2/25/2011

Boeing Tanker

In a bitter disappointment to local officials here in Mobile, Alabama, the Boeing Tanker won out over the EADS airbus. Most had predicted that EADS would win based on all known information. This was a bitter fight that EADS-Northrupp-Gruman had thought it had won in 2008. Seattle and Chicago, Boeing based companies, filed a complaint and ultimately won the huge contract that will generate thousands of jobs and revenue for Boeing Company. Boeing's winning bid was a modified Boeing 767. As I recall, Boeing was first awarded the contract in 2004, but the contract was withdrawn because of an ethics scandal that resulted in prison terms for a former senior Boeing executive and a former high-ranking Air Force official. So, that makes it even more bitter.

Here in Mobile, we are bitterly disappointed. It is hard to lose out on a bid that you won fair and square, then lose over what many in the aerospace industry thought was an inferior design built at a rock bottom price that EADS (NorthRupp withdrew after the winning then losing the bid couple of years ago) could not match. It will be interesting how Boeing will do in building this tanker. The Boeing Tanker will be needed to quickly service the aircraft of our military. I think the needs of the men and women of our military were often overlooked in this long, drawn out fight. Regardless, the pressure is now on the Boeing Tanker to come online soon and on time. I wonder how well that will work out. I know they have the experience and the workers ready. But, Senator Pat Murray drew the eternal damnation from people on the gulf coast (the one that is still reeling from Katrina and the BP Oil Spill) by her condescending remarks about our region. When you make prejudiced remarks, they sometimes come back to bite you on the ass.

I am curious what our allies in Europe think of this sudden turn of events. Will they now feel slighted over what many consider a deck of cards stacked against EADS? That may be the case. This may cost the USA more in the longrun. I know this post sounds like sour grapes and you probably are right. It is tough to lose something of this nature when you felt you had it won. Mobile and the gulf coast region will move on now. It is very unlikely EADS will protest the bid. I think EADS has had enough. They know no matter what they do, "Buy American" is going to win out each time in this country.



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