January 20, 2013
On Friday, the Department of Defense threw bankrupt planemaker Hawker Beechcraft a bone, awarding the company's Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company a $22.6 million firm-fixed-price contract to continue work on the Iraqi T-6A trainer program.
The T-6A is a prop-driven trainer plane built by Hawker and used by what's left of the Iraqi Air Force, flying out of Tikrit Air Base in Iraq. Hawker is doing "sustainment" work on the plane, which basically means providing maintenance, service, and spare parts.
Speaking of spare parts, Hawker itself was almost broken up into them last year, when China's Superior Aviation Beijing bid $1.8 billion to acquire the civilian airplane side of the company, carving out Hawker Beechcraft Defense to avoid national security concerns. Despite this concession, the deal ultimately fell through late last year, and the fate of Hawker, now a subsidiary of Canada's Onex and America's Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), remains up in the air.