Competition for Air Force Tanker Contract Fraught with Politics

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In a display of optimism for its prospects at landing a huge U.S. Air Force aerial refueling tanker contract, Northrop Grumman Corp. Sept. 13 hosted representatives of some 100 companies that could become suppliers to the company if it wins. With a likely price tag of at least $20 billion to build a minimum of 100 refueling aircraft, the competition is fierce among defense contractors to land the order. As the only U.S.-based aircraft manufacturer, The Boeing Co. once looked to be a shoe-in for the contract. But now Northrop Grumman, partnering with the European firm that owns Airbus, is […]

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