February 24, 2011 by USA Post
Tanker Contract, (AP) – The Air Force has awarded a contract for one billion and 35 to build the next generation of air refueling tankers from Boeing Co. The announcement was made at the Pentagon Thursday afternoon after the close of financial markets. He was certain to be good news in Washington state and Kansas, where most of the work on the tanker will be done. The decision was a blow to the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., which also had an offer for the contract. It was a big disappointment for Alabama, which had relied on the work at military base long vanes. The Air Force has tried for nearly a decade to replace its aging fleet of tankers from the Eisenhower era, the equivalent of a flight service station.
The United States announced Thursday the winner of a 35 billion U.S. Air Force tanker-refueling contract to Airbus and Boeing contested by the Department of Defense.
The decision will be announced at 17:10 (2210 GMT), said Col. David Lapan, spokesman for the Pentagon.
Severalanlysts have tipped the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, parent company of France-based Airbus, to win the politically charged contest; one of the largest procurement contracts in U.S. history.
The U.S. Air Force has been trying for almost a decade to begin to replace its tanker fleet of Boeing KC-135 built dating back to 1950.
At stake is a contract, estimated at 35 billion and, for the first 179 tankers.
In a surprise twist in a long saga, the Air Force on Thursday and received a 35 billion contract for Boeing aerial truck rather than a European company that builds Airbus aircraft.
Pentagon officials said the decision was based solely on price. Boeing’s offer was more than 1 per cent lower than its rival, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, officials said. If the bids were within one percent, the Air Force would have affected 92 of the additional requirements for the plan as a tiebreaker, and some of them were widely thought to promote the wider plan of EADS.
Reaction to the decision was taken even as the Pentagon was the conclusion of his news conference, paving the way for a possible fight in Congress.
Rival Boeing, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, argued that his plan was bigger and better. And legislators of the Gulf Coast, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, relied on the promise of EADS to build an assembly plant in Alabama, which would have created thousands of jobs.
“I’m disappointed but not surprised,” said Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama. “Only in Chicago politics could tip the balance in favor of the lower plane of Boeing. EADS offers clear that the aircraft performance. If this decision is, our fighters will not get the higher quality components they deserve. ”
EADS has also aligned the company of other politically important states like Ohio, to supply parts, and legislators in these states could raise questions about the decision as well. The company has days to decide on protest against the decision.
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