Sierra Nevada Sues Air Force

Sierra Nevada filed a suit in federal court to have the Air Force reinstate the $355 million Light Air Support contract that the company won last December, but the service subsequently withdrew. “[Sierra Nevada] does not have a history of litigation. We are taking this step only after very serious deliberation and exhausting the other avenues available to us to address our concerns,” said Taco Gilbert, company vice president of ISR business development, in a June 13 release. The company took the court action on June 12. Sierra Nevada’s Embraer-based A-29 Super Tucano aircraft beat out Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 in the Air Force’s original LAS competition to supply 20 light attack aircraft to the Afghan air force. But the Air Force terminated that contract in March, citing poor documentation that couldn’t justify the award in the face of scrutiny. In April, the service released an updated solicitation for a revised competition between the two offerors. Sierra Nevada, in justifying its new suit, said it views the contract cancellation as “an extreme response to what appears to be paperwork errors” on the Air Force’s part. Moreover, the revised solicitation “is tilted in favor of the competition,” states Sierra Nevada’s release.