U.S. aerospace giant Boeing is appealing the Air Force’s decision to award a $40-billion contract to a rival U.S.-European team, citing “serious flaws” in the process.

The contract for 179 refueling tankers is likely to be the last big Pentagon purchase this decade, marking a shift away from a “Buy America” mentality and toward more international competition.

Los Angeles Times:

Boeing Co. said Monday that it plans to challenge the Pentagon’s decision to award a $40-billion aircraft contract to rival Northrop Grumman Corp. and its European partner, Airbus.

The world’s largest aerospace company said it would file a formal protest Tuesday, hoping to overturn what is likely to be the nation’s last big new weapons contract for at least a decade. The Pentagon on Feb. 29 chose Century City-based Northrop over Boeing to build 179 aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force.

“Our team has taken a very close look at the tanker decision and found serious flaws in the process that we believe warrant appeal,” said Jim McNerney, Boeing’s chairman, president and chief executive. “This is an extraordinary step rarely taken by our company, and one we take very seriously.”

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