Northrop Grumman is telling the
world that it 'views any delay to the amended request for proposal
for the tanker replacement program as harmful to the warfighter and
that a delay will result in a direct escalation in cost to the
government thereby harming American taxpayers.'
Northrop Grumman Statement
In Northrop Grumman's view of the history of this procurement
and like procurements by the Defense Department, we can find no
precedent whereby a post-Protest RFP Amendment permitted more than
60 days from release for submission of revised offers. In fact,
many are less than a week. Given the long history of the KC-135
Replacement Procurement, which spans over six years to date,
Northrop Grumman finds this additional time request disturbing
given that the final Government Accountability Office Report that
sustained the Protest was confined to only minor "Process" errors.
Any delay in this RFP process will extend the time our warfighters
will get badly needed new refueling aircraft by years.
Northrop Grumman continues in noting that, "The requirements of
the new aerial refueling tanker were stated in the final RFP, which
was released in January 2007. The time already being offered by the
Defense Department, together with the six weeks since the Defense
Department's announcement of its post-protest approach, is more
than enough time for any necessary revisions to existing proposals.
If one competitor decides it is now time to listen to their
customer and fundamentally change their offer, that is their
choice, but the warfighter and taxpayer should not have to bear the
burden of their late-breaking change in business strategy. The
Northrop Grumman KC-45 tanker won the competition on the merits of
its superior capability. America needs a new tanker now and the
Northrop Grumman KC-45 is ready now."