U.S. Air Force Needs a Time Out

The IAM is urging the U.S. Secretary of Defense to call “time out” on the U.S. Air Force for its one-sided treatment of a Brazil-based company in the award of a $465 million contract to provide 20 Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft for the Afghan Air Force.

The Air Force chose Brazil-based Embraer over Wichita, KS-based Beechcraft Corp. to produce the LAS aircraft despite significantly lower costs and superior performance for the Beechcraft AT-6. Additionally, the Air Force announced it will ignore a protest by Beechcraft filed with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the controversial decision.

“The U.S. Air Force is placing a Brazilian manufacturer directly in control of weapons systems that is central to U.S. national policies,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “This contract also promotes the outsourcing of U.S. aerospace jobs for decades, in a market worth billions of dollars. I urge the Secretary of Defense to consider the long-term consequences to U.S. economic security and to put the brakes on this misguided decision.”