LAS Announcement Expected in September

The Air Force source-selection deadline in the Light Air Support aircraft competition has come and gone, with no announcement of a winner. “With respect to when the government might announce that, we still don’t have any definitive answer,” Derek Hess, director of Hawker-Beechcraft’s light attack program recently told the Daily Report. A decision on a ground support aircraft to provide the Afghan Air Force with a duel-role counter-insurgency training platform was expected in June, but is now slated for September, said Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Jack Miller. The Air Force expects to field 20 aircraft as arms assistance to the Afghan government under the LAS program, said Miller. Hawker-Beechcraft is partnered with Lockheed offering the AT-6 against the Embraer Super Tucano, offered in partnership with US contractor Sierra Nevada. “We believe, because it is past their published deadline [for LAS] and that has not been updated, that they are working diligently to make the source selection announcement and we’re ready to get on with it,” said Hess. Though similar, the LAS competition is separate from the Air Force’s ongoing Light Attack Armed Reconnaissance program to buy 15 training aircraft for US air advisors.