What The Pentagon Wants In A New Tanker--Stay Tuned

Today the Department of Defense is submitting a new "draft request-for-proposal and source selection process" for the air refueling tanker. In other words, we find out what the Pentagon is looking for in a new plane, and how it will be incorporating the changes suggested by the Government Accountability Office.

The new "RFP" is being submitted today to Congress and to the two competitors: Boeing and Northrop Grumman. The media will be briefed at 3 pm ET. Pins and needles time! Boeing won its protest of the original $35 billion tanker award to Northrop/EADS, but Boeing is now worried the Pentagon will just tweak the new request to seal the deal for Northrop Grumman and its Airbus partner.

This as pro-Northrop forces have been busy launching a new PR war (see image below, you can't miss it). With Northrop/EADS planning to assemble any new tanker in Mobile, Alabama, a group called Alabamians to Build American Tankers (ABAT) spent a reported $25,000 to make radio ads to air in Washington, D.C., which denigrate Boeing. Problem is, Boeing also employees a lot of people in Alabama. The ads have been pulled for now, until Congress returns from its summer recess, and the ABAT web site is... well... blank.

Hear one of the ads as part of a WKRG news story here.


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