March 28, 2004
The Knight-Ridder papers are confirming earlier reports that the Air Force tanker contract really was a sweetheart deal for Boeing:
Sacrifice features and safety but at a higher cost and screw the French! That's the American way!
The Air Force gave the Boeing Co. five months to rewrite the official specifications for 100 aerial refueling tankers so that the company's 767 aircraft would win a $23.5 billion deal, according to e-mails and documents obtained by Knight Ridder.
In the process, Boeing eliminated 19 of the 26 capabilities the Air Force originally wanted, and the Air Force acquiesced in order to keep the price down.
The Air Force then gave Boeing competitor Airbus 12 days to bid on the project and awarded the contract to Boeing even though Airbus met more than 20 of the original 26 specifications and offered a price that was $10 billion less than Boeing's.
Nothing from the hometown twosome on the story as yet, but it really is a KR scoop. Is it me, or is the Trib awfully cosy with Boeing? The only news today from them on the company is this piece of sunshine in the Business section.