Boeing has beaten EADS for a 22 billion euro contract to built new US Air Force refuelling planes. The 180 air tankers will replace the 50-year-old aircraft currently in use.
The US Defense Department said Boeing’s offering was cheaper. “Boeing was the clear winner,” Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn told reporters at the Pentagon. He said Boeing offered a far better deal at a time when budgets are under increasing pressure.
The decision ends a lengthy and fiercely contested competition between the two planemakers going back nearly ten years which was delayed by an ethics scandal and selection errors.
EADS expressed disappointment and concern about the decision, but said the contract was just “one business opportunity among many” in the United States. It said last week it would only protest over the contract if it saw egregious errors.