Senator blasts tanker bidding process as "fundamentally flawed"

10/27/2009 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

A senator says the Air Force bidding process for a new aerial-refueling tanker is "fundamentally flawed." In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., complained that the bidding proposal has been so stripped down that it encourages "a cost shootout where the lowest-priced bid wins, regardless of capabilities offered." Because Boeing is expected to offer a smaller plane, Shelby fears an overemphasis on cost will hurt Northrop Grumman, which plans to build its tankers in Alabama.

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