Northrop Grumman takes KC-X ball and goes home

I can hardly believe they would give up a prize as lucrative as the KC-X contract, so this must be one hell of a tactical threat. Of the kind you only get to put in play once—make a habit of it, and you look like a spoiled brat.

In the words of NG’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Wes Bush:

“…I must regrettably inform you that in the absence of a responsive set of changes in the final RfP, Northrop Grumman has determined that it cannot submit a bid to the department for the KC-X programme,” he said.

EADS has said it stands by team partner Northrop Grumman’s decision.

Bush added that the DoD has shown a “clear preference” for a smaller aircraft than Northrop Grumman’s KC-45 offering – which is based on the Airbus A330 commercial aircraft – “with limited multirole capability”, and that the “imposition” of this “places contractual and financial burdens on the company that we simply cannot accept”.

— Wagstaff-Smith, Keri. “Northrop Grumman declares it will not submit KC-X bid unless RfP is changed.” Jane’s Information Group, 03 December 2009.

Presumably NG hopes a legion of congressmen will ride to its rescue, and demand the Air Force re-examine its request for proposal.  Otherwise, Boeing wins by default…?

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