With a $350 million contract at stake, a court has ruled that it's OK for the U.S. Air Force to restart its bidding process for 20 new training aircraft, the Wichita Eagle has reported. The contract was awarded about a year ago to Sierra Nevada Corp.'s version of Embraer's Super Tocano, but after a protest from Hawker Beechcraft, both parties were asked to resubmit their bids. Sierra Nevada protested that decision, but now the way is clear for both companies to remake their case. The court also said there was adequate evidence that the original decision was "likely tainted by bias."
Hawker had proposed its AT-6B single-engine turboprop for the contract, which could be worth up to $1 billion if all options are exercised. A new decision about the contract is expected next month. Early this year, AVweb editor-in-chief Russ Niles spoke with Hawker chairman Bill Boisture, who at the time was CEO, about the dispute; click here for that coverage and the associated podcast.