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Embraer Expects U.S. to Rebid Light Attack Plane Within Weeks

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March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Embraer SA, the world’s fourth-biggest airplane maker, said it expects the U.S. government to seek new bids within weeks on a contract for light attack aircraft that was taken from the company in February.

Embraer thinks it has a great chance of winning the work again if the contract requirements are maintained, a company press officer said, citing its defense division president, Luiz Carlos Aguiar.

Aguiar said the U.S. decision needs to be made before Sept. 30, when the budget allocation for purchasing the planes expires, according to the press officer, who asked not to be identified because of the Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil-based aircraft maker’s policy.

Embraer and its American partner, Sierra Nevada Corp., won a $355 million contract in December to sell 20 Super Tucano aircraft to the U.S. Air Force for use in Afghanistan. The award was canceled Feb. 28 after losing competitor Hawker Beechcraft Corp. sued the military over the decision.

Aguiar said Embraer’s defense division has a backlog of $3.5 billion and will end 2012 with sales of $950 million, an increase from $868 million last year, according to the press officer.

The Financial Times reported Embraer’s expectation for the timing of the new bidding earlier today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jose Sergio Osse in Sao Paulo at josse1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Helder Marinho at hmarinho@bloomberg.net

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