Issues Statement On Northrop Grumman's Decision Not To Bid On
EADS North America' Chairman of the Board Ralph D. Crosby, Jr.
released the following statement Monday on the heels of the
announcement that Northrop Grumman had made good on its threat to
withdraw from the KC-X tanker competition:
"Five years ago EADS partnered with Northrop Grumman, as prime,
to pursue the U.S. Air Force KC-135 modernization program. Two
years ago our team was selected and awarded the contract. Today
Northrop Grumman has decided not to submit a bid to the Department
of Defense for the KC-X program.
"As a team, our serious concerns were expressed to the
Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force that the acquisition
methodology outlined in the request for proposal (RFP) would
heavily weigh the competition in favor of the smaller, less capable
Boeing tanker. Northrop Grumman's analysis of the RFP reaffirmed
those concerns and prompted the decision not to bid.
"The source selection methodology clearly signals a preference
for a smaller aircraft. This is particularly disappointing given
that the Air Force previously selected the A330-based KC-45 because
of its added capability, lower risk and best value for both the
warfighter and U.S. taxpayer. The Defense Department's RFP ignores
the added combat capability that could be provided to our military
and, for the first time, ensures that our allies will operate with
superior capability in this vital mission area.
"The A330 multi-role tanker transport is the most capable, low
risk tanker in the world today -- having been flown, tested and
proven. The A330 MRTT has been selected over the Boeing tanker in
the last five consecutive competitions and will shortly enter
service with several U.S. allies.
"This decision does not diminish our commitment to the U.S., or
to its service men and women. The enduring strength of our
commitment is reflected in the success of the Army's Light Utility
Helicopter -- of which we are prime contractor and that just
celebrated its 100th on-schedule delivery. And it also can be seen
in the many EADS systems and capabilities that operate with the
U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
"EADS is the largest international customer for U.S. aerospace
and defense products, contributing over $11 billion dollars
annually to the American economy and supporting more than 200,000
high technology jobs. We remain committed to our U.S. customers,
suppliers and the American workforce.
"We express our appreciation to the states and communities in
which we do business, and particularly to their elected officials
who have been unwavering in their determination to provide the best
available capability to the American warfighter.
"We also must acknowledge the support from the leadership of
France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain in promoting
transatlantic defense cooperation as a two-way street and the
interoperability that the KC-45 would offer."