WASHINGTON – The European plane-building company that lost out on a $35 billion refueling tanker deal isn't appealing the Air Force's decision to go with Chicago-based Boeing.
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. said Friday it won't ask the Pentagon to review the decision to have Boeing build nearly 200 giant airborne refueling tankers.
"It's time to put the interest of the warfighter first and we're stepping aside," said Ralph Crosby Jr., chairman of EADS North America.
The Air Force last week picked Boeing to build a replacement for the Eisenhower-era tanker fleet. The contract would mean tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, with Washington state and Kansas getting the bulk of the work. The contract, which could be worth as much as $100 billion, is a major win for Boeing.
EADS planned to assemble the aircraft at a closed military base in Mobile, Ala.
The tankers allow jet fighters, supply planes and other aircraft to cover long distances. That's critical today with fewer overseas bases and with operations under way far from the U.S.
Gov. Gregoire’s statement on EADS decision to not appeal tanker decision
OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement after the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company announced it will not appeal the recent tanker contract awarded to The Boeing Company:
“The decision by EADS is more proof that Boeing submitted the best proposal to the U.S. Air Force, and provides the public with more assurance that Boeing will build the most cost-effective and safest refueling tanker that best serves our military and our taxpayers. There’s no doubt Boeing and its workforce build the best planes in the world. I congratulate the 11,000 Washington aerospace workers that will play a role in manufacturing the next tanker, and look forward to seeing the first tanker come off the line.”
Senator Murray’s Statement on Airbus Decision Not to Protest Tanker Contract Award
“There is no doubt about it, the tanker will be built in Washington state by Washington workers.
“While this is a tremendous win for jobs and the economy of our state, it’s also a huge step forward toward meeting the needs of our men and women in uniform.
“I made sure that the Pentagon put the needs of those who will fly and maintain these tankers first. I told them our Air Force needed a straightforward process that would lead to a clear winner, not the subjective decision making that has continually delayed getting these planes into the hands of our men and women in uniform.
“Thankfully, this competition produced a clear winner ready to deliver for our military and, as we see today, it greatly reduced the possibility of a protest that would have left those charged with defending our country empty-handed once again.
“I know that Boeing is ready to start building these tankers immediately. Just last week I spoke to many of the workers on the floor of the 767 plant in Everett who are hungry to deliver for our military, and I saw the major investments Boeing has made to their plant to prepare for this undertaking.
“It’s time to get these tankers into the hands of our men and women in uniform, and there is no one I would rather have driving that effort than the workers of our state.”
Senator Cantwell on EADS Announcement: 'A Proud Day for Washingtonians'
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement today after the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) announced it would not protest the U.S. Air Force’s decision to award the KC-X tanker contract to Boeing.
“Today is a proud day for all Washingtonians. Today’s announcement makes official what Washingtonians know in our bones: We build the best airplanes in the world. Even with the deck stacked against them, Washington aerospace workers prevailed over long odds, stiff competition and illegal foreign subsidies. Boeing, its workers and my colleagues in Congress never gave up in fighting for these 11,000 jobs.”