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4 comments

1 Bob Dillon  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 1:10:53pm

That this is even an issue is disconcerting. If things are screwed up even at this level its no wonder we are where we are today. I probably just don't comprehend the bigger picture.

2 Shiplord Kirel  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 1:16:43pm

This analysis omits some very important facts. The writer cites logistic advantages for the Hawker-Beechcraft AT-6, since it is already in production and service. In reality of course, the attack version (which is the actual competitor here) has only recently been developed and has not been in regular service. The Brazilian AT-29 in contrast has been in production and regular service for a number of years.
The article also alleges that government subsidies give the Brazilian competitor and unfair advantage. In fact, there is no significant difference in proposed cost between the two entries, and this is not therefore an advantage for Embraer, fair or otherwise.
Finally, the Embraer aircraft contains a lot of US made equipment, while some third county equipment, the Canadian engines and British ejection seats for example, are common to both aircraft. AT-29s for the US forces would be assembled in this country, further increasing the domestic content. The AT-6 itself is a derivative of a foreign designed aircraft, the Pilatus PC-9 from Switzerland.
The article also ignores the possibility of an offset agreement between the US and Brazil, whereby Brazilian orders to US industry would offset all or part of the AT-29's benefit to Brazilian industry. The Brazilians are said to favor the Boeing FA-18 for their new fighter order, for example, a deal that dwarf the AT-29 purchase.
It really appears to me that industry representatives and pork-minded congress-critters are looking out for their own constituents and contributors and dressing it up as a concern for the country as a whole.

3 Bob Dillon  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 1:20:20pm

On a parallel line ... [Link: www.strategypage.com...]
120mm Magic Arrives

April 5, 2011: The U.S. Army finally got its new GPS guided, 120mm mortar shells to Afghanistan. Development and production delays kept this from happening for years. But some pressure from the top (in response to lots of pressure from the bottom) made it happen. It turned out that the new shell performed better than its specifications (the shell falls within a 10 meter/31 foot radius at least half the time.) That was good news, because Afghanistan is a place where 120mm mortars are very useful, and a GPS guided 120mm mortar shell was seen as very helpful for avoiding civilian casualties and reducing the amount of ammo you have to truck in.

...

It was about a year ago, after over a decade of searching (and procrastinating), that the U.S. Army finally selected a GPS guided 120mm mortar shell, from one of three suppliers (two American and one Israeli). All the systems were similar. The winner was one of the American systems, the RCGM (Roll-Controlled Guided Mortar).

4 Shiplord Kirel  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 1:27:16pm

It's also possible, indeed likely, that much of the work on the "All-American" AT-6 would be outsourced to Hawker-Beechcraft's new plant in Chihuahua Mexico.


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