Boeing Protesting $35 Billion Tanker Contract

WASHINGTON (AP) — Boeing Co. says it will formally protest a $35 billion Air Force tanker award it lost.

European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. won the high-stakes deal to replace 179 air-to-air refueling tankers. The award is the first of three major Air Force contracts to replace its entire fleet of nearly 600 aging tankers over the next 30 years.

Chicago-based Boeing says it will file its protest on Tuesday with the Goverment Accountability Office. The GAO will have 100 days to rule.

Sen. Patty Murray is praising Boeing’s decision to protest a $35 billion tanker contract awarded to the parent company of European plane maker Airbus.

Murray called the Air Force decision to award the contact to the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. and its U.S. partner, Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman, “shortsighted.”

The Air Force decision to “place the future of America’s aerospace industry and national security in the hands of an illegally subsidized foreign competitor is simply wrong for America,” the Washington Democrat said Monday.

Murray called on Congress to look into the ramifications of the Air Force’s decision on national security and the U.S. economy.