The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS), parent company of Airbus, announced on April 20 that it will re-enter the competition for the U.S. Air Force KC-X Tanker contract through its subsidiary, EADS North America. The Air Force has said that EADS' announcement of intent will extend the proposal deadline by 60 days, from May 10 to July 9.
Boeing released this statement in response:
"From the outset, Boeing has been 100 percent focused on responding to the needs of our Air Force customer and preparing a competitive proposal. Only Boeing can produce a tanker that will meet the Air Force's 372 requirements and promise delivery of a combat-ready, safe and survivable tanker that is the most capable for the warfighter, the lowest cost for the taxpayer, and backed by Boeing's proven U.S. work force. We are confident in the superior value and capabilities of our NewGen Tanker and intend to present a compelling case for it in our proposal.
"While we are disappointed in the bid submission delay, we hope for a fair and transparent competition free of any additional changes intended to accommodate a non-U.S. prime contractor.
"We also remain deeply concerned about the ability of a heavily subsidized Airbus/EADS to accept levels of financial risk that a commercial company such as Boeing cannot. We regret that these concerns will not be addressed in the bid evaluation, even when the U.S. government has proven in a world court that those subsidies are illegal and directly distort competition between Airbus and Boeing."
Tanker program competition watchers will take this deadline extension to evaluate each proposal according to publicly available data. We will revisit this issue as new information becomes available.
(Boeing statement provided through public press release dated April 20, 2010).