Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Democratic lawmakers appear determined to push a bill splitting a $35 billion contract for aerial tankers between Boeing and the Northrop Grumman/EADS team. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., and other defense appropriators think it will get the program moving again. Defense Secretary Robert Gates sees the move as an expensive compromise, but defense analyst Loren Thompson says the split contract could save money by more quickly retiring the existing fleet of KC-135 tankers. (Source: Seattle Times, 03/23/09) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman/EADS plans to assemble its tankers in Mobile, Ala.