Boeing Wins KC-X Contest

Boeing is the winner of the Air Force’s KC-X tanker competition, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley announced Thursday. The service chose the Chicago-based aerospace giant’s 767-based NewGen Tanker over the A330-based tanker model that EADS North America offered in the high-stakes competition. Boeing has received the initial development contract, valued at more than $3.5 billion, to provide the first 18 new-build tankers by 2017. The Air Force intends to buy 179 of them to replace its oldest KC-135s. Donley said the new tanker’s designation will be the KC-46A. While Donley said both companies had submitted a proposal that was “awardable,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn said “Boeing was a clear winner” during the same Pentagon briefing. Lynn said he believed that the evaluation process was “transparent and open” and would not provide grounds for EADS to file a legal protest. But he noted that the company has the right to do that if it thinks it was treated unfairly. For more, continue to Air Force Picks Boeing Tanker.