Embraer bests Beechcraft for Afghan plane order

WASHINGTON Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:27pm EST

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WASHINGTON Feb 27 (Reuters) - Brazil's Embraer bested U.S.-based Beechcraft in a high-stakes U.S. Air Force recompetition for 20 light air support planes to be provided to the Afghan military for training and counterinsurgency.

Embraer and its U.S.-based partner, Sierra Nevada, were awarded a $427.5 million deal, the Pentagon announced after the close of business on Wednesday. The pair had won an initial $355 million contract in December 2011, but that deal had been scrapped after a challenge from the losing bidder, then known as Hawker Beechcraft.