EADS North America has confirmed that it will not protest the USAF’s selection of Boeing’s KC767AT in the KC-X competition to begin replacing the service’s ageing fleet of KC-135 aerial refuelling tankers.
While EADS “expressed appreciation to the Air Force for running a competition consistent with the rules set out in its Request for Proposal”, EADS North America chairman Ralph Crosby said the company was “disappointed that our men and women in uniform are not getting the most capable tanker available”.
“We will not take any action that could further delay the already overdue replacement of the Air Force’s ageing tanker fleet,” Crosby said in a statement.
“The bid that we submitted was substantially lower than was submitted in the last competition. Our bid reflected a sound business case and offered a reasonable return to our shareholders.”
EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe said the company had “competed fiercely” for the contract, but now looked forward to “future opportunities” and “continued growth” in the defence market. “This experience has strengthened our position in the US marketplace,” he said.