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Additional Bidder Could Enter Tanker Competition

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2010 – A company that had been partnering with Northrop Grumman before it withdrew from the KC-X tanker competition has asked for additional time to submit a proposal, a senior defense official confirmed today.

The Defense Department is considering European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.’s request for 90 days beyond the May 10 deadline to prepare its bid, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters today.

The department is considering whether it will allow a “reasonable extension,” Whitman said, without specifying how long that might be. Extensions aren’t unusual for requests for proposals, Whitman said, and are considered on a case-by-case basis.

EADS indicated in a statement posted on its Web site today that other issues could affect its decision to compete against Boeing Co. for the Air Force KC-135 modernization program contract, estimated to be worth $35 billion.

Whitman reiterated an interest in the broadest competition possible. “The department remains committed to fair and open competition and welcomes proposals from all qualified offerers,” he said.

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