Has the Tanker Scale Tipped Already?

If an analyst with the Teal Group in Virginia is correct, Boeing has the edge over competitor Northrop Grumman in the bid to build USAF’s next tanker. Reuters news service reports that Richard Aboulafia, Teal VP, speaking at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in D.C., gave Boeing a 55 percent chance to win the competition and the Northrop-EADS team only 15 percent. However, Aboulafia added that there’s a slight chance the Air Force could “find the cash” to increase the buy from about 14 per year to about 20 per year, and that, he said, might make a split buy possible, giving some tankers to each team. The Air Force now expects to name the winner in February.