posted on Aug, 4 2013 @ 11:06 AM
The Senate passed a $594B defense spending bill for FY2014, but eliminated the Sierra Nevada/Embraer Super Tucano light attack fighter, and the Mil
Mi-17 transport helicopter ordered for the Afghanistan military, through the Foreign Military Sales office.
The team of Sierra Nevada and Embraer were awarded the contract after a three year, hard fought contract that included a rebid of the contract after
it was awarded to Beechcraft, but was protested. Beechcraft had proposed the AT-6 Texan for the contract. The contract was for 20 aircraft, to go to
the Afghanistan Air Force, to allow them to have an anti-insurgent capability. Beechcraft had vowed to appeal to Congress to block the sale, as there
was the potential for more sales beyond Afghanistan.
The Mil Mi-17 was chosen over the Sikorsky S-61, as being more appropriate for the terrain, and operating conditions. Sikorsky said it was frozen out
of bidding, and filed protest but the GAO upheld the contract. Sikorsky again said they would go to Congress to stop the sale.
It's no wonder that we can't cut defense spending. These companies are like three year olds who can't get their way. If the GAO denies them, they
run to "dad" in Congress, and their bought Congresspeople and get their way. Both of these sales are necessary, even though we're trying to cut
spending, to ensure that Afghanistan is capable of protecting itself. Regardless of your feelings toward the war, we went in, we destroyed any
military forces they had, and we need to ensure they can protect themselves. But Beech and Sikorsky only care about getting their way, so that won't
The US Senate appropriations committee has passed a $594 billion defence spending bill for fiscal year 2014 that eliminates funding to buy Sierra
Nevada/Embraer Super Tucanos and Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters for Afghanistan's military.
The bill follows similar moves by the House of Representatives, which approved its version of the defence bill on 24 July. The Senate version now must
come before the full chamber for a vote, and any differences between the two bills must be worked out with the House chamber in a conference
committee. But Congress is very close to eliminating two key programmes aimed at bolstering the capabilities of Afghan security forces before the
planned US drawdown beginning next year.
Both programmes have been highly controversial with US-based defence contractors and within the acquisition bureaucracy of the Pentagon.