Rep. Dicks Grills AF Secretary Over Air Tanker Decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressman Norm Dicks grilled Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne over the decision to give a $35 billion air tanker contract to Boeing competitors.

At Tuesday’s House Defense Appropriations Committee hearing, Dicks said Boeing was discouraged from offering a tanker based on the larger 777 jetliner and went with the mid-size 767.

The company was surprised Feb. 29 when a tanker based on the Airbus A330 was chosen, and one of the reasons was its ability to carry more cargo.

Dicks says Boeing was misled. Wynn replied that the request for proposal process was fair and open.

Boeing is appealing the contract to the Government Accountability Office, saying there were serious flaws with the decision in favor of Airbus parent, EADS and Northrop Grumman Corp.