Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Boeing Protest Of Tanker Deal Upheld

Now this is a shocker!

The news was almost as unexpected as the decision by the U.S. Air Force earlier this year to award a $35 billion tanker deal not to The Boeing Co. but to a team that included the parent of Airbus.

In a decision that many experts had predicted would be highly unusual, the Government Accountability Office on Wednesday sided with Boeing in its protest of the tanker decision.

"Our review of the record let us to conclude that the Air Force made a number of significant errors that could have affected the outcome of what was a close competition between Boeing and Northrop Grumman," the GAO said. "We therefore sustain Boeing's protest."

The GAO, which is the investigative arm of Congress, recommended the Air Force reopen talks with Boeing and the team of Northrop and European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. and hold a new tanker selection process. The Congressional agency used particularly strong language in saying the Air Force made mistakes in seven critical areas, according to a defense expert.

"I can't imagine that with this many errors identified by the GAO that the Air Force will be able to escape holding a new competition," said Loren Thompson, a noted defense analyst with the Lexington Institute, a public policy research group in Arlington, Va.

1 comment:

Satanic Mechanic said...

About damn time someone in the government yelled B.S. over this contract. Not many people know that the Air Force changed the competition right at the end of the bidding. Boeing has a superior aircraft over the EADS-Northrup Grumman KC-30.
Boeing had two aircraft up for bid, the first one was a modified 767, called the KC-767, which could carry 220,000 pounds of fuel and the second one was a modified 777, called the KC-777, which could carry 350,000 pounds of fuel.
The KC-30, which is a modified Airbus 330, could only carry 250,000 of fuel. Also these planes would not only be used for fueling, but for cargo uses too.
Yes, I am being an arm-chair general, but I would pick the tanker that could carry the most. Since keeping the planes refueled in times of war is a must. Also, this is a military contract, it should be built here in America and not in Europe. Plus, Boeing needs all the jobs it can get.