Northrop Threatens to Withdraw Tanker Bid
Northrop Grumman threatened on Tuesday to withdraw its bid for the controversial KC-X tanker program contract, citing issues with the Air Force’s request for proposals (RFP). The tanker, which provides the in-flight re-fueling capability that is critical to international operations, is generally considered to be the Air Force’s number one acquisition priority. It has, however, had a checkered acquisition history; a 2004 contract award to Boeing was canceled amid corruption charges, and a subsequent award to Northrop and its European partner, EADS, was cancelled last year by the GAO after Boeing issued a formal protest. Northrop now contends the new RFP, issued in September, unfairly advantages Boeing, who is thought to be bidding a smaller version of its 767 aircraft.
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