Boeing to protest USAF tanker decision

March 11, 2008 at 4:08 PM
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CHICAGO, March 11 (UPI) -- Boeing is filing a protest Tuesday over the U.S. Air Force's award of an air tanker deal to EADS and Northrop Grumman.

"The Boeing Company will file a formal protest on Tuesday asking the Government Accountability Office -- GAO -- to review the decision by the U.S. Air Force to award a contract to a team of Northrop Grumman and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company -- EADS -- to replace aerial refueling tankers," Boeing said in a statement Monday.

"Our team has taken a very close look at the tanker decision and found serious flaws in the process that we believe warrant appeal," said Jim McNerney, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive officer. "This is an extraordinary step rarely taken by our company, and one we take very seriously."

"Following a debriefing on the decision by the Air Force on March 7, Boeing officials spent three days reviewing the Air Force 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," Boeing 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."

Boeing said it would "provide additional details of its case in conjunction with the protest filing on Tuesday."

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