The US Government Accountability Office has denied a protest by US Aerospace after the USAF refused to accept the company’s bid for the KC-X program because it was delivered to program officials five minutes late.
The company’s bid, based on a modified Antonov An-70 airframe with twin turbofan engines and renamed An-112KC, was revealed just days before submissions closed. US Aerospace alleges the courier carrying the bid was intentionally delayed at the main gate of Wright Patterson AFB and then given incorrect directions to the program office, but the GAO could find no grounds for the claim.
“The US Aerospace proposal to build the KC-X tanker was received after the deadline for the receipt of proposals,” said Ralph White, the GAO’s managing associate general counsel for procurement law. “Consequently, the Air Force acted appropriately in rejecting the proposal.”
Boeing and EADS North America are now the only bidders with their 767-based KC-767NG and A330 MRTT-based KC-45 proposals respectively, and a decision is due to be made before Christmas.