NorGrum/EADS Fights Back

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The Northrop Grumman/EADS tanker team has posted a new Web site to fight back against Boeing protests. The "America's New Tanker" site has a near daily scrape of pro-NorGrum coverage that tries to paint a picture of a done deal (which is may very well be).

Here's the latest:

Reuters this morning, citing Air Force documents, is refuting one of Boeing's major false statements about Northrop Grummans win of an Air Force contract to construct Americas next generation of aerial refueling tankers.

According to Reuters, Air Force documents and interviews with Northrop Grumman officials make clear that the Northrop Grumman KC-45A can refuel the V-22 Osprey operated by the Marine Corps. In its challenge to the Government Accountability Office, Boeing claims, among other things that one of the shortcomings of Northrop Grumman's win is that it cannot refuel the V-22.

Reuters writes that Air Force documents show that Air Force officials chose Northrop Grumman in part because "Northrop Grumman's aircraft was better suited for refueling tilt-rotor aircraft" like the V-22.

And Reuters also quotes Northrop Grumman director of business development Marc Lindsley as saying Boeing's claim is false, and that the V-22 can be refueled by the KC-45A.

Additionally, Northrop Grumman has already built, flown and tested its refueling tanker, while Boeing has only conceptual plans; it has yet to construct even one such aircraft. Reuters reports that the Air Force assigned a higher risk to the Boeing proposal because it is so far behind Northrop Grumman in aircraft development.

What Others Are Saying:

On Sunday, the Tacoma News Tribune published an editorial urging Boeing to respect the Government Accountability Offices review of its appeal of Northrop Grumman's win.

Calling the GAO "the right umpire" to resolve the dispute, the News Tribune said "The company's political allies...should agree to abide by the GAO's respected judgment."

"Their refusal to do so would make it all too clear that the protests are all about protectionism."

"Real patriotism argues for giving the (U.S.) military the best equipment possible," the newspaper said. "If (Northrop Grumman) has offered the tanker that best meets the needs of the Air Force, so be it."

"The GAO, not Boeing's friends in Congress, can best be trusted to make that call."

-- Christian

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