Boeing submits its latest bid for the Air Force's $35 billion refueling tanker.
Boeing will compete against the European aerospace company EADS, which put in its own bid late Thursday.
EADS promises to create 48,000 American jobs. Boeing says it would created 50,000. Of those, several hundreds would be in Wichita.
Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson joined with other governors in releasing the following statement:
“With Boeing’s bid formally submitted today, it’s now time to move quickly to replace America’s aging refueling tanker fleet. Our military cannot afford any further delay. We need a next generation tanker now to replace our existing 50-year-old fleet.
“As members of the U.S. Tanker 2010 Coalition, we are confident that Boeing’s tanker proposal is the best choice and the best value to meet the needs of the modern warfighter. Boeing’s airplane is the only one ready to move into immediate production. Their proposal is the only one that will create more than 50,000 American jobs at a time when our nation needs them most.
“We respectfully urge the leadership at the Pentagon to finish the procurement process and move forward on this critical investment in our national security. America’s workers are the finest in the world and stand ready to build the finest aircraft in the world, as they have done for the past 60 years. We believe that with a fair, transparent competition, our skilled workers and an American-built plane is the smartest choice.”
The Pentagon has tried for almost a decade to award the contract. But previous attempts have failed over contractor disputes, Air Force errors, and criminal cases involving officials at the Pentagon and Boeing.
The Air Force hopes to choose a contractor by November.
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