Members of the Kansas delegation have the right attitude about last week’s confirmation that the Defense Department, having inexplicably dismissed Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 bid, awarded the $355 million light air support contract to Brazilian planemaker Embraer and U.S. contractor Sierra Nevada. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, called it “troubling that the United States Air Force would rather have these fighter aircraft built in another country, when jobs are needed so badly here at home. I will continue to fight for answers on this matter and remain committed to the men and women at Hawker Beechcraft who build world-class aircraft.” Before the announcement late last week, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, was similarly defiant: “It is simply wrong for the Obama administration to hire a Brazilian company to handle national security when we have a qualified and competent American company that can do the job.” Hawker filed suit last week over the “pre-award exclusion” of its bid, which the Air Force has not explained.
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