Buzz readers will know that we have largely refrained from writing about the efforts by a tiny U.S. company to wiggle its way into the KC-X competition, but our friends at Aviation Week have come up with such a wonderful denouement that we have to write something.
As Amy Butler reports, the folks at U.S. Aerospace, teaming with the Russian giant Antonov, missed the deadline for delivery of the bid by 5 minutes. On top of that, the company has filed a protest with the GAO. Here's what the company said about its efforts in a filing with the SEC:
Our proposal was hand delivered on July 9, 2010. The messenger arrived at the government installation, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, well before 1:30 pm, more than half an hour before the 2:00 pm deadline. Air Force personnel initially denied the messenger entry to the base, then gave incorrect directions to 1755 Eleventh Street Building 570, and finally instructed the messenger to wait where he was for Air Force personnel to come and get him. He at all times complied with the instructions of Air Force personnel, from the time he arrived at the installation until the proposal was taken by Air Force personnel at the program building. Although the proposal was arbitrarily marked received at 2:05 pm, it was under Air Force control before the bid deadline.As Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told Amy: "The proposal was late and by law we are not allowed to consider it."
It would seem we're back to the only two realistic and truly credible competitors, Boeing and EADS NA.