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Tue, Apr 23, 2013

Federal Judge Denies Beechcraft Challenge In LAS Lawsuit

Would Not Enforce Stop-Work Order While GAO Reviews The Contract

Beechcraft was handed another loss in its effort to legally challenge the award of an Air Force LAS contract to Embraer and its U.S. partner Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC). Friday, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims denied the Kansas planemaker's attempt force the USAF to stop work on 20 A-29 Super Tucanos set to be built by Embraer and SNC in Jacksonville, FL.

The contract is still under review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), but the Air Force has bypassed a stop-work order on the airplanes, saying they are critical for operations in Afghanistan. Beechcraft filed the suit last month, according to a report from Wichita television station KAKE.

While the Air Force did find bias towards Embraer and SNC in awarding the initial contract, Judge Christine O.C. Miller wrote in her opinion in November of last year that the cancellation and reopening of the contract bidding process was "reasonable and rational and should stand."

Beechcraft said in a statement that it reluctantly accepts the court's opinion, but "we will continue to contest this award through the GAO and as a program of record for building partnership capacity with other nations that desire Light Air Support aircraft. We remain committed to providing a superior aircraft for this mission that also protects national security interests, taxpayer dollars and preserves jobs in the U.S. aerospace manufacturing sector."

FMI: www.beechcraft.com, www.uscfc.uscourts.gov

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