Pentagon, EADS describe U-turns on tanker deal
19 March 2010
Washington: The Pentagon and European aerospace and defence giant EADS are now executing gentle banking turns towards each other on the $50 billion US Air Force tanker deal after a mutual unceremonious brush-off just a week or so ago. At play are several factors which are strong drivers for a rapprochement between the two sides.
|The A330 Multi-role Tanker Transport|
Northrop's decision results in rival Boeing being positioned clearly to walk away with the contract to build 179 tanker planes, potentially worth up to $50 billion. It also means an end to EADS dream of becoming a major player in America, the world's largest and most profitable arms market.
On Thursday, EADS chief executive Louis Gallois let drop a loud hint suggesting that the game may not be over as yet saying his firm was yet to make a decision whether or not to re-enter the bid. However, any such move, he said, would require the Pentagon to extend a 10 May deadline for bid submission.
"In the present time frame, I could say it's almost impossible," he told reporters in New York. "In the present time frame - 60 days - impossible."
Gallois also clarified that his firm had not sought other partners for a fresh bid or been contacted by others.