Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Hawker officials stated that the actions of the current administration do not align with the comments made by President Obama in his State of the Union address.
They added that the President made convincing statements that he wants to protect American manufacturing jobs and called for more highly skilled jobs in the U.S. and for more products to be made in America,” said a Hawker Official.
"If this is true, then the actions of the U.S. Air Force are in direct conflict with those objectives. The Air Force recently excluded the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 from a competition for a Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft. This decision is counter to the President's address in several ways: The AT-6 is the best airplane for the LAS mission, and it is made in America. Awarding this contract to a foreign company jeopardizes 800 jobs in Kansas and Arkansas and more than 600 jobs in 38 other states,” said Hawker officials.
The U.S airplane, Hawker officials estimated, is about 25 percent less expensive to acquire and dramatically more cost effective to maintain. They stated the decision by the Air Force to send defense dollars overseas for the LAS program should receive an impartial review before the Air Force purchases an inferior airplane and sends U.S. tax dollars and U.S. jobs overseas and places our national security in the hands of a foreign country.
It was reported that the Air Force says it will refuse to purchase an airplane that is still being developed.
Hawker stated that outsourcing the manufacture of defense equipment and technology weakens long-term national security, will be detrimental to continued U.S. military dominance and that awarding this contract to a non-U.S. company could idle one of the last manufacturing facilities capable of building a propeller-driven U.S. military aircraft.
Eliminating jobs and capabilities in the U.S. industrial and military base, said Hawker officials, is not consistent with the priorities that the President presented in his address or the strategy recently unveiled by the Department of Defense. They say the LAS contract and others like it are essential to maintaining our country's leadership in aerospace engineering and innovation, and keeping national security manufacturing in the United States is critical to maintaining our military manufacturing infrastructure.
Hawker officials hope that the aspirations the President set forth in the State of the Union guide future defense decisions and lead to the answers they have been seeking.