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Northrop will NOT bid the Aerial Tanker contract…

Two Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) KC-767 Tankers extend their aerial refueling booms during a recent test flight.  (Neg#: MWF08-0023b-051)

[ Two Japanese Boeing 767 Aerial Tankers ]

Northrop’s decision marked the latest twist in the nearly decade-long fight over one of the Pentagon’s biggest and most controversial contracts and raised questions about the impact of procurement reforms proposed by the Obama administration.

In announcing its withdrawal, Northrop said that the government’s requirements did not recognize the value of the larger refueling platform it had proposed and instead favored Boeing’s proposal to build a smaller tanker using a prototype of its 767 aircraft.

Northrop has withdrawn because it has become clear that the contract was drawn up to ‘buy american’….this the second military contract that gone this way…the other is the Marine One Helo contract which was cancelled after 9 helo’s were produced …so that there would be rebid..the Helo built are just sitting somewhere so that the manufactures can be paid $3 Billion  so that they can be another bid that can be given to Sikorsky an American manufacture…..all this plays out as the United States pushes for foreign companies to buy American C-17 cargo planes and F-35 fighters, that are over budget and late….

What ever happen top the best buy for the money?……

I’m sure most of these people drive imports when they go home..that are made in American just like the rejected aircraft models……that would be built in America

Wes Bush, chief executive of Los Angeles-based Northrop, said that under those conditions, it no longer made financial sense to stay in the competition.

“We have a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders to prudently invest our corporate resources,” he said. “Investing further resources to submit a bid would not be acting responsibly.”

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn said in a statement that the Pentagon was “disappointed” that Northrop had pulled out of the competition, noting that it “competed well on both price” and other factors. “We strongly believe that the current competition is structured fairly and that both companies could compete effectively,” Lynn said.

The government has been trying for years to award a contract to replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of planes used for refueling military aircraft midflight, but the effort to build 179 new tankers has been marred by controversy.

Northrop had partnered with Airbus, which is owned by Paris-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EADS), to compete against Chicago-based Boeing. In 2004, Boeing lost the deal to build the tanker after an ethics scandal. In 2008, Northrop won the contract, but Boeing fought back and had the award nullified.

The Pentagon started another attempt to rebid the deal last September, but the Northrop team threatened in December that it would walk away unless the Air Force changed its proposal. Northrop said the Air Force’s requirements favored Boeing’s smaller 767 plane, instead of its larger Airbus A330.

Bush said Monday the company would not protest the contract, in effect handing a win to Boeing. Bush said that although Northrop thinks it had grounds to successfully protest the contract proposal, it would have led to another lengthy delay.

This is a hollow win for Boeing and the buy American cliché…and may not be such a bargain for the Air Force…..

“It shows how acquisition reform can backfire,” said Loren Thompson, a defense industry consultant at the Lexington Institute. “If you push a contractor too far, they don’t have any incentive to bid because they don’t expect to make any money. The lesson is, if you push contractors too far they’ll lose interest.”

I will be a harsh economic blow for Alabama…. Where the Airbus based Northrop tankers would be American built…..

The Dog still does understand why they go for a split bid?

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Military, Other Things, Politics, The Economy, Travel, Updates | , , , , | Leave a comment