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Aero India 2023

Boeing to bid for US military mega project

A KC-135R Stratotanker refuels an F/A-22 Raptor. Afile photo

WASHINGTON (AFP): US aerospace giant Boeing has submitted its bid for a USD 40 billion US military contract, joining battle with its bitter rival Airbus.

Boeing hand-delivered a 8,000-page proposal to build 179 aerial refuelling tankers to a US Air Force base in Ohio early Friday, setting the stage for a high-stakes transatlantic trade scrap.

The contract -- worth an estimated USD 35-40 billion -- is seen as crucial in reinforcing US air power and could be a financial jackpot for the winning firm.

"There are not too many 35-billion-dollar contracts out there," said aerospace analyst Peter Arment of Gleacher & Co.

"This is at a minimum a multi-decade opportunity."

The new planes will replace older Boeing Stratotankers that date back to the 1950s.

With the stakes high, both companies have traded allegations of unfair competition in the near decade-long fight to win the contract.

The political implications have not been lost on the Pentagon's civilian leaders, or Congress, which broadly backs the domestic bid.

Boeing has emphasised its "American-made" tanker on Friday, as "it would satisfy all 372 mandatory Air Force requirements and be capable, survivable, and combat-ready at the lowest cost to the taxpayer."

Airbus submitted its proposal on Thursday, stressing its tanker would be more practical because it is based on an already existing plane.


KC-135   Boeing   Airbus   USAF  

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