Sun, Mar 09, 2008
Contesting DoD Decisions Seems Probable
The U.S. Air Force has completed a debriefing for The Boeing
Company during which acquisition officials sought to explain why
they selected a team of Northrop Grumman and the European
Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) for a contract to
replace aerial refueling tankers.
The debriefing on Friday came one week after the Air Force's
'surprising announcement' that it had chosen the Northrop-EADS team
over the Boeing KC-767 tanker offering.
"We spent several hours with Air Force leaders, listening and
probing, all in an effort to better understand the reasoning behind
their decisions," said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president and
program manager of the KC-767 tanker. "While we are grateful for
the timely debriefing, we left the room with significant concerns
about the process in several areas, including program requirements
related to capabilities, cost and risk; evaluation of the bids and
the ultimate decision.
"What is clear now is that reports claiming that the Airbus
offering won by a wide margin could not be more inaccurate," said
Boeing officials said that they will take the next few days to
evaluate the data presented and will give serious consideration to
filing a protest.
"Our plan now is to work through the weekend to come to a
decision on our course of action early next week," said McGraw.
"It will be a very rigorous and deliberative process to ensure
we're balancing the needs of the warfighter with our desire to be
treated fairly. For decades Boeing has been recognized as a defense
company that never takes lightly protests of our customers'
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