U.S. Rep. Adam Smith released the following statement after the Pentagon announced that Boeing lost the long-awaited aerial refueling tanker contract to the Northrop Grumman/EADS (Airbus) team:
"I am very disappointed in the Air Force’s decision on the tanker contract. While I am sure that the Air Force’s process was fair and open, I look forward to reading in detail their justification, as the Defense Department had previously identified Boeing tankers as highly-rated, cost-effective updates to the force. Our regional producer had a very competitive bid, and I am disappointed that the Air Force did not select our home-grown, innovative solution to their needs."
Next came Gov. Chris Gregoire’s response.
"This is unfortunate news for Boeing and the state of Washington. Boeing and its workers build the best planes in the world. They will continue to enjoy great success with their 787 Dreamliner and other innovative products still to come.
"The company is a valued corporate citizen of our state, and I look forward to working with them in the future. In the coming days, Boeing executives will be debriefed by the Department of Defense on what happened. I look forward to hearing from Boeing on the results of that briefing."
Here’s a link to our developing story.
Update: We got a joint statement from Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Reps. Norm Dicks, Rick Larsen, Jay Inslee, Adam Smith (again), Jim McDermott and Dave Reichert.
“We are outraged that this decision taps European Airbus and its foreign workers to provide a tanker to our American military.
“This is a blow to the American aerospace industry, American workers and America’s men and women in uniform.
“Boeing has 75 years of experience in building the tankers our military flies. Washington state’s workers are second to none and so is their product.
“At a time when our economy is hurting, this is a blow not only to our state, but the more than 40 states across the country who would help build this national plane.
“We will be asking tough questions about the decision to outsource this contract. We look forward to hearing the Air Force’s justification.”