News Columns & Blogs

Tiahrt wants investigation of possible U.S. purchase of Brazilian planes

U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt  is asking for a Congressional investigation of whether reports are valid that the U.S. and Brazil are negotiating an agreement for the U.S. to buy at least 100 Super Tucano aircraft built by Brazil’s Embraer for use as mission, light attack and armed reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft.

Earlier this year, the Air Force initiated a formal analysis of alternatives that may be able to perform LAAR missions. An agreement to buy light attack aircraft from a foreign country before the review is complete would “undermine the integrity and value of this effort.”

It also wouldn’t give Wichita’s Hawker Beechcraft a chance to compete for the contract with its AT-6B, an aircraft the government has invested substantially in for its development, Tiahrt said. The AT-6B would compete with Embraer’s Super Tucano.

Tiahrt said he’s concerned that this type of agreement would demean the integrity of the federal acquisition process and result in the loss of thousands of U.S. jobs.

He’s asking House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), and Ranking Member Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) asking the committee to investigate the reports.