Northrop drops out of tanker competition - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Northrop drops out of tanker competition

Boeing is expected to offer a military version of its 767 passenger jet to the Air Force. File Photo Boeing is expected to offer a military version of its 767 passenger jet to the Air Force. File Photo

WASHINGTON. - Northrop Grumman Corp. has decided not to compete against Boeing Co. for the $35 billion the Air Force will spend to buy its own fleet of refueling tankers.
     
Congressional and industry officials confirmed the decision Monday. It puts the Pentagon on a path to do something President Barack Obama didn't want to have happen on his watch: pay large amounts of money to a company without undergoing any competition.
     
The Obama administration had said these kinds of sole-source contracts aren't a good deal for the taxpayer. But industry insiders say there's no other company poised to meet the Air Force's guidelines for the program.

Previous Coverage
Boeing planning to bid on tanker

(March 4, 2010)

The Associated Press has learned that Boeing will soon announce plans to make a bid for the Air Force's troubled $35 billion refueling plane contract.
     
Two people familiar with the company's decision say Boeing is expected to offer a military version of its 767 passenger jet to the Air Force for a new fleet of 179 new jets.
     
The people asked not to be identified because the formal announcement has not yet been made.
     
Boeing's rival Northrop Grumman has said it may not bid for the plane, which has been delayed for seven years and has become symbolic of problems with the way Pentagon hands out contracts.
     
The Air Force needs to replace its fleet of refueling planes, some of which date back to the 1950s.
     
Northrop and Boeing have fought over who will get the contract.

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