2/27/2013 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force today awarded a $427,459,708.00 contract to Sierra Nevada Corp. to provide light air support aircraft and associated maintenance and training for the Afghan air force.
Under this contract, 20 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to operational air bases in Afghanistan beginning in the summer of 2014 to conduct advanced flight training, surveillance, close air support and air interdiction missions.
The contract requirements call for a known, predominantly stable design due to austere conditions, the possibility for immediate combat needs and the substantial learning curve of the potential partner nation pilots.
"I am confident that the source selection process was disciplined and meticulous, and we are excited to provide a much-needed capability to our Afghan partners," said Lt. Gen. CR Davis, Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.
Initially awarded to Sierra Nevada Corp in December 2011, the Air Force issued a stop-work order in February 2012 and terminated the contract in March 2012 during the Hawker Beechcraft Court of Federal Claims protest and after an internal Air Force investigation turned up documentation deficiencies in the source selection paperwork.
As part of the Air Force's corrective action, a new LAS source selection team was appointed, source selection training was reinforced across the Air Force acquisition community, and oversight alignment and effectiveness was improved.
The Air Force restarted the LAS acquisition as quickly as possible in order to be responsive to the Afghan requirement and issued an amended request for proposals in May 2012.
The first aircraft delivery to Afghanistan, as required by the updated request for proposal, is anticipated to begin in Summer 2014 at a rate of two aircraft per month.
3/6/2013 7:42:04 AM ET Bandele-I dont think any of us have a problem with where they are made we do have a problem using American Taxpayers money and more importantly taking the cost out of the Air Force budget. The problem is that these are oil rich countries and at some point they have stand on their own two feet and finance the defense their own country.
SNCO Ret, Scott
3/4/2013 9:12:21 AM ET They may be made in USA but they are paid for with US tax dollars. Our planes are gounded so we can keep theirs in the air. No complaints form our leaders though.
3/1/2013 10:02:23 PM ET Dave I understand your concern but if you look a little deeper into this decision you will notice the aircraft will be manufactured in America right here in Jacksonville FL. This will create jobs for skilled workers and increase jobs throughout the supply chain. Check this out httpwww.builtforthemission.comlearn-more.php
Bandele Howes, FL
3/1/2013 4:06:56 PM ET well that's where those enlisted jobs went... to provide light air support aircraft and associated maintenance and training for the Afghan air force. Here back at home we can't get aircraft or maintenance or training for our own Air Force.
broke, trailer park
2/28/2013 8:19:05 PM ET Why don't we just send them our aircraft since we can't fly them anyway. Don't these Middle East Countries make enough money through Oil and such to sustain their own ops. I would think we could do a lot with 427mil.