21 April 2010

Return of the Son of the Undead Tanker Bid

That's right, kiddies! The KC-X tanker contract just won't die!

US Senators clashed Tuesday on European aerospace giant EADS's decision to bid on a lucrative US military aerial refueling tanker contract, taking on US archrival Boeing.

Lawmakers from states that are home to Boeing operations, like Washington, denounced the decision and vowed to fight to defeat EADS's effort to win the 35-billion-dollar deal to supply the US Air Force.

"I will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to make clear to the Pentagon and the White House that this is the wrong move for our service members and our workers," said Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington.

Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, where work on the tanker would take place, hailed the European firm's decision, saying: "A sole-sourced contract would have served only Boeing's interest.

"The presence of a competitor better serves the interest of our warfighters and American taxpayers," said Shelby, who declared himself worried "this competition is already skewed" in Boeing's favor.

But Murray, echoing past criticisms of EADS, criticized the Pentagon for keeping the bidding open to help "an illegally subsidized foreign company" -- a reference to a confidential World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling in March.

By: Brant

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