Boeing today filed a formal protest of a $40 billion Air Force tanker contract, saying the "seriously flawed" selection was "replete with...
WASHINGTON — Boeing today filed a formal protest of a $40 billion Air Force tanker contract, saying the “seriously flawed” selection was “replete with irregularities” and resulted in the “wrong airplane for the warfighter.”
In a statement today, the company said those irregularities placed it at a “competitive disadvantage throughout this competition and even penalized Boeing.”
The comments came as Boeing filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office over the Air Force decision to award the high-stakes deal to European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EADS) and Northrop Grumman.
Boeing has been supplying aerial refueling tankers to the Air Force for nearly 50 years, a fact that the Air Force ignored, Boeing said.
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The GAO has 100 days to issue a ruling.
Boeing claimed in the release that the Air Force changed its requirements to accommodate the bigger tanker offered by EADS and Northrop Grumman.
It also said the Air Force lost sight of the original mission for the tanker fleet — letting planes refuel without landing — by choosing a larger tanker that could carry more passengers and cargo.
Air Force officials have said that the larger size of the plane helped tip the balance in favor of EADS and Northrop Grumman.
“If they wanted a larger tanker, it would have been nice to be very clear that that was a requirement,” Boeing Vice President Beverly Wyse said in a call with reporters and analysts. Wyse oversees production of Boeing’s commercial aircraft, which would have been converted into the tanker had Boeing won.