Author Topic: Bitter loss for Boeing: Pentagon picks Airbus ($40B Air Force tanker contract)  (Read 1312 times)

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Offline Wretched Excess

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Bitter loss for Boeing: Pentagon picks Airbus

In a shocking upset Friday, Boeing lost the long-awaited and lucrative Air Force refueling-tanker contract to a competing bid based on an Airbus plane.

The Pentagon chose Northrop Grumman, partnered with Airbus parent EADS, to build the next generation of Air Force tankers, a contract worth an estimated $40 billion.

Boeing's loss means the 767 assembly line in Everett will wind to a close around 2012 when the current commercial orders run out. No layoffs are likely, though, as the roughly 600 production workers plus supporting engineers will transfer to other programs, including the 787 Dreamliner.

But Washington state has lost out on the chance to add as many as 2,000 jobs locally at Boeing — and perhaps more than 6,000 new jobs overall.

Instead, those jobs will go to Europe and Alabama.

Large sections of the Northrop/EADS tanker will be built in Europe; they will be shipped across the Atlantic for assembly at a new widebody-jet plant to be built in Mobile, Ala., which will gain some 1,500 direct jobs.

At the Pentagon news conference, Air Force acquisitions chief Sue Payton said categorically that the creation of jobs in the United States was not a factor in the decision.

Payton said the only considerations were "the requirements of the war fighter" balanced with "the best interests of the taxpayer."

Aviation industry analyst Scott Hamilton compared the political ramifications of the decision to "Mount St. Helens erupting" — and local officials certainly reacted with vehemence.

"We are outraged that this decision taps European Airbus and its foreign workers to provide a tanker to our American military," said a statement from Washington state's entire congressional delegation. "This is a blow to the American aerospace industry."

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yeah, I know, these things happen in a free market.  I will have to look into this, because I don't know the details of the competing proposals, but how different can two flying gas stations be?



Offline SSG Snuggle Bunny

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Who was whining about "outsourcing" mere months ago?
According to the Bible, "know" means "yes."

Offline Wretched Excess

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Who was whining about "outsourcing" mere months ago?

this whole thing has been one big debacle.  first, the air force was going to lease boeing aircraft, but they were paying a staggering amount of money, so congress stopped them.  then, they were going to buy the airbus tanker, but congress stopped them.  now, they are going to buy the airbus tanker again, unless congress stops them.