Groundhog Day

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Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. will submit new offers for a disputed $35 billion Air Force tanker contract, and the Pentagon will pick a winner by the end of the year.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that his office - not the Air Force - will oversee the competition between Boeing and the team of Northrop and Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co.

The plan, which hands control to the Pentagon acquisition chief John Young and sets up a dedicated source-selection committee, shows that senior civilians at the Defense Department have lost confidence in the Air Force's ability to manage the contract.

"I think it's better," said Rep. Norm Dicks, a Washington Democrat. "No one has any faith in the Air Force."

We're going to have more analysis from Colin over at DoD Buzz in a few. He's truckin' it back from the Pentagon even as we speak.

Stay tuned...

-- Christian

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