01 March 2008

Northrop-Grumman versus Boeing

KC-30 wins! Northrop-Grumman has won the 179 tanker contest. After the fiasco over the original award, the

A Businessweek report details Northrop's plan for the new contest between the aviation giants:

"Northrop's Sugar began plotting his attack after the Pentagon's initial deal to lease 100 new tankers from Boeing erupted in an ethics scandal because a top Boeing executive, Michael Sears, discussed a job for Air Force point person Darleen Druyan while negotiations were still ongoing. Druyan and Sears were convicted of corruption charges and served time in jail; the scandal led to the resignation of then-CEO Philip Condit. When the Pentagon opened a competition for the contract, Sugar found an ally in EADS, invested in new technology and hoped the new plane would be attractive to a military disillusioned by the Boeing fiasco.

As detailed in a BBC report:

"Boeing loses out in $40bn US deal

EADS and Northrop Grumman won the contract with their KC-30 aircraftThe owner of Airbus, EADS, and US firm Northrop Grumman have won a contract to build refuelling aircraft for the US Air Force, worth up to $40bn (£20bn).

The companies put in a joint bid to compete against Boeing for the lucrative deal to build 179 new aircraft over the next 10 to 15 years."

I am expecting vehement protests from special interest groups within the US, maybe not Boeing but other groups. Will Boeing appeal after their role in that corruption scandal? It remains to be seen.

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