Fri, Feb 05, 2010
Gates Says He Hopes Both Boeing And Northrop Grumman/EADS Will
Defense Secretary Robert Gates (pictured, below) told the
House Armed Services Committee Wednesday that he is ready to move
forward on the new RFP for a replacement to the aging KC-135
tanker, and he hopes both Boeing and Northrop Grumman/EADS will bid
on the multi-billion dollar project.
But, he said, he's prepared to move forward even if Northrop
makes good on their threat to pull out of the bidding.
Northrop Grumman and Airbus parent company EADS said if the Air
Force did not significantly change its final RFP for the tanker, it
would not participate in the bidding. They said the RFP as it stand
now is not something to which they would be able to respond.
Reuters reports that Gates told the committee " we ... have to move
forward." When asked again how the Pentagon would respond if only
Boeing were to bid, Gates said "It's been delayed too long. We need
to get this thing started."
Industry executives say they expect to see the latest terms of
the RFP later this month. The Air Force hopes to issue a contract,
which could be worth as much as $100 billion to the winner, by this
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