Boeing wins tanker protest; GAO tells Air Force try again - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Boeing wins tanker protest; GAO tells Air Force try again

WASHINGTON - The Government Accountability Office has decided in favor of Boeing in its protest of an air tanker contract, saying the Air Force made at least seven errors in
awarding the $35 billion contract to EADS and Northrop Grumman to use an Airbus plane.

The GAO says the Air Force failed to properly assess the proposals, misled Boeing about changes and miscalculated costs. The GAO decision is not binding, but it recommends that the Air Force reopen the contract.

Boeing proposes a tanker based on its 767 plane, which is assembled in Everett and would be modified in Wichita, Kan. Boeing has said the Air Force improperly chose the larger Airbus A330
after indicating the 767 was the right size for the job.

The order for 179 tankers is the first of three Air Force contracts worth as much as $100 billion over 30 years to replace a fleet of nearly 600 tankers.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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