In a previous post, we opined that whoever lost the KC-X contract should accept the decision and let the Air Force move forward with the award without a protest.
We reiterate this view now.
Throughout the competition, EADS praised the USAF for its fair and open process, and its integrity, and when the Air Force inadvertently passed on company information to Boeing and EADS that belonged to each other, EADS praised the USAF for handling the mistake properly.
Boeing has been awarded the contract for 179 KC-X tankers.
What are the ramifications?
Is this contest over?
As we noted in a previous post, not necessarily. A protest can follow. EADS has said it won’t unless it finds something “egregious” in the process, which it has commended so far. But don’t consider it a given that EADS won’t find reason to protest. Still, we think it unlikely based on what we know today.
Why wouldn’t EADS protest?
EADS sorely wants the contract. It would be a huge boost toward its goal of reaching $10bn a year in Pentagon contracts, from $1.5bn today. But by competing for the KC-X contract at the Pentagon’s request to do so, it built up a lot of good will for future contracts. There would be little to gain from a protest.
Will Congress go along? There is a strong EADS contingent.
That’s all it is, a contingent. There aren’t enough EADS supporters to force a reversal. They still could block an award, but if EADS doesn’t put up a fight, it’s unlikely they will, either.
The timeline of what’s next is listed in this post. As the cliche goes, “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”
Update, 0930 PST: DOD has confirmed, the award will be announced at 5:10 PM EST and broadcast on The Pentagon Channel.
The Pentagon Channel will provide coverage, if the past is followed today. The time is 5pm EST. Update: A Tweet from AvTips says 4:45pm, without citing sources, so we suggest having everything ready by that time.
You can bet the media in Mobile (AL), Wichita (KS) and Seattle (WA) will also provide breaking news coverage. We know for sure that KIRO-TV plans to do so. We expect Twitter members will be ready to go, include Reuters Aerospace coverage.