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"This is by no means a 'sky is falling' scenario if we wind up with one offer," Lt. Gen. Mark Shackleford, the Air Force's top deputy for acquisition, said at a defense conference hosted by Aviation Week magazine.
Northrop has said the Air Force's proposed guidelines are stacked so heavily against its KC 30 that it will not bid on the contract unless significant changes are made. history, a prospect that could erode support for the deal in Congress and bring more controversy to a program already marked by scandal.
Chicago based Boeing gained the upper hand in the rematch, according to analysts, when the Air Force simplified its selection criteria. The service diminished the value it placed on the capability of each plane to carry cargo and passengers in addition to fuel a key advantage for Northrop's larger KC 30 aircraft. Rep. Norm Dicks, D Wash., a strong backer of Boeing, to chairman of the House subcommittee that controls the Pentagon's budget.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said military officials "are trying Adidas All Stars Hologram
to be as fair as humanly possibly about this competition."
city would land a $600 million aircraft assembly plant D Rose Shoes Black if Northrop and its bidding partner, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., can beat the heavily favored Boeing for a second time. air force KC 135 tanker planes seen at the Manas air base in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Feb. 18, 2009.
"Our only goal here is to get our warfighters a new tanker . and to get the taxpayers the best deal for their money. We don't have a dog in this fight otherwise. We don't care who wins," he said.
The extent of those changes could dictate whether Los Angeles based Northrop submits a bid for the 179 plane contract a decision that carries huge economic consequences for Mobile. This Adidas Boost Shoes Mens
"We can't force them to compete, nor are we willing to make a change in the process solely to their advantage," he said. "That's part of the walk down the middle philosophy."
Air Force said Thursday it could release bidding guidelines for its aerial refueling tanker contract as early as next week and is ready to move forward with or without Mens Adidas Climacool Aerate 2.0 Shoes
Air Force could release new air tanker bidding guidelines next week
Shackleford said the Air Force would prefer competition but is prepared to make a sole source award.
Shackleford said the Air Force held extensive talks with both Northrop and rival Boeing Co. to understand their concerns about the way the contest is structured. Those discussions, he said, led the Air Force to make "certain adjustments" to its final Request for Bids. A draft version of the terms was released to contractors in the fall.
Northrop Grumman Corp. as a competitor for the potential $40 billion deal.
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