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Government snuffs AT-6 in favor of Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano

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After the U.S. Air Force awarded a $1 billion light attack aircraft contract last week to Sparks, Nev.-based systems integrator Sierra Nevada and its partner, Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, Hawker Beechcraft described the process as “yet another example of the Air Force’s lack of transparency through this competition.” The decision eliminated Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 in favor of Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano, both of which are high-performance, single-engine turboprop aircraft developed from military trainers. The Air Force notified Hawker Beechcraft in late November that it was being dropped from the bidding process, and the Wichita-based OEM subsequently requested a court hearing. During that hearing on December 28, the government revealed that a decision regarding award of the contract had already been made on December 22, shortly after the Government Accountability Office declined to review Hawker Beechcraft’s protest against its exclusion.

 

http://www.ainonline.com/?q=aviation-news/ainalerts/2012-01-03/hawker-beechcraft-decries-light-attack-contract-award

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Well it does make a lot of sense as the Embraer is also in use as a Light Attack airframe already... and its part of what it was designed for where as the AT-6 is a trainer being prepared to become an Attack aircraft... both are good planes and the USAF will have obviously made their decison objectivly.

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Yet once again they did things and then informed the players after the fact, giving little explanation of what's going on. How hard is it to give reasons and explanations? What is up with the black box mentality?

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New this would happen the Tucano is a much more capable and proven platform than thr AT-6 Texan II. CA post back in October

 

The Super Tucano is Ready to Fly out of the Box. Minor tweak for our avionics suit and done no extensive testing that would have been needed for the AT-6.

Edited by MAKO69

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Seems to be the standard response to US aircraft tenders these days. One manufacturer wins, the other bitches about it while starting litigation...

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Seems to be the standard response to US aircraft tenders these days. One manufacturer wins, the other bitches about it while starting litigation...

 

KC-X .........heat.gif Airbus did the right thing retrieving from the contest . besides, there is no tradition OF USAF to operate foreing equipment, IIRC the last foreing plane they did evaluate was the Gina back in the 50's

 

besides, i hope woth this purchase our government buys the Super Hornet.

Edited by Silverbolt

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KC-X .........heat.gif Airbus did the right thing retrieving from the contest . besides, there is no tradition OF USAF to operate foreing equipment, IIRC the last foreing plane they did evaluate was the Gina back in the 50's

 

besides, i hope woth this purchase our government buys the Super Hornet.

 

Slightly off. The USAF/ANG operates the C-27J which is an updated G.222. We also fly the T-6 Texan which is a licensed copy of the Swiss PC-9.

 

I have to disagree with this decision though. Commonality of many spare parts with the T-6/AT-6 would seem like a clear advantage. But apparently the AT-6 just didn't cut it, where the Tucano did. Or the AT-6 needed more dev time?!?

 

But once again, lawsuits will drag this out.

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Slightly off. The USAF/ANG operates the C-27J which is an updated G.222. We also fly the T-6 Texan which is a licensed copy of the Swiss PC-9.

 

 

 

Indeed but the texan was developed from it, it is different from a PC-9 as the Shorts tucano is different from the original Emb-312 tucano.

 

but i'll put some figures here...

 

The PC-9 project is quite old, researching here i found that it was introduced in 1984 , as the Emb-312 was introduced in 1983. both were designed as a trainer aircraft primary.

 

The EMB-314 Super Tucano had the devlopment started in 1998 and enter operationally in 2004 a advanced trainer and a counter-insurgence airplane , specifically designed to fight the narc guerilla in south america amazon rainforest , in which it had a proven sucess doing this mission busting illegal runways, shoting down narc planes,recon and bombing missions over narc bases.

 

both aircraft are good however, tucano was totally made for the mission since it was devloped with such mission in mind, integrating all the systems to be ready for smart weapons.

 

funny a memory i had of a super tucano flying over my head last year while barack obama was visiting brasilia, about 3 different aircraft were searching the city with its cameras to suspicious activities, two days before and in the day that Obama stayed here.

 

ST in combat (retrieved from the wiki)

 

 

Baptism of FireOn 18 January 2007, a squadron of Super Tucanos from the Colombian Air Force, using the Mk 82, attacked positions of the FARC(Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in an area of jungle. This action, which marks the baptism of fire of the Super Tucano. It was conducted in CCIP(Continuously Computed Impact Point) mode , and reported as a success in action.[3]

 

 

Operation Phoenix

See also: 2008 Colombian raid into EcuadorIn 2008, the Colombian Air Force used a Super Tucano armed with Griffin missiles inside Ecuadorian airspace during "Operation Phoenix", to destroy a guerrilla cell and kill the second-in-command chief of FARC, Raúl Reyes. This event led to a diplomatic break between the two countries.[12]

 

 

