Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told lawmakers last week that the service is still determining how to proceed with the Light Air Support competition now that it has terminated the original contract. “It’s very likely that we will need to go back and start from scratch on this source selection,” he said in testimony before the House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel. He added, “We’re determining exactly the parameters for how to structure that going forward” and “how quickly we can get re-started on this path.” Donley said the service is “disappointed” that the documentation supporting its decision to award Sierra Nevada the $355 million contract to provide the Afghan air force with 20 LAS aircraft “was just not sufficient.” This prompted the Air Force’s move to terminate the contract. “There’s no question there is a delay now for our Afghan partners of several months,” explained Donley. He continued, “And this is problematic. It is not the way we wanted this program to be managed or to play out. So it is less than ideal.” Contract termination seemingly gives Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 a second chance against the Sierra Nevada-Embraer A-29.
April 13, 2021