Perplexed in Witchita: Providing a Tutorial for Bill Boisture

By Ed Timperlake

In February, we heard the Beechcraft team, struggling out of bankruptcy, praising the USAF and their handling of the competition for the Light Attack Aircraft.

According to Aaran Mehta of Defense News:

During the period the contract was recompeted, Hawker Beechcraft went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, now rebranded with just the Beechcraft name, announced its restructuring in mid-February.

At the time, Boisture praised the USAF for how it was handling the competition. The process “proceeded with a great deal of urgency, and yet care. Our interactions with the Air Force on this round of competition have been very professional.”|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Now with a 360-degree turn, we learn that USAF somehow made a mistake and their “very professional” handling of the competition turned into “being perplexed” at the decision.

We are here to help Mr. Boisture to become less perplexed.

The Super Tucano is a finished aircraft with worldwide deployment experience and support.  The Afghans need a combat aircraft at least four years ago, and the USAF wishes to deploy a finished product which can be supported over the long haul by a world wide support network.

The Super Tucano has been used in combat and killing bad guys for a long time; the AT-6 has logged many hours of promotional time rather than combat hours.

This is not a very tough decision for a policy maker.

But let us clarify even further.

The Chinese are not our best friends.  They went out of there way to buy a significant part of your company and did due diligence on the entire company.  Then when the deal aborted, they left $50 million dollar on the table?

What did they pay for, exactly?

Here, I am perplexed Bill.

It is long past time for Beechcraft’s behavior to be investigated. It is time for the FBI to investigate why did the Peoples Republic of China gratuitously give the leadership of Beechcraft $50 million?

When the PLA shell company walked away from their recent HBC acquisition attempt, PRC agents left behind $50 Million  and they did that for a reason.

If the PRC actions towards Hawker Beech are not examined closely, then a new espionage pattern and practice by PLA will just be encouraged.

The American CI community knows that PLA “collectors” will buy or steal what ever they think important.

If they make a business offer for an American firm, in this case one defense related, which will include walk through of the production process by  using an offer of purchase it is a new  PLA espionage con-ops. Essentially, the PRC is using American transparent capital deal making as a cover.

The aborted HBC acquisition process would have furnished the PRC a treasure trove of information, and rest assured the $50 million left behind was most definitely not charity.

It is now time to look at Beechcraft practices with at least as much care as the Beechcraft management is asking the GAO to do of the USAF.

For those wishing to read about how “perplexed” they are in Beechcraft, they can go to this link:

Then again, you might walk away “perplexed” yourself. So let us read this press release carefully.

“We simply don’t understand how the Air Force can justify spending over 40 percent more – over $125 million more – for what we consider to be less capable aircraft.”

Obviously the USAF disagrees and believes the Super Tucano to be a far more capable aircraft (how many more times does the USAF have to select it?).

With this press release, Beechcraft has indicated in print a price differential which, in effect, makes the case that the AT-6 a very risky loser of a choice.

But the posturing does not stop there.”The Air Force needs to make the right decision for the nation and our future allies.”

But the actions of your company simply block the USAF from doing exactly that!

To use those words, after HBC had a level playing field and lost, but now continues legal action to stop the process is shameful.

The net result of their continuous actions is that a much needed airpower asset might yet again be delayed needlessly from arriving in combat.

With our nation at war their action are a direct insult to the US Air Force, US and allied warfighters in Afghanistan and our Afghan allies.

How many more needless combat deaths are needed in order for Beechcraft to step aside gracefully?

This is not about a competition for an aerospace contract; this is about an effective transition in a deadly war zone.

It is not a game; it is combat with the Taliban.




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