Stunned Boeing Presses USAF to Explain Choice

Scheduled debriefing not soon enough for jilted company
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 4, 2008 2:20 PM CST
In this artist's depiction provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., a KC-45A refuels a F-22 Raptor. The Air Force on Friday, Feb. 29, 2008, awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. and a European partner a $35 billion...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Boeing is calling for an “immediate debriefing” on the Air Force's choice of a foreign company to build its fuel tankers, Bloomberg reports. The selection of Airbus and Northrop Grumman is to be the subject of a scheduled March 12 meeting, but Boeing says that isn’t protocol. “We would expect this briefing to occur within days, not weeks, of the announcement,” said a company rep.

Congress will hold a hearing on the shake-up tomorrow, but debate is already raging in Washington over the $35 billion decision that some say would send manufacturing overseas, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “The Airbus contract is a European stimulus plan subsidized by the American taxpayer,” said Sen. Patty Murray. But the Defense Department called the decision process “open, fair and detailed.” (Read more Boeing stories.)