Saturday, January 07, 2012

What Say Ye?

I've seen this brouhaha in several locations over the last several weeks, and I admit that I'm ignorant about the situation.

It seems that the US is looking for a new light attack aircraft, and early on the two pretenders were the US-Canada company Hawker Beechcraft and the Brazilian firm Embraer.

Hawker Beechcraft is upgrading it's T-6 aircraft to carry weapons, and Embraer is supporting it's Super Tucano. Now, it seems, the Beechcraft has been excluded from the competition and the company is howling.

My knee-jerk reaction is that we should support American companies over foreign competition in military contracts, but there's evidently something that I don't understand. Please educate me. What say ye?


LibertyNews said...

Prop planes? WTF?

We should just keep making A-10's.

Anonymous said...

Old NFO said...

I think there are some 'issues' that aren't coming to light here...

be603 said...

Super T's are plug and play, available off the shelf (so to speak) and proven. Updated/weaponized T-6 are still TBD verging on vaporware.
T-6 lags on just about every performance characteristic to boot.

T-6 isn't actually a Beech. It's a Pilatus design built under contract.

oh and yeah, prop Air-to-mud makes a lot of sense in areas with air superiority and low AA threat.

Anonymous said...

1. Hawker is Canadian owned and have been moving their factories to Mexico. The 'Buy American" campaign is propaganda.
2. The USAF specified the contract was for an airplane in production, not a prototype as Hawker supplied.
3. The USAF notified Hawker of them being disqualified and Hawker misplaced the certified letter. It was found unopened on someone's desk 11 days after the deadline.

Retired Spook said...

Sorry, but I still think it's a bad idea to have ANY U.S. weapon system made outside the U.S. I'm not even a big fan of having the SAWs and M240s made by FN. But our current dog-and-pony show has little grasp of the obvious when it comes to anything military.

Rivrdog said...

Probably some ancient General involved in the decision-making who wanted to do the conversion. It was done in 'Nam, when we converted dozens of T-37 (Tweety-Bird") trainers into light attack aircraft.

They were all left behind when we lost that war, and presumably, the (North) Vietnamese Air Force is flying them.

The Super-Tucano is battle proven, and can be "tommy'yd up" with all the latest in avionics for combat. It is a very good airplane for COIN work, and we could have some next week if we wanted them that fast.