The Pentagon’s selection of Boeing to fill its order for a KC-X future tanker aircraft will not be disputed by EADS, the Paris-based company says.
EADS North America says it will not dispute the US Air Force’s decision to update its KC-135 aerial refuelling aircraft with Boeing’s KC-46, based on its 767 commercial airliner.
EADS lost its KC-45 proposal, which was based on the Airbus A330 airliner aircraft, after winning an initial order in 2008, which was successfully disputed and overturned by Boeing.
A statement from EADS said the firm expressed its appreciation to the Air Force for running a competition consistent with the rules set out in its Request for Proposal.
By USAF fleet effectiveness metrics, the EADS tanker had been decided the more capable aircraft, but Boeing was able to offer a less costly deal to the US Department of Defense. Boeing’s bid for the 179 aircraft deal dropped $16bn from its original tender in 2002.
“While we are obviously disappointed that our men and women in uniform are not getting the most capable tanker available, we will not take any action that could further delay the already overdue replacement of the Air Force’s aging tanker fleet,” said EADS North America chairman Ralph Crosby.
“Much is promised by our competitor, whom we congratulate. However, should they fail to deliver, we stand ready to step in with a proven and operating tanker,” added Crosby.