US Air Force closely guards tanker winner news

Only a select few know whether top acquisition officials picked Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) or a team led by Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and its European partner, Airbus parent EADS (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), to build 179 new refueling aircraft. The deal is valued at $30 billion to $40 billion over the next 10 to 15 years.

Most analysts expect Boeing to win the contract, but Northrop insists it still has a fighting chance.

Air Force officials had hoped to announce the news as early as Monday after a key Pentagon meeting, but two defense officials said an announcement was unlikely before Wednesday, and might not come until Friday.

Expect protests and lawsuits and who knows what else.


  1. according to the Malaysian Sun, the KC-30 won http://story.malaysiasun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/3a8a80d6f705f8cc/id/331532/cs/1/ ————————— The U.S. Air Force has made an agreement with EADS, the European aircraft manufacturer, which has been vying against Chicago-based Boeing for the large military contract. EADS is the winner of a US$40 billion military aircraft contract to supply refuelling aircraft to the airforce. EADS will supply the USAF with a modified A330 with a larger capacity than the Boeing 767-200 plane which was on offer. ————————— of course the likelihood of the Malaysian Sun having a super source when no one else in the defense establishment can get a read seems . . . slim

  2. That article is actually pretty funny. I guess they had some chance of being right. There’s going to be some serious backlash in this country if that contract does go overseas. I really wonder if the Republicans get that. Check out this article:

    But Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), the oversight committee’s ranking member, said releasing salaries to the public doesn’t hit at the heart of the contracting issues facing the government. ‘However well-intentioned, these proposals do not focus on creating the most effective and efficient federal acquisition system possible,’ he said. Similarly, Paul Denett, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said the information is there for the contracting officers who need it. The government should not get involved in what chief executive officers of private companies are paid, as long as the government is getting a reasonably priced contract, he said. Requiring the disclosure would not help the contracting process but may cause businesses to instead question whether to contract with the government, Denett said. ‘Public disclosure–would likely have a chilling effect on contractor participation in federal acquisition,’ he said. Davis said that possible effect may stifle competition for contracts. – Federal Computer Week

  3. I agree with dfens there will be a public backlash if Boeing loses, but I don’t know how large. In this day and age there are just as many Americans who either don’t care, or don’t see a problem, with the US losing its industrial base. For every guy I know who thinks we should be self sufficient, there is a guy who just wants to buy the cheapest product regardless of origin. I realize Airbus has agreed to assemble the tankers in AL, and Boeing is not 100% ‘made in the USA’. But Airbus would not be doing this if they did not think it would ultimately be good for them. So final assemply in AL aside, Airbus knows this is a gravy train that their piece-of-shit European governments would never be able to offer, and Airbus wants her turn at the teet courtesy of the US taxpayer. And that is what rubs me most. In a competitive environment for the US taxpayer to unwittingly tilt the match in favor of Airbus over Boeing. I think in the end they will split the contract. I could be wrong, but I don’t think they will risk the wrath of the patriotic citizens who care about their nation’s viability, nor do I think they will risk a lengthy WTO fight concerning ‘unfair subsidies’ to Boeing.