GENEVA — The relaunch of the U.S. Air Force’s Light Air Support aircraft competition is getting a mixed response from Super Tucano-maker Embraer.

There is some measure of disappointment that the fly-off that was part in the previous competition­—won by a Sierra Nevada/Embraer team over the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 entry—was dropped.

But on the other hand, there appears to be greater emphasis on having a system with strong past performance in counter-insurgency operations, says Embraer CEO Frederico Fleury Curado. “That should favor us,” he notes.

Curado says he believes the Pentagon when it says this will be a fair competition.

The previous contract was thrown out after Hawker Beechcraft protested irregularities in the government’s decision-making process. Hawker Beechcraft says it too continues to work on its AT-6 and preparing its bid, according to the company’s executive vice president for customers, Shawn Vick.

Bids from the two rivals are due in June. A contract award is not expected until January, though.