Boeing To Get Explanation Of Why It Lost Tanker Deal

March 5th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Boeing To Get Explanation Of Why It Lost Tanker Deal

New York Times
March 5, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) Boeing will get an expedited briefing from the Air Force to explain why a $40 billion aerial refueling tanker contract was awarded to a rival, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, and its partner, Northrop Grumman.
Boeing, which has been supplying air-to-air refueling tankers to the Air Force for nearly 50 years and was widely expected to win the deal, said it would not decide whether to protest the decision until it was debriefed by the Air Force.
The Air Force planned a March 12 debriefing, according to Boeing. That meeting will now be held on Thursday, according to Senator Patty Murray and Representative Norman D. Dicks, Democrats from Washington State, which stood to gain jobs had Boeing won the deal.
Awarding such a high-stakes deal to a foreign company has touched off a furor in Congress.
Two top Air Force acquisition officials Sue C. Payton, assistant secretary for acquisition, and Lt. Gen. John L. Hudson are to testify about the contract before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday.
The contract to build up to 179 tankers is the first of three Air Force awards worth as much as $100 billion to replace its entire refueling tanker fleet over the next 30 years.
Boeing would have performed much of the tanker work in Everett, Wash., and Wichita, Kan., and would have used Pratt & Whitney engines built in Connecticut. The company says winning the contract would have supported 44,000 new and existing jobs at Boeing and more than 300 suppliers in more than 40 states.
The team of EADS and Northrop Grumman plans to perform its final assembly work in Mobile, Ala., although the underlying plane would mostly be built in Europe. It would use General Electric engines built in North Carolina and Ohio. Northrop Grumman of Los Angeles estimates a Northrop/EADS contract would produce 2,000 new jobs in Mobile and support 25,000 jobs at suppliers nationwide.

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