Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Conflicting rulings by two US courts cast shadow on future of Obamacare

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

Business

Northrop, EADS drop out of US tanker contract bid

Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-09

US defence contractor Northrop Grumman and its European partner EADS announced late Monday that they would not bid for a $35 billion contract to build tankers for the US Air Force, making Boeing the only bidder.

AFP - Top US defense contractor Northrop Grumman and European partner EADS said Monday they would not bid for a 35-billion-dollar US Air Force tanker plane contract, clearing the way for a Boeing win.
  
Northrop Grumman said it had decided not to compete because the US Air Force's request for proposals for the contract published last month "favors" Boeing.
  
Northrop said it would not submit a bid to the Department of Defense for the KC-X tanker plane program following a "comprehensive analysis" of the requirements.
  
The request "clearly favors Boeing's smaller refueling tanker and does not provide adequate value recognition of the added capability of a larger tanker, precluding us from any competitive opportunity," Wes Bush, chief executive and president of Northrop Grumman, said in a statement.
  
The tankers refuel warplanes in mid-air.
  
The Northrop-EADS team won the contract in February 2008, but the deal was canceled after Boeing successfully appealed the decision to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
  
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) confirmed the decision of Northrop, the prime contractor with which it partnered five years ago to pursue the contract and gain a greater foothold in the massive US defense market, where it currently has a small presence.
  
EADS and Northrop had then offered a modified version of the commercial Airbus A330, while Boeing proposed a 767-based tanker in the previous contract.
  
"This is particularly disappointing given that the Air Force previously had selected the A330-based KC-45 because of its added capability, lower risk and best value," EADS said in a statement on Monday.
  
Boeing announced last week it planned to offer a modified version of its 767 commercial airliner, which is smaller than the A330 and consumes less fuel.
  
The US aerospace giant had said it would submit its proposal by May 10, within the 75-day period set out in the Pentagon's request for proposals.
  
The Pentagon has struggled since 2003 to get a new tanker built.
  
In 2003, the Pentagon awarded a contract to Boeing but later suspended it amid an ethics scandal involving a company executive and an Air Force official, who was subsequently convicted of criminal conspiracy.
  
With the exit of Northrop and EADS, Boeing effectively is in prime position for the contract to replace the 1950s-era aging fleet of Boeing tankers.
  
"The Boeing NewGen Tanker will be safe and survivable in combat, will save the American taxpayer 10 billion dollars in fuel costs over its 40-year life, and is American designed and built," Boeing spokesman Bill Barksdale said in a statement after the Northrop-EADS announcements.
  
Richard Aboulafia, vice president of Teal Group Corp., cautioned that this may be just another twist in the tortured contest to replace the aging fleet.
  
"This looks like a significant Boeing win, but we’ve seen several other false starts to this program," Aboulafia said.
  
"Additional congressional scrutiny is likely, but congressmen and senators scrutinize programs most heavily when they can produce results for their districts. If there’s no competition, there’s little to be gained from paying more than a token amount of attention," he told AFP.
  
An Alabama senator whose state would have benefited from EADS's promise to open a plant to assemble the tankers, creating 300 jobs, accused the US Air Force of kowtowing to political pressure.
  
"The Air Force had a chance to deliver the most capable tanker possible to our warfighters and blew it," US Senator Richard Shelby said.
  
"This so-called competition was not structured to produce the best outcome for our men and women in uniform; it was structured to produce the best outcome for Boeing," the Republican lawmaker said.
 

Date created : 2010-03-09

  • AEROSPACE

    Boeing throws down gauntlet with new bid for US military tanker contract

    Read more

  • AVIATION

    EADS posts 87 million euro loss in Q3 amid key project delays

    Read more

  • AVIATION

    EADS presented with ‘final offer’ to rescue A400M military aircraft deal

    Read more

COMMENT(S)