The twists and turns of the Air Force's efforts to replace its refueling tankers.
Created by everettherald on Feb 24, 2011
Last updated: 03/21/11 at 03:00 PM
Timeline of the Air Force tanker deal. has no followers yet. Be the first one to follow.
The Boeing Co. bests its European rival, EADS, for a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract, Pentagon officials announced.
The win will keep the production line for Boeing's 767 jet, which is the basis of its tanker, busy for the next decade. Boeing will replace 179 of the Air Force's KC-135 tankers, which Boeing built back in the 1950s and 1960s.
After meeting with Air Force officials, Boeing and EADS submit their final, revised bids.
Sen. John McCain calls tanker contest a “fiasco” in a Senate committee meeting on the Air Force’s disclosure of data to bid competitors.
Air Force admits it gave Boeing and EADS information about each other’s bid for the tanker contract.
The Air Mobility command says it doesn’t have enough tankers if war should break out
Mobile, Ala. mayor tells CNN: "I'm confident we'll win the competition again. I think Boeing believes that."
Boeing, EADS submit initial bids in round three of Air Force tanker contest.
Late entrant, U.S. Aerospace, protests the Air Force’s dismissal of its bid, which was turned in late, on the basis of discrimination, bad directions.
The Pentagon delays the awarding of the tanker contract until after the November elections.
The Air Force agrees to extend the tanker deadline 60 days to allow EADS, which is still seen as the underdog, a chance to compete.
“A sole-sourced contract would have served only Boeing’s interests,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
EADS’ partner, Northrop Grumman bows out of tanker contest. Boeing’s supporters tentatively begin to celebrate. “We're not ready to pop the champagne cork yet, but I think it's a very positive development,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
Supporters for both Boeing and Northrop-EADS believe the Air Force’s requirements favor Boeing. The Air Force "clearly favors" Boeing's "smaller, less capable airframe and I am concerned the Department may not get two competitive bids in this process," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., in a statement.
“I'm pleased with what I heard,” said Rep. Jay Inslee, a Democrat from Washington, where Boeing plans to build its tankers. “As far as the specifics of the proposal, we're very much in the game.”
Northrop CEO Wes Bush threatens to drop out of the contest, believing the Air Force already favors Boeing’s tanker.
Sen.Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., tries to block federal funding unless the Air Force gives Northrop a peek at Boeing’s 2008 tanker pricing. In Boeing’s protest of the 2008 award, the company saw Northrop-EADS’ tanker price.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gives the Air Force back the authority to oversee the tanker contest after previously stripping the Air Force’s powers. The Pentagon “cannot afford the kind of letdowns, parochial squabbles, and corporate food-fights that have bedeviled this effort in the past,” Gates said.
Both Boeing and EADS said they’d be OK with splitting the tanker contract.
Defense Department calls for a “do-over” in tanker contest.
Boeing wants four more months to revise bid.
The Air Force attempts to continue with its second tanker contest by revising its requirements.
The pro-EADS group, Alabamians to Build American Tankers, is formed.
"After the initial announcement, my friends and I watched as the massive Boeing public relations machine took flight, " said Mobile firefighter Bryan Lee, who founded the group. "Suddenly, every newspaper and broadcast media was saying Boeing's loss would cost American jobs. We said, wait a minute, isn't Alabama still in the U.S.?
Boeing accused Alabama workers of not being up to the task. Boeing's supporters have continuously tried to smear our workers and our opportunity."
Lawmakers introduce bill that would force Air Force to rebid tanker or give contract to Boeing. "The Air Force used a flawed and incompetent process to evaluate the original KC-X tanker proposal," said Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan. "My bill offers two choices. The Air Force can either award the contract to Boeing ... or the Air Force can rebid the tanker contract on a fair and level playing field -- the way it should have been done the first time."
A Mobile, Ala.-based company says it wants to give Boeing "a finger." The owner of Foosackly’s, a chicken finger restaurant, hasn’t been too pleased with the Boeing Co.’s efforts to strip Northrop Grumman and EADS of a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract.
Government auditors find flaws in Air Force contest, side with Boeing, to the applause of the company’s unions. "This is not a done process. Everyone knows that," said Tom Wroblewski, president of the local district of Boeing's Machinists union. "The first quarter is over. We just won."
Boeing supporters dub Northrop-EADS tanker "Les Mis." Other names included "Tankosaurus" and "Scarebus."
Rep. John Murtha says he will block funding for the Air Force tanker contract, which was awarded to Northrop Grumman and EADS.
Boeing Machinists say Obama doesn’t get the tanker debate.
“He just doesn’t get it,” said Tom Buffenbarger, president of the international union, of then-Sen. Barack Obama. “For him to equivocate on this issue is a complete embarrassment. But for him to take a neutral position in the fight to protect 44,000 American jobs just shows he’s no friend of blue collar workers.
“Maybe Senator Obama doesn’t mind the Pentagon procuring from other countries, but I sure as hell do,” said Buffenbarger.
Boeing files protest of tanker contract with the Government Accountability Office, saying the Air Force changed its requirements to favor Northrop and EADS.
In a surprise move, the Air Force awards tanker contract to Northrop Grumman and EADS. Air Force officials say the EADS’ tanker provides ‘more, more, more.”
Analysts believe Boeing will best Northrop-EADS for Air Force tanker contract.
Airbus will build A330 tankers in Mobile, Ala., if its parent company, EADS, wins tanker contest.
Air Force delays tanker contest again.
Alabama senators demand apology after Boeing official calls state a “risky” place to build a tanker.
Japan’s Air Force rejects Boeing’s 767 tanker, which is similar to the tanker Boeing is offering the U.S. Air Force.
Boeing, Northrop submit bids for $35 billion tanker contest.
EADS, Northrop tout Alabama-built tanker. “Make no mistake … this tanker will be American built,” said Northrop Grumman officials.
Alabama offers tax incentives to EADS to build tanker in Mobile. "This is probably the most important economic development venture we've seen in our community in some time," said Mobile Mayor Sam Jones.
Pentagon gives OK for Air Force to start tanker search.
Northrop, EADS team up for U.S. Air Force tanker bid.
Boeing says it may halt 767 production after initial tanker contract fails.
The Pentagon calls off tanker contract with Boeing, says contest must be rebid.
Sen. John McCain moves against Boeing in tanker deal.
Boeing chairman, CEO resigns, amid tanker scandal. "Boeing is advancing on several of the most important programs in its history and I offered my resignation as a way to put the distractions and controversies of the past year behind us, and to place the focus on our performance," said Phil Condit, Boeing’s CEO.
Boeing acknowledges ethics scandal between executive and Pentagon weapons buyer. "Compelling evidence of this misconduct by Mr. Sears and Ms. Druyun came to light over the last two weeks," said Phil Condit, Boeing CEO.
Boeing gets long-awaited 767 tanker deal.
"Crank up the 767 line," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.. "We're sending a hundred-plane order your way."
Boeing lobbyists push for tanker contract. Boeing's advocates met resistance from critics including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who complained the government was going to pay much more to lease the aircraft than it would to buy them -- perhaps double the purchase price. He sees Boeing as the best "war profiteers" yet.
"Whatever Boeing wants, Boeing gets," McCain said. "As long as they continue to be able to contribute huge amounts of campaign contributions, they will probably continue to get good deals."
In a statement, the Air Force said the war on terrorism is "stretching this aging fleet." Opponents, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., say the plan is more expensive than buying new tankers. And once the leases expire, the Air Force would have nothing to show for its investment.