Boeing Concerned About Criteria For Tanker Re-Bid

WASHINGTON  — Boeing says it welcomes the opportunity to bid again on the $35 billion contract for Air Force refueling tankers, but it’s concerned about the criteria.

Boeing’s complaint that the criteria were changed in the middle of the process led to yesterday’s Defense Department decision to reopen the bidding.

Northrop Grumman says it’s confident it will again win the contract, using an Airbus plane.

The Defense Department is reviewing only eight errors in the process recognized by the Government Accountability Office. The request for bids still favors the larger Airbus A330 over the Boeing 767.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the department will make a decision by the end of the year.

The department has already rejected the suggestion that it split the order between Boeing and Northrop Grumman because that would drive up the cost.