Boeing files protest against USAF tanker contract

March 11th, 2008 - 10:34 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 11 (IANS) The Boeing Company Tuesday filed a formal protest asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the decision by the US Air Force to award a contract to a team of Northrop Grumman and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) to replace aerial refuelling tankers. “Our team has taken a very close look at the tanker decision and found serious flaws in the process that we believe warrant appeal,” Jim McNerney, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive officer said in a statement here.

“This is an extraordinary step rarely taken by our company, and one we take very seriously,” he added.

Following a debriefing on the decision by the Air Force March 7, Boeing officials spent three days reviewing the USAF case for its tanker award.

“A rigorous analysis of the Air Force evaluation that resulted in the Northrop/EADS contract led Boeing to the conclusion that a protest was necessary,” a company statement said.

“Based upon what we have seen, we continue to believe we submitted the most capable, lowest risk, lowest most probable life cycle cost airplane as measured against the Air Force’s Request for Proposal,” McNerney said.

“We look forward to the GAO’s review of the decision,” he added.

Boeing had last week termed as “surprising” the USAF announcement that it had chosen the Northrop-EADS team over the Boeing KC-767 tanker offering.

After a lengthy competition, USAF officials announced Feb 29 that the Northrop Grumman/EADS team had won the contract to build 179 tankers based on the Airbus A-330 to replace aging KC-135 aircraft.

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