Boeing/Tanker Update 4-26-08

Things are heating up for the Air Force as lawmakers on Capitol Hill and Unions got together to force the Air Force to rethink the deal with EADS/Northrop Grumman. USA Today reports that members of Congress and union officials have threatened to stymie the contract unless the deal is undone and Boeing gets the contract.

According to sources, the deal the Air Force made was so badly flawed as to be an embarrassment to the American taxpayer. The Air Force has still made no comment to date on the allegations.

Organizers of the Capitol Hill rally said foreign competitors would benefit from work and jobs and their economies would profit instead of American Jobs, American profit and a stronger American economy. Organizers of the rally say it is time to stop the outsourcing of highly skilled American jobs. Also, the EADS/Northrop Grumman plan would cost the Air Force over $30 billion dollars in the 40 year life of the plane MORE than the Boeing tanker would. The figures just keep not adding up to support the Air Force decision on why they selected the Northrop Grumman/EADS Airbus instead of Boeing’s KC-X. Lawmakers want answers from the Air Force and they aren’t about to stop asking and demanding answers until they get them.

Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman isn’t happy about all this either. They want the contract fulfilled as signed and are threatening to sue if it isn’t fulfilled. The Air Force is finding itself in a tight spot here lately.

Alabama is defending the contract saying it will bring 2,000 jobs just to Alabama alone. It will also bring in another 25,000 jobs to over 200 suppliers across the country.

Boeing counters this by saying it will create 44,000 jobs at over 300 suppliers. I’d say Boeing still has the better numbers. My personal opinion…

Lawmakers that are working to get the contract back to Boeing are:Reps. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan, Norm Dicks, D-Wash. from the House Appropriations Committee, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash, and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. All have a lot to say about the contract and vow to continue the fight.

On another front, the Navy has given Northrop Grumman a contract to develop an unmanned aircraft system, creating 176 new jobs at its plant in St. Augustine Florida. This was reported in the Examiner yesterday in Phoenix.

The system will be able to patrol large areas of the sea and report surveillance data back to a receiver on the ground. The system is designed to work in conjunction with the P-8A Poseidon squadrons based at Jacksonville Naval Air Station.

Northrop Grumman has until 2013 to build and test the system and deliver two planes. This contract is worth $1.16 billion dollars. There is no mention of whether Boeing did any bidding on this contract or not in the article. But if the planes work out as expected/hoped for, the Navy is looking to purchase another 60 to 80 planes.

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~ by justmytruth on April 26, 2008.

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