Operation Sodoma

On 21 September 2010, Operation Sodoma in the Meta department began, 120 miles south of the capital Bogotá. FARC commander Mono Jojoy was killed in a massive military operation in the early hours of September 22nd, a squadron of 25 Brazilian-made Super Tucano ground-attack aircraft launched seven tonnes of explosives on the camps, while some 600 special forces troops descended by rope from helicopters, opposed by 700 guerrillas. a total of 20 guerrillas died in the attack.[13]

 

 

Operation Odiseo

On 15 October 2011, Operation Odiseo started with a total of 969 different military bodies of the Colombian armed forces. A total of 18 aircraft participated in "Operation Odiseo". On 4 November 2011, five Super Tucanos were used to launch a heavy bombing of 100 lb(45 kg) and 250 lb(135kg), plus high-precision smart bombs. This operation ended with the death of the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC), Alfonso Cano. It was biggest blow in the history of the of the guerrilla organization.[14]

 

 

 

 

 

 

well, that's just my two cents - two different aircrafts designed for two different missions.

Edited by Silverbolt

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I'm surprised the GAO turned down a review. This whole thing stinks. Cutting the AT-6 from the competition without any reason then immediately awarding the contract to the other company without just letting the bid run its course is very suspicious. Quite a bit of politics at play here. Why the USAF can't get its act together and run bid competitions properly is beyond me, especially after the KC-X fiasco that ultimately cost the tax payers millions and kept our air crews flying ancient airframes for even longer.

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Slightly off. The USAF/ANG operates the C-27J which is an updated G.222. We also fly the T-6 Texan which is a licensed copy of the Swiss PC-9.

 

I have to disagree with this decision though. Commonality of many spare parts with the T-6/AT-6 would seem like a clear advantage. But apparently the AT-6 just didn't cut it, where the Tucano did. Or the AT-6 needed more dev time?!?

 

But once again, lawsuits will drag this out.

 

 

Bingo STORM, the Tucano was ready years ago, the texan won't be ready for 2-3. USAF needs this plane last year. The perfect light strike/FAC/CAS plane where air supiority is already owned by coalition forces. Comonality would have been nice, but I'm all about getting stuff for the troops ASAP.

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I really don't care what airframe they (Government) chooses...as long as it is the right aircraft for the mission. My issue with this boils down to Politicians using the Campaign Promise of keeping Jobs in America, then sending the jobs south of the border.

 

Look at General Motors (GM). China needed vehicles and made an arrangement with GM and Ford for vehicles. The only catch....you have to build them in China.

 

Japan Needed a New FX Fighter. They chose the F-35 with the first 4 being built in the US. The rest will be manufactures in Japan by Mitsubishi.

http://www.ainonline.com/?q=aviation-news/ain-defense-perspective/2011-12-22/japan-selects-f-35-local-assembly

 

If the A-29 Tucano is the right aircraft, great...award that company the contract...then make them build it here. Build it in Wichita, where quality and experienced aircraft manufactures like Boeing and Hawker Beechcraft can spool up a dying production line with a new product.

 

The US Government is as guilty of shipping jobs overseas as the legislation they approve for US Companies to do the same.

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Announces incorrect!

USAF removed AT-6 Texas II of the competition why the aircraft that they want is not.

The Super Tucano was projected for that mission and it will be much cheaper to operate.

Embraer saw many years ago that an aircraft it didn't exist with those characteristics and any another he saw that.

Teenfighters are flying now COIN sorties at a hefty price.

Operational costs per flight hour:

F-15E: USD 36.633 (CY 2010)

F-16C: USD 19.087

A-10A: USD 24.102

Super Tucano: approx USD 1.000 (2010) per hour, direct operating costs.

Direct operating cost of a F-16C = USD 7.750 (2010).

Hawker doesn't have the airplane that USAF seeks, now he makes everything to change the decision, until making donations for political. :no:

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Marc, we have a bidding and appropriations system. The point it to put out a contract with specific requirements. At the end of the bidding process the submitted proposals are reviewed, and the one which fulfills the contract requirements for the lowest cost to the taxpayer is chosen. If the Tucano was always the better aircraft, then letting the process fairly run its course should not have been an issue. Instead Raytheon was booted from the contract without reason, and they didn't find the reason until they took the government to court.

 

You claim that Raytheon is the only one using political methods here, but it is clear from the mismanagement of the bid process that Embraer is doing the same thing. It happens in every contract the government puts out, and the USAF is very bad at handling them.

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USAF gave period for Hawker to correct problems of the AT-6 and like this to continue in the competition.

The Fact is, it would take two years to correct everything.

Super Tucano is ready one and operating with success.

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Instead Raytheon was......

You claim that Raytheon is the only one using political methods here,

 

Just so your're aware, Raytheon and Hawker Beechcraft are two separate companies now. Raytheon makes missles and Hawker Beechcraft makes aircraft. They split back in 2006 or so.......

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