Jan. 23, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG
Washington DC - A US Air Force tender to purchase 20 light attack aircraft for the Afghan air force has been delayed. The service was expected to award a contract for the Light Air Support (LAS) programme this January.
"It's still in source selection but we do anticipate making a decision and announcement in the next few months," the USAF says.
The LAS effort aims to provide Afghanistan's nascent air force with a fixed-wing strike capability. There are only two potential contractors.
Hawker Beechcraft is offering its AT-6 version of the Texan II turboprop trainer while Sierra Nevada and Embraer have teamed up to offer the A-29 Super Tucano.
The USAF had originally chosen the Super Tucano for the LAS tender at the end of 2011, but the programme was halted after Beechcraft filed a lawsuit.
During the activity surrounding the lawsuit, the USAF discovered that its internal contract documents were not in order. The service then terminated the existing LAS contract in March, 2012, and started afresh.
The LAS contract is expected to be worth about $355 million.