Air Force Formulating Revised LAS Solicitation

The Air Force is likely several weeks away from issuing an amended request for proposal for the Light Air Support aircraft program, said Secretary Michael Donley Thursday. “There will be a slightly revised RFP going forward,” he told defense reporters in Washington, D.C. He added, “We believe we are close. And, as we conclude that work, we will go to the Congress to explain what our strategy is moving forward.” Donley said the revised RFP would include “minor adjustments.” Among them, he said, would be efforts to mitigate the unavoidable schedule delay caused by the program’s recent turbulence. The Air Force also intends to remove language that outlined future potential additional aircraft buys, he said. The Air Force in late February withdrew its contract to Sierra Nevada to supply 20 LAS aircraft. It did so after realizing that the documentation justifying its contract award “was not adequate” to face the scrutiny that would come in the federal court case initiated by ousted bidder Hawker-Beechcraft, said Donley. Sierra Nevada was on tap to provide 20 modified Embraer A-29s for the Afghan air force, but now Hawker-Beechcraft and the former will duke it out once again for that right under the amended RFP’s terms.