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Northrop tanker won Air Force contest in four areas
Northrop Grumman Corp., the third- largest U.S. defense company, said it won a $35 billion Air Force aerial refueling tanker program because its bid was "more advantageous" in four of the five areas weighed in the contest.
The company's tanker won in the areas of capability, price, aerial refueling assessment and past performance, Los Angeles- based Northrop said in an e-mailed statement today, citing a briefing from the Air Force. The fifth area considered was proposal risk, and Northrop didn't comment on that category in the statement.
Northrop and its partner European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. won the award over Boeing Co., which built the current fleet of Air Force tankers used to refuel fighters and bombers in flight since 1956. Chicago-based Boeing said today it has "serious concerns" over inconsistency in requirements and cost factors in the competition, and is considering protesting the decision.
Northrop fell 47 cents to $78.54 at 3:13 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Boeing dropped $1.96, or 2.6 percent, to $74.64. The largest U.S. defense companies are Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp., and Boeing.