Boeing Cleared for Takeoff with $35 Billion KC-X Tanker Project

The Department of Defense named Boeing (NYSE: BA) the winner of the $35 billion KC-X Tanker contract issued by the Air Force.

The firm plans to use the KC-767 aircraft for the project. The first contract awarded carries a value of $3.5 billion calls for the delivery of 18 aircraft by 2017.  The Air Force plans to replace 179 of the refueling planes.

The decision came following years of proposals, protests and controversy that saw industry heavyweights EADS and Boeing launch extensive campaigns to secure the valuable work order.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn described Boeing’s bid as “the clear winner.”

The Air Force originally awarded the contract to a team led by EADS and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) in February 2008, but reopened the bidding several months later following a successful protest by Boeing.

Northrop Grumman dropped out of the running for the deal in March of last year, leaving proposals by an EADS and Boeing on the table.

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