Awards Boeing KC-46 Aerial Refueling Tanker Contract
February 25, 2011 - Air Force and Defense Department officials announced the award of an engineering and manufacturing development contract valued at more than $3.5 billion for the KC-46A aerial refueler to The Boeing Company on Thursday.
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said in the briefing that many factors were evaluated during the tanker selection process.
"This selection process determined whether or not the proposals demonstrated the ability of an offerer to deliver all 372 mandatory requirements and whether non-mandatory capabilities would be addressed," said Secretary Donley, emphasizing that both offerers met the mandatory requirements.
took into account fleet mission effectiveness in wartime, and
life cycle costs as embodied in fuel efficiency and military
thorough and transparent selection process was marked by
continual dialogue with offerers to ensure the Air Force had a
clear understanding of their proposals and the companies clearly
understood the service's analysis of their offers, said
Donley also highlighted that the warfighter was in charge of
stating the requirements for the tanker, and that meeting those
requirements enables the aircraft to go to war on day one.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz shared the secretary's sentiment. "I'm pleased with how this has produced an outcome after an exhaustive effort by hundreds of the department's very best people, that we will get about delivering the capability that's long overdue," General Schwartz said.
While the focus of
the briefing was on the award of the contract, Secretary Donley
addressed basing considerations for the aircraft, stating that those
decisions involve other organizations and will take place over the next
couple of years. Secretary Donley also reiterated the service's
commitment to provide quality equipment to the warfighter.
"To the men and
women of our Air Force, today's announcement represents a long-overdue
start to a much-needed program," Secretary Donley said. "Your Air Force
leadership, supported by Dr. (Ashton) Carter and others throughout the
Department of Defense, is determined to see this through, and we will
stand behind this work."
Air Force and DOD
officials complemented both offerers and thanked congressional oversight
committees and their staffs for working with the department during the
contract process that served the warfighter and taxpayers well.
?This is certainly
a disappointing turn of events, and we look forward to discussing with
the Air Force how it arrived at this conclusion,? said EADS North
America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. ?For seven years our goal has been
to provide the greatest capability to our men and women in uniform, and
to create American jobs by building the KC-45 here in the U.S. We remain
committed to those objectives.?
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