Northrop Grumman/EADS team will not bid for the US Tanker
EADS confirmed today that the Northrop Grumman/EADS team will not bid for the US Air Force Tanker replacement programme, following the announcement by its partner Northrop Grumman that they decided not to bid.
The team had expressed serious concerns to the DoD and the U.S. Air Force that the acquisition methodology outlined in the Request for Proposal (RFP) would heavily weigh the competition in favour 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 had selected the A330-based KC-45 because of its added capability, lower risk and best value, EADS stated. The Defense Department’s RFP ignores the added combat capability that could be provided by the KC-45.
Five years ago EADS had partnered with Northrop Grumman, as prime contractor, to pursue the US Air Force KC-135 modernisation programme. In 2008, the team was selected and awarded the contract, but this was overturned by a GAO ruling which found serious failings in the evaluation process.
The decision not to bid does not diminish EADS’ commitment to the US, as reflected in the success of the Army’s Light Utility Helicopter, the company added.