The KC-45 tanker by Northrop Grumman is part of a $40-billion program to help maintain U.S. empire through military might.
Boeing has friends in high places, as evidenced by the congressional Government Accountability Office siding Wednesday with the U.S. aviation giant in a protest against a multibillion-dollar refueling tanker contract that was awarded earlier this year to a U.S.-Europe team.
The position the GAO and Boeing offer is that errors were made during the bidding process. Others believe Boeing is creating controversy by using issues around national pride and jobs to derail an otherwise fair deal.
The Government Accountability Office on Wednesday backed Boeing’s protest of the awarding of a multibillion-dollar contract for refueling tankers to Northrop Grumman and a European partner, saying the Air Force made errors during the process.
The G.A.O., the investigative arm of Congress, recommended that the Air Force reopen the bidding and obtain revised proposals.
The $40 billion tanker program is the Air Force’s No. 1 priority, intended to replace a fleet of aerial refueling tankers—which provide fuel to fighter jets and cargo planes in mid-air—that date back to the Eisenhower administration and which are being stressed in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.