EADS North America will not protest U.S. Air Force’s aerial refueling tanker selection

EADS North America announced today that it will not protest the U.S. Air Force’s selection of the Boeing offering in the competition to replace the service's aging fleet of KC-135 aerial refueling tankers.

The company expressed appreciation to the Air Force for running a competition consistent with the rules set out in its Request for Proposal.

“While we are obviously disappointed that our men and women in uniform are not getting the most capable tanker available, we will not take any action that could further delay the already overdue replacement of the Air Force’s aging tanker fleet,” said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. “The bid that we submitted was substantially lower than was submitted in the last competition. Our bid reflected a sound business case and offered a reasonable return to our shareholders.”

“We’re also proud that our involvement in the competition resulted in very significant savings to taxpayers,” Crosby said.

EADS North America’s analysis determined that the KC-X bid submitted by The Boeing Company was nearly $16 billion less for 179 aircraft compared to its original tanker lease offer to the Air Force in 2002, when normalized for escalation and differences in aircraft quantities and requirements.

“Much is promised by our competitor, whom we congratulate. However, should they fail to deliver, we stand ready to step in with a proven and operating tanker,” said Crosby.

The U.S. Air Force also confirmed that the EADS North America tanker was judged to be superior in capability to the Boeing offering as measured by the service’s fleet effectiveness rating.

”We’ve competed fiercely and demonstrated once again why we have earned a reputation with the Department of Defense for quality, dependability and professionalism,” said EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe. “Now our focus is on future opportunities and our continued growth. This experience has strengthened our position in the U.S. marketplace.”

“We will continue our dialog with the Department of Defense to strengthen our future competitiveness, while also applying relevant lessons learned to the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transports slated for delivery to four U.S. allies,” O’Keefe said.

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