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Beechcraft to protest U.S. Air Force decision on planes for Afghanistan

(Reuters) - Beechcraft Corp said it will formally protest to the U.S. Government Accountability Office the U.S. Air Force's decision to award the light air support contract to its Brazilian competitor, Embraer SA.

Embraer won a deal on February 27 to supply 20 light attack planes for counterinsurgency missions in Afghanistan, after a politically charged bidding process.

Beechcraft, formerly known as Hawker Beechcraft, emerged from Chapter 11 restructuring last month. The aircraft maker said in a statement that the Air Force decision is estimated to affect about 1400 jobs in Kansas and other states.

(Reporting by Ritika Rai in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

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