SAO PAULO — Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer called Wednesday for a quick resolution of a challenge by Beechcraft to its sale of 20 A-29 Super Tucano planes to the U.S. Air Force.
“It’s something that should be resolved as soon as possible. The process was robust and consistent, exactly so as not to leave room for big doubts,” Embraer Vice President Jose Antonio Filippo said in a teleconference.
On Friday, Beechcraft said it would protest the Embraer contract, claiming that the air force would spend 40 percent more for a less capable plane. Embraer, and its U.S.-based partner Sierra Nevada Corp., responded that the Air Force had picked the A-29 Super Tucano because of its superior cost-benefit balance and safety.
“We expect this to be resolved in order to begin the project as soon as possible,” said Filippo.
The U.S. Air Force awarded Embraer the $427 million contract late last month to build 20 Super Tucanos for use in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the bulk of U.S. forces there. It was the second time it had been awarded the contract after Beechcraft went to court to block an earlier version of it over alleged irregularities in the bidding process.