24 February 2011

Tanker Follies Wrapping Up Today?

Will today's pending announcement put the US Air Force tanker contract issue to bed? Or just another chapter in a political-economic fight?

The US Defense Department is set to announce the winner of a $35 billion Air Force aerial refueling tanker contract fought over by Boeing and European rival EADS for nearly a decade.
Congressional aides told AFP the award of one of the biggest procurement contracts in US history would come Thursday.
The Pentagon declined to comment on the matter.
The Defense Department is seeking to replace 179 tankers in an aging US Air Force fleet of Boeing KC-135s that date back to the 1950s.
In the high-stakes, politically charged battle, US aerospace giant Boeing and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, parent of France-based Airbus, delivered their final bids by last Friday's deadline.
EADS is looking like the favorite to land the contract, said Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute think-tank based just outside the US capital.
"Judging from the frequency with which Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter has been talking up the notion of a 'globalized' defense market recently, European aerospace giant EADS is the winner," Thompson said in an online blog.
Thompson said the Air Force would announce the winner Thursday after the financial markets close.

By: Brant

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