy 20 of the light attack planes for Afghanistan, then unexpectedly cancelled the Light Air Support… Keep reading →

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SNC Files Suit Over Super Tucano Cancellation, Decries ‘Broken’ Acquisition System

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


“The acquisitions system is so fundamentally broken,” Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) executive Taco Gibert told Breaking Defense this morning. “Everybody loses.” Yesterday, SNC filed suit in federal court, seeking to undo the Air Force’s cancellation of the Light Air Support contract, originally awarded to SNC’s A-29 Super Tucano. That’s just the latest descent into dysfunction… Keep reading →

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Super Tucano Supporters In Shock: AF To Pick Tucano Or AT-6 Without Flying Either

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The Air Force will choose a winner in its troubled Light Air Support competition without actually flying the two contending planes, the Embraer Super Tucano and the Hawker-Beechcraft AT-6, and it will even disregard what it has data from the limited “flight demonstration” it conducted last year. That’s a disturbing departure from best practice in… Keep reading →

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Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 Back In Running Vs. Super Tucano: New LAS RFP Inbound

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON [updated Friday 3:30 pm to add details from the Air Force statement and comment from Hawker Beechcraft CEO]: The Texan II is back in the saddle again. Next week, on Tuesday the 17th, the US Air Force will meet with both Hawker Beechcraft, which makes the AT-6 Texan II attack plane, and rival Sierra… Keep reading →

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Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 Guns For Embraer’s Super Tucano: Rival Planes Compared

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


It’s Texan versus Tucano, take two, and the embarrassed Air Force has got to get it right this time. With all the claims, counter-claims, and rumors swirling about the controversial contract to buy the Embraer Super Tucano, which the Air Force cancelled unexpectedly on Tuesday and will likely re-compete, Breaking Defense went both to the… Keep reading →

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