Last November this writer posted an article about the rivalry between Hawker BeechCraft & Brazilian Embraer competing for a U.S. Defense contract for LAS (Light Air Support) in Afghanistan.
BeechCraft had been barred from bidding on the contract by the Air Force with no reason given. Supposition was, but not proven, that because the Embraer–built Super Tucano appeared to be the superior plane, as it is already in operation in several countries around the world and the HBC is really a prototype, the Air Force decided there was no need for a bid from them.
To make a long story short Embraer was awarded the contract late last year. HBC promptly filed suit amid many Americans crying “foul and outrage, how DARE a foreign company make our planes” and the Air Force suspended the contract pending further investigation.
HBC’s headquarters are in Wichita Kansas and as expected and predicted Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas led the charge to support HBC siting “irregularities and lack of transparency” on the part of the Air Force.
A writer on another blog has attempted to posit the notion that because Brazil has “ties to Iran” there was some sort of “conspiracy theory” going on between the Air Force, Embraer and Brazil. He even sited a letter sent to Leon Panetta from several senators asking for the U.S. to end a relationship with a Russian arms dealer as supporting evidence.
Yes this writer believes it would have been good manners for the USAF to tell HBC why it was barred from bidding and avoid all this drama and controversy but then they may have had their own reasons based on national security.
However if the RedState author and Rep. Pompeo cite a “lack of transparency” and “faux concern” that a foreign company was awarded this contract they should have been transparent in return. Neither stated the Embraer aircraft was to be built in Florida using American workers and American-made parts. Neither has stated that Hawker-Beechcraft’s parent company is Canadian company Onex which resides in Toronto.
In a world where industry, trade and so many others things are intertwined, one can’t automatically nix a foreign company wishing to do business with America as evil or conspiratorial. Not all technology and science originate in the United States. Sometimes we have to recognize the assistance and technology of other countries.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks