Sierra Nevada Steps Up

Sierra Nevada announced on Wednesday that it is exploring ways to mitigate delays in meeting the Air Force’s April 2013 schedule for delivering the first A-29 Super Tucano aircraft. “Given the stakes and given recent reports of a potentially accelerated end to US combat operations [in Afghanistan], we are looking at all possible options for speeding up our production and delivery timeline,” said Taco Gilbert, company vice president for ISR business development. Sierra Nevada, teamed with Brazil’s Embraer, won the Air Force’s Light Air Support contract in late December to supply 20 new-build A-29s and associated equipment and services for use by the Afghan air force. However, Hawker Beechcraft filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Air Force’s decision to eliminate its AT-6 aircraft from further consideration. USAF subsequently issued a temporary stop-work order on Jan. 4. According to Sierra Nevada, the Air Force foresees a delay in the delivery schedule due to the litigation. The company wants to prevent that. “However, until the stop work order is lifted, we cannot make any movement in this regard,” said Gilbert.