Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tanker decision delayed

It will be mid-November before the Pentagon awards a contract for Air Force refueling tankers. That word came Friday from Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, the Air Force's top uniformed acquisition official, during a briefing with reporters. The Pentagon had earlier claimed the award date would not change from "early fall" despite granting a 60-day extension to EADS to prepare a bid. EADS needed the extra time after partner Northrop Grumman dropped out of the competition. The original deadline for EADS and rival Boeing to submit their bids was May 10, but is now July 9. EADS is offering a tanker version of its Airbus A330 jetliner and Boeing is offering the 767 jetliner. (Sources: Defense News, 06/18/10; HeraldNet, 06/19/10) Gulf Coast note: EADS wants to assemble the tankers in Mobile, Ala.