Monday, February 22, 2010
Gates expects two tanker bids
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday that he expects two parties to bid on the Air Force tanker project, according to Reuters. The final tanker requirements will be released as soon as Tuesday, but no later than the end of the month. The Northrop Grumman/EADS team, which sees the draft request for proposals as favoring the smaller Boeing plane, has threatened not to bid. Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Gregoire of Washington state and the governors of eight other states that stand to gain with a Boeing win were in Washington D.C., Monday pulling for a Boeing win. They announced the formation of "U.S. Tanker 2010" at the National Press Club. While that was going on, a new effort was launched to push for awarding the contract to both Boeing and Northrop. It's called BuildThemBoth.com, which claims 100,000 U.S. jobs would be created by building two different tankers. (Sources: Reuters, Everett Herald, Seattle Times, 02/22/10). Gulf Coast note: The tankers would be assembled in Washington state with a Boeing win and Mobile, Ala., with a Northrop/EADS win.