Light Air Support Work Placed on Hold

The Air Force on Wednesday issued a temporary stop-work order to Sierra Nevada of Sparks, Nev., for the Light Air Support contract that it awarded the company late last month. USAF spokesman Lt. Col. Jack Miller said this decision was “due to litigation currently pending before the US Court of Federal Claims” concerning LAS. Late last month, Sierra Nevada won the Air Force’s competition to supply the Afghan air force with 20 LAS aircraft for counterinsurgency roles. The company teamed with Brazil’s Embraer to offer the latter’s A-29 Super Tucano. Sierra Nevada received a $355 million contract for this work. Hawker Beechcraft of Wichita, Kan., filed suit against the Air Force in the federal court last month after the service eliminated the company’s AT-6 aircraft from further consideration in the competition and the company claimed it received no proper explanation. Hawker filed the federal suit after the Government Accountability Office dismissed the company’s protest. “The competition and source selection evaluation were fair, open, and transparent,” stated Miller. He added, “The Air Force is confident in the merits of its contract award decision and anticipates that the litigation will be quickly resolved.